We’ve all heard the old adage: remodeling your home will bring you better resell value. Or something to that effect. However it’s not entirely true for every remodeling project. In fact, some projects will add exponential value to your home, while others might not add any resell value, or worse, decrease your home’s ultimate value.
So how do you know which projects to keep and which to scrap? Here is a list of five do’s and don’ts of remodeling. Before we begin, remember this one important fact: if you plan on staying in your home for decades to come, and this is truly something that will benefit your family, then forget what anyone says. However, if your ultimate goal is to get the most out of the resell of your home, then heed these tips as gospel!
The Do’s of Home Remodeling
- Bathrooms and kitchens are the number one focus for buyers. The first thing home buyers will notice when visiting houses are the bathrooms and kitchen. Not only are these typically the most expensive rooms to renovate, but they also require the most work. In the bathrooms, think about things like updated fixtures and new tiles, while the kitchen will require updated cabinetry, new appliances, flooring and countertops. So if a potential buyer walks into a home and sees the bathrooms and kitchen don’t need any work, it’s a definitely check in the YES column.
- What’s the first thing you notice when you walk or drive by a house? The exterior of course. If a house is appealing on the outside, you’ll be excited to see what treasures await on the inside. Curb appeal is the best way to add a lot of value, sometimes with little work or money, to your home. Think about things like landscaping, a nice welcoming front porch, mowing your lawn on a weekly basis (seriously!), repainting the exterior and other affordable projects.
- Ultimately a beautiful and spacious master bedroom is key to the home buyers’ hearts. Think about it: we do spend a quarter to a third of our time in bed, so it’s natural that we care about the master bedroom so much. These private quarters are an oasis of sorts and it’s important for anyone to want to envision themselves spending their down time in this room. Updating the master ensuite, creating an organized walk-in closet, adding a (gas/electric) fireplace, and other small touches can create a warm and inviting ambiance.
- Increasing the square footage of your home is always a bonus, any way you look at it. If you have the space consider enlarging your living room or adding an addition to the house. This is a significant undertaking and will require permits, contractors, potentially engineers, and a somewhat hefty budget, however if your house is on the smaller side to begin with and there’s room (outside) to grow, consider this a worthwhile investment.
The Don’ts of Home Remodeling
- Who hasn’t dreamt of owning a house with a pool for you to use at your leisure? The reality is, not many people are actually prepared for the expenses involved in maintaining a pool. Think about this one carefully — is this truly an investment for your family’s benefit, or are you hoping this will grow your home’s worth? If it’s the former, go for it. The latter? You might want to spend your hard earned dollars elsewhere in the house.
- If you have a small house to begin with, make do with the space you have, instead of trying to borrow from one space to give to another. Meaning, don’t try to remove a small bedroom to make the bathroom larger, or to give you an extra large walk-in closet. Though you might appreciate the change, buyers will want that extra bedroom where it was and in the end you won’t recover the costs and might in fact lose money.
- Though we love our kids dearly, and would do (almost) anything for them, create unique spaces in our homes for them, might not be the best way to go. We’re not talking about something easily changeable like a chalkboard-painted-wall, we’re talking about something more permanent, like a indoor jungle gym, or built-in bunk beds that would require the new home owners to spend money to remove and/or replace. Your kids might be thankful, but your wallet won’t be on closing day.
- From kids to adults, few specially-built rooms are a good idea when it comes to reselling your home. Wine cellars for instance. You may be a wine aficionado, and take pride in your collection of vintage reds, however the next home owner might have opted for a finished basement instead of a cellar. A media room complete with reclinable seats, large screen, and velvet walls, however not every homeowner envisions spending their spare time in a dark room watching movies hours-on-end.