Like many homeowners in the Kitchener and Waterloo area who are considering selling your home, you are probably thinking about which renos you should do before listing your home for sale. Some renovations are completed in hopes of increasing overall sale price, but are you confused as to which renovations will actually get a good return for your investment? What are potential buyers looking for most? What helps pay those renovation bills in the long run? Let’s take a look at a few of your options.
- Curb Appeal Projects: From something as simple as replacing your front door to replacing all of the siding on your home, curb appeal projects add serious value to your home. One report suggested that worn siding alone can make your home lose up to 10% of its value, and full siding replacement is near the top of the projects with the highest return on investment.
- Kitchen Remodel: Think smaller here instead of bigger. While those dream kitchens you see plastered on every home magazine on the shelf and on Pinterest seem like a great idea, they’re also incredibly expensive. You may want to update your kitchen somewhat to make sure it looks like the hub of your home. It should look attractive, clean, and modern. Beyond that, don’t waste your money.
- Outdoor Living Space: People are looking to be outside more than ever before, and these days, creating a gorgeous outdoor living space can really add to the value of your home in Waterloo Ontario. Build a deck if you don’t already have one, throw in an inexpensive outdoor fireplace for cool fall nights, brighten up your lawn furniture with colourful pillows, and you have a winning addition home buyers are going to love again and again.
- Tackle that Bathroom: According to HGTV, inn the hottest housing markets, springing for a kitchen or bath remodel is a sure-fire investment, often returning more than 100 percent of the cost. People consistently rate a bathroom remodel at the top of the list, and for good reason. A beautiful bathroom is a selling point for many buyers in Kitchener-Waterloo. As with the kitchen, don’t get too carried away. A small bit of luxury in the bathroom can go a long way toward adding to your listing price.
No matter which renovations you actually choose to complete, there are several things to remember about handling this process in general. In order to prevent anything from going awry, ensuring you have as much knowledge as possible at the outset can be quite helpful.
- Check Your Contractor’s References: The importance of this step cannot be understated. If you’re seriously considering hiring someone to handle the bigger projects such as your kitchen renovation, new bathroom, or your add-on, you’ll want to ask how long the company has been in business and ask for references of past customers. The next step is the most important – CALL THEM! Ask if the work was completed on time and on budget. Go out and take a look so you can judge the workmanship for yourself. It’s the single best way to see exactly whom you’re hiring. In addition to checking those references, be sure you look into the contractor’s licensing and whether or not they’re insured and bonded against damage. You may also want to run a credit check on the contractor to get some additional information.
- Learn More About Permits: In almost every renovation situation, at least one permit is going to be needed somewhere along the way. If you have a contractor who tells you one isn’t required, you may want to find another contractor. Wondering why it’s so important? If you have the permits on file before the work begins, you can be sure the city you live in will complete a full inspection after the work is done. That will help protect you in the event the title insurance company asks to see the permit and inspection paperwork before you can actually close the sale on your home when the time comes.
- Don’t Go For Cash: Some contractors offer to do a cash deal to help you save a little money. Don’t! It’s against the law and you don’t have any proof of payment if the contractor doesn’t fulfill his end of the bargain. Saving a few bucks now is not worth the court costs you may have to pay later.
- Don’t Pay In Full Up Front: For best workmanship, you will want to create a payment plan that is tied to the milestones involved in the project. It is recommended that you put no more than 10% down on any project, and then pay out a little at a time as the contractor completes certain aspects of the project. That way, you won’t lose much if something happens to the deal.
- Get It In Writing: It doesn’t matter what the “it” turns out to be, make sure you have everything in writing. You want a written contract that spells out everything the two of you have agreed to, the stages of work, and the associated payments with each stage. You also want any special options you’ve included in writing, like those special drawer pulls or that particular paint color. Finally, make sure there’s language included about clean up and repair. Renovations can be an excellent way to increase the value of your home, but finding the right combination of that great renovation project and a good contractor is essential.
For smaller renovation projects we have personally worked with and recommend Kris Kostecki in Kitchener. Kris performs work on: flooring; tiling, interior doors and trim; interior and exterior painting; drywall and taping; and bathroom renovations. You can reach Kris at 519.781.9311.