| Homeowners

Sometimes the things you think bring the most value to your home, can cause the most trouble. For example, you might be surprised to learn you’ll only revamp an average of 54% on a major, upscale kitchen remodel. Meanwhile exterior renovations like a new garage door or veneer stone façade upgrade are closer to 100%. Who knew? We did! Here we tell you how to get the most ROI from your home renovations in the Toronto area housing market.

Avoid Fads, Embrace Trends

Fads are fleeting and will be dated quickly, while trends will last for years to come. Examples of fads are things like extreme sizes of tile, quirky installation patterns, unexpected colours in flooring that are too pale, too deep or highly contrasted. Trends would be rejuvenating a classic neutral colour like gray, mid-tone hardwoods floors, or the comeback of yellow metals.

Don’t Get Too Eccentric

While home décor items like area rugs and wall art can be as eccentric as you like, permanent things like a massive concrete sink in the powder room are going too far. Instead of increasing the value of your home, you either lose a sale, or find buyers asking for a reduction to cover the costs of replacement.

Never Install Something Too Purpose Built

Conversions straying too far from the intended functionality of a room is usually a deal breaker. Again, buyers see dollar signs to tear out the mirrors and barre from your dance studio (for example) and run in the other direction.

Consider the Home’s Period

Always design with the period of the house in mind. An ultra-modern interior in a classic Toronto Victorian is a misfire, as would be a Victorian kitchen in a retro mid-century home. Think in terms of what is broadly attractive with a timeless feel in the home, and you’ll hit the mark.  

Think Minor Not Major for Bathroom Remodels

This is good news for homeowners who were planning to spend over $100k on a major, upscale bathroom remodel. Instead, you can invest just over $10,000 on the basics and see a 102% return on average. Your project would include the following upgrades:

  • Tub or shower tile surround
  • Flooring
  • Toilet
  • Sink
  • Vanity
  • Fixtures such as faucets, shower heads, lighting, towel racks, etc.
  • Fresh paint or wallpaper

Voila, you get it all back and more.

Don’t Ignore Your Front Yard   

When buyers spot a home with impeccable landscaping, they think low maintenance. As a result some pretty basic landscaping upgrades will see a 100% return. The goal is to clean everything up, install a green weed-free lawn and add some colour and interest with flowers and plants. If you aren’t sure where to begin, your local garden centre is a font of information. If you have a typical postage stamp front yard you might find professional landscaping quite affordable. The average ranges from about $4 to $12 per square foot for materials and from $50 to $100 per hour for labour. Think low budget, high impact.

Keep the Minor Theme Going for Kitchen Remodels

Like your bathroom, you’ll see more bang for your loonie with minor kitchen remodels than major remodels. The average return is 98.5% for an investment of about $15,000 to cover:   

  • Re-facing cabinets and drawers
  • Appliances
  • Sink and fixtures
  • Quality laminate (yep laminate), stone, or glass countertops
  • Resilient flooring
  • Lighting
  • Fresh paint
  • Simple backsplash

The goal is to brighten and modernize without tearing anything out. Everything stays in the same place, so you reduce costs, but still have the appeal of a new kitchen.

Enhance Curb Appeal

Buyers love curb appeal and exterior improvements. We’ve already mentioned garage doors and stone laminate façades, but you can also see close to 95% returns from new vinyl siding, fresh exterior paint, and new front entries. The key is to update your home, so it stands out from older homes on the street. New windows are also good, although they only see about 64% ROI. People love the look and appreciate the energy efficiency to boot. Get rid of anything that dates your home like awnings or shutters, add a new porch light, and include some classic finishing touches like a brass door knocker, mailbox, or house number. Fresh paint on the porch works too.

Consult a Toronto Realtor

Before you get started speak to our team of Toronto Realtors. We understand the cost vs value economics in Toronto neighbhourhoods and can ensure your money is well spent. Instead of considering renovations in general terms, we consider the needs of your home and where you should invest to get the best ROI.

When you sell property in Toronto every detail counts. If you’re looking for a team of Toronto realtors to help build equity fast, the Christine Cowern Team’s got you covered. Give us a call at 416.291.7372 or email us at hello@christinecowern.com. We’d love to work with you!

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