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Smart renovation decisions

Smart renovation decisions

January 31, 2014

Wise investments can add enormous value to your home. A freshly painted kitchen, a renovated bathroom, eco-friendly upgrades – they’re all flourishes that can boost your home’s asking price. But there are some projects that can have little bearing on your home’s resale value. Here’s where you need to hold on to your money.

1. Avoid over-landscaping. 

Installing a terrific sprinkler system or planting colourful flowers can significantly enhance your home’s curb appeal. But there can be too much of a good thing. Extravagant gardens, running fountains and elaborate installations may prove to be more of an eyesore, or worse, a financial burden, to prospective buyers. Instead, stick with a well-maintained but low-maintenance lawn.   

2. Leave your walls alone. 

You may dream of expanding the size of your bedroom by knocking down a wall or two. But eliminating an entire room just to make another one larger isn’t always the best option. Prospective home buyers may be looking for more rooms – not fewer. Worse yet, knocking down walls without consulting a professional engineer could compromise your home’s structural soundness.  

3. Don’t put in a swimming pool. 

A swimming pool may draw the neighbours’ kids but it’s likely to repel home seekers. Many homeowners simply don’t want the year-long responsibilities of pool ownership, from cleaning to chlorinating. It’s an added expense that often requires the paid assistance of professionals. And many simply aren’t interested in the liabilities that come with keeping a watchful eye on swimming children and neighbourhood pets.

4. Think twice about expanding upwards. 

Whether it’s to accommodate a growing family or for the sake of aesthetics, adding another storey to a home can be an overwhelming temptation. But renovations that cause your home to fall outside neighbourhood norms can be a recipe for disaster. For one, your neighbours may resent your bold endeavour. Second, adding another storey is expensive. You may not recoup the cost when you sell. And finally, you may be tempted to price your home higher than others in the neighbourhood —which may make it more difficult to sell.