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Top Renovations for the Best Return on Investment

What is worse, moving or living in a home during a renovation?

The decision to sell and find a new home or to make your home the way you want it? This mental battle is not new that homeowners are facing.

My family and I are asking the same questions, and in a tight real estate market with low inventory, the decision to renovate our home and make it our own is becoming more and more appealing.

Here are some renovations we did in the last couple of months. Sorry, we are not a Pinterest perfect family. We are not done yet, in the next couple years, we plan to replace the flooring and redoing the kitchen. But these renovations have costed us under $5,000 and a bit of sweat and blood. The before photos were when we bought the home 3 years ago.

Let's be honest, moving sucks and it is expensive. I have not met someone that enjoys moving, avoiding having to move keeps people in their homes for 20, 30 or 40 years.

So if you are like me and you are wondering what to do and where to start, here are some ways you can either increase the value of your home or maybe make your home more how you want it and can avoid having to make that move.

What we did was take out our inefficient closet in our master bedroom that allowed us to open up the flow in the room. We purchased floor to ceiling cabinets from Ikea which is my wife's organizing dream.

In the basement, there were roughly 200 sq feet unfinished and we had a wall compartmentalizing the basement into sections. An afternoon the wall was gone and a month later we had the new suspended ceiling up. Next up on the list is finishing the flooring and we are thinking bigger about attacking the kitchen, bathrooms and existing flooring on the main floor.

But I think we will take some time off and enjoy our new renovations and who knows what will change in the meantime.

Not all renovations have to be completed right away, cashflow is the main reason why we chose to bite off smaller renovations this winter and increasing our quality of life having 2 young kids.

The Appraisal Institute of Canada offers the top 5 you should focus your money on to get the best return on investment. Even if you still want to sell your home after the renovation these renovations will increase the value of your home.

5. Energy upgrades: Whether you're thinking about new energy-efficient windows, a new furnace, or solar panels on your roof, energy upgrades are a hot trend in home building and renovations, and typically bring with them at least a 50 to 75 percent return upon resale.

4. Closets: While it's hard to put an estimate on the rate of return a well-designed closet will incur, potential buyers consider closet space when taking a walk-through of a potential home. A well-designed, organized closet with ample storage space and other features is a great selling point. A small investment in new closet storage, shelving, hooks and hangers can go a long way when trying to get the best return on your investment.

3. Floors: AIC confirms that you can count on a payback of approximately 50 to 75 percent when you replace old or outdated flooring. Replacing aging hardwood and tile or installing new carpet or laminate can give your home a polished feel.

2. Washrooms: Similar to the kitchen, the washrooms in your home offer a nearly 75 to 100 percent return on investment. Even if you don't want to replace the tub and shower in their entirety, a new state-of-the-art showerhead, faucets, and other small renovations really make a difference in the long run.

1. Kitchen: There's no need to gut the kitchen entirely when you're looking to increase your home's value. Upgrades such as granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, new fixtures, lighting or other minor aesthetic changes can go a long way. According to AIC's calculations, kitchen facelifts typically pay back about 75 to 100 percent of their cost, making them the most popular and beneficial home renovation investments.

It is was not AIC's list, however, I would also argue that finishing off an unfinished space and adding on a suite should also be on the top of the list. Real estate in BC basis the square footage off of the finished area, if you take 200 square feet and finish it off you could increase the value by $40,000 to $60,000.

Suites are still nice to have even if you are not a fan of having a tenant. It helps increase the amount of money that a potential buyer can qualify for even if they don't want to rent it out. As well if you ever need to pull money out of your mortgage you can use the rental income to help.

Regardless of your position picking the battle between living in renovations or moving, sometimes it appears there is no good option. Hopefully this give you an idea of where you an focus your time and money to see where you are better off.

Mark Coons


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