After years of renovating, I consider myself a bit of an expert on the do’s and don’ts of renovations. With every new project comes new challenges, new experiences and new lessons learned. When I renovate for resale, the bottom line is the most important factor in all decisions. There are very simple rules to renovating for resale: invest in elements with the highest return on investment, use neutral design to appeal to the masses, and know your target market.
Return on investment is all about knowing where to spend your budget. The safest investments in home renovations are kitchens and bathrooms. Kitchens have always been the heart of the home, but recently they have become the hub of every house. These new multitasking family spaces incorporate cooking, eating, entertaining, work, and play. Bathrooms, especially master ensuite bathrooms are reaching a whole new level of luxury and tranquility. For both kitchens and bathrooms the ROI is high, but the sky is not the limit. If the neighbourhood caters to middle income families you should too.
No matter how much you may love the colour purple, others may not. When choosing paint, tile, cabinets, hardwood, siding and counter tops, always chose neutral colours that are clean and contemporary. Check out design magazines for inspiration. Another element to consider is metal. When choosing hardware, light fixtures and other metal finishes, simple is better. White metal tends to be universally appealing and cost effective. If you are dying to express yourself through colour, towels and toss cushions in you favourite shade may be your safest bet.
3) Know your target market.
Everyone in real estate knows that location is the most important factor when hunting for a home. Knowing your location is just as important when you are renovating for resale. If your house is a four bedroom, three bathroom house in suburbia, you target market is the family. If your project is an industrial, open-concept loft in the downtown core your target market is a single professional or a couple without children. If you aren’t sure, take a walk around the neighbourhood, talk to your real estate agent or read the community newspaper. Once you have determined your target market, renovate and design accordingly.
Renovation starts out as a plan, pretty pictures clipped from magazines, sketches and paint chips. If you follow the rules and watch your bottom line, the plan can become a reality and make you a significant profit. Good luck!
P.S.- We would love to see your renovation before and after photos!