Deciding where your hard earned dollars are best invested in your home when it’s time to renovate or time to sell, can be a tough question. You could add granite counter tops in the kitchen, or you could renovate the bathroom to look like a spa… But which renovations will bring you the best return on your investment? When it comes to the valuation of your home, what the bank thinks your home is worth is important but what’s more crucial to the value of your home is what potential buyers think it’s worth. You’ve heard the saying before “A house is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it” – Well, it’s true!
Even if you’re not thinking of selling your home right now, imagine for a moment that you’ve listed your home for sale as it is right now. Suzy is a first-time home buyer interested in taking a look at your home and books a tour with her realtor. She’s so excited as she pulls into the drive, parks her car and looks in awe at the gorgeous gardens and the arbor stone steps to the front porch. She walks up the steps, comments on the cute veranda and then as she peers through the window for the first time… She notices the chipped paint around the window frame and the tiny crack in the double-paned storm windows that you thought no one would ever notice. Her realtor unlocks the door and invites Suzy in but the only thing that Suzy can think of as she pauses at the door is… “It’s too bad the windows are old, I wonder how much heat leaks out from the windows not being sealed like that, would new windows be expensive to replace, Who would I have replace them, There are a lot of windows in this house… Are they all like that, Do they ALL need to be replaced, I can’t afford that…”
What you might see as a tiny blemish on the surface like splintered paint on the windowsill or a chip of glass missing on the corner, a potential buyer sees as a cost, and in turn a bargaining tool to negotiate a lower selling price than you had in mind when you listed your home on the market. So when you think of those renovations you had been debating, some of the changes you make will add to the value of your home, and others though they will sparkle and shine, won’t have the same return on your dollar.
The majority of the time, investing in updating your windows will add value to your home, because with new windows comes: energy savings, curb appeal and prevention of water damage and mold. It is possible however that new windows in some homes could actually decrease the value of a home as well. For example if you own a century home built in the early 1900’s, that is full of charm and architectural character – If you were to update the windows to brand new, vinyl windows that though they are extremely energy efficient, don’t match the overall character of the home – Your home could actually see a loss in value because of the diminished historical appearance.
As you can see each potential renovation will have its pros and cons, though all in all, keeping your home current throughout is bound to bring you more of a return in the long run. If you’re interested in learning how you can secure a little extra cash without signing up for a new bank loan to be able to make the renovations to your home that really count – Let’s take a look and see if we can take advantage of a new program available in Ontario called a refinance plus improvements mortgage. With today’s rock-bottom interest rates you might even save on your overall interest fees by refinancing today in addition to upgrading your home all in one shot.