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Renovating for Profit


Blog by Kevin Kurjata | June 10th, 2011


Home renovations have become as commonplace as getting new shoes. Everyone you know who owns their home is in the middle of some sort of renovation project. It could be something as simple as painting the guest bedroom or as complex as gutting and redoing the kitchen. Everybody is in on it.

Sometimes people are renovating because they want to increase their enjoyment of their home. For the most part, though, people are renovating because they want to get more money for their home. Both can be very satisfying and fun experiences; however, they require very different strategies.

First, a cold hard truth – all the renovations in the world will not launch a home from “passably clean and comfortable” to “the top the local real estate market”. There are brand new homes that yours will be competing with. Make sure that you know the sale price of new homes in Dawson Creek before you undertake an extensive and expensive renovation project. Make sure that the price at which you hope to eventually sell is well below that number.

A nicely renovated home will sell for a bit more money. It will also sell a bit quicker than competing homes on the market. A renovation will not, however, turn an old home into a brand new one. The value of your property will still be bound by its age and by the quality of the neighborhood that it is in. If similar homes in your neighborhood are selling for $200,000, a renovation will not make your home worth $300,000.

All renovations are not created equal. When you are renovating you want to make sure that you are doing it to appeal to as large a portion of the population as possible. That means that modern colors and styles are very important.

A poor or half finished renovation will actually be a detriment to the sale of your home. It will take longer to sell and you will get less money for it. Make sure that you have the money to finish every project that you undertake. Make sure that you have the time and expertise to do it right.

You are not guaranteed to get the money that you invest in your renovations back when you sell your home. The market does not care how much money you have spent on your renovation. The market cares about how your home competes with other homes on the market, in the same class.

So how can you know which renovations make sense? The Appraisal Institute of Canada website (www.aicanada.ca) is your best resource for determining the best renovations to finish before you sell. The institute has designed an interactive program called RENOVA to assist consumers in this regard.

RENOVA basically asks you punch in the type of reno that you are planning and how much you intend to spend. The program then gives you an idea of how much of a return you can expect when it comes time to sell. Google “RENOVA” to give it a try. The most consistent returns are seen in kitchen updates, bathroom updates and new paint – interior or exterior. According to the AIC, those are the only three things that you can reasonably expect to return all of the money that you have spent.

In addition to RENOVA, the AIC website provides fantastic renovation advice. Using it before, during and after your renovation will keep you on track. It is an amazing resource for consumers provided by an unbiased party.

It is also a good idea to consult with your Realtor BEFORE you start your renovation. You need to know what homes similar to yours are selling for. You also need to know the maximum amount that you can sell your home for if you totally renovate. You also need to know what new homes are selling for. Your Realtor is your only source for all of this information.

A good renovation will help your home to sell quicker and for a bit more money than competing properties. The tools that are available to modern consumers are incredible. If you use them, you will get the most out of your renovations. This means that you will ultimately get the largest possible financial reward out of the sale of your home.