Whether you’re getting your home ready to sell or perhaps it’s your retirement investment maintaining the home value is important.
Curb appeal is everything and one reason someone may be interested in viewing your house.
There’s also a buyer beware when buying a house and not considering the costs to maintain and increase home value.
Increase Home Value From The Outside In
Today I want to touch on two important topics for those of you who want to increase home value before selling.
- What you can do to increase home value?
- How you may be decreasing home value?
Just by sprucing up the outside of your home can net you a 25%-50% return on investment.
The first sight by a potential buyer is your home’s exterior and landscaping which gets them through the door.
Spring, summer, and fall are the busiest times of the year for realtors, home buyers, home sellers, and private sellers and buyers.
This is the time when people want to either downsize, upsize or move out of the country.
Our neighbours are moving out of the country in a few months and they are getting the house ready for sale.
Renovating Before You Sell Your Home
Should you renovate before you put your house up for sale? Well, that depends on what value you would get from it.
If you’re going to renovate using the cheapest materials and cutting corners that won’t work.
Buyers and realtors can see things even if you don’t think they can and won’t pay for shady renos.
To get top dollar invest in your renovations and include top value materials.
Put it this way, how would you feel if you purchased a home where the seller slapped renovations together just to look good?
You would be angry wouldn’t you? After seeing some of the renos in our house we are angry.
The key to getting top price when selling is the home value and what you’ve put into it over the years.
Selling your home with high expectations without considering the home value can set you up for failing to meet your goals.
Bidding Wars To Purchase A Home
Some buyers are taking hits and paying well over $100,000-$300,000 or more after asking.
Houses are selling like hotcakes in parts of Ontario and other parts of Canada and an increased home value can significantly improve profits when you sell.
However, buying a house has become a bidding war leaving buyers in a rut including first-time buyers who simply get into the market.
Comparatively, market conditions also dictate home value, so when the value is up the next house for sale may be higher.
This also includes no conditions such as a home inspection, flexible closing date, and downpayment because the inventory in some cities is so low.
Nevertheless, this is where you can run into big financial problems with a house that will cost you to repair.
Home Value Landscaping and Maintenance
Will landscaping increase your home value?
When we bought our first home in Ontario instead of using two incomes we scored a great deal on a home only using one income.
So out of my net income we would pay for the mortgage, property taxes and utilities.
Additionally, out of Mrs. CBB’s pay, we’d pay for everything else as needed which meant we had jiggle room.
Thankfully, we were smart to purchase a starter home which we do love because Mrs. CBB lost her job 3 months into home ownership.
Furthermore, if we had to sell the house because of income loss we wanted to know what could we do to increase the home value?
During our negotiating through relators to buy the home there were a few things that caught our attention.
- Homeowner smoked in the home
- Nothing in the home was renovated since it was built in 1997
- Mice were living in the walls of the house including the basement insulation.
- Surprisingly a new roof was needed
- Landscaping was a disaster back and front
- No central air A/C
- The Water softener was not functioning correctly
The list is pretty much endless and before you think that we bought a lemon make sure you check your home thoroughly.
I bet plenty of homeowners have had the wool pulled over their eyes when they purchased their home.
Home Buying During The Winter
When you can’t see what you are buying on the outside you will see when the snow melts.
We honestly thought the homeowner had a grave out back where she planted flowers.
Notably, it was a raised oval garden in the middle of the property made from bricks.
While the front landscaping cost approximately $5000 to update during the summer the back was in just as much need of help.
However if I had hired a company to do the landscaping it would have cost us double that amount.
These days we are prepared to spend upwards of $5000 plus a year to renovate and more for upkeep.
Outdoor Maintenance To Increase Our Home Value
Unfortunately we weren’t prepared for the melt and having quite a bit of work to do outside.
The idea we both went for was simple or what you could call low-maintenance landscaping on a budget.
- New Landscaping front and back
- Painted the garage
- Patched the driveway and asphalt driveway sealant
- New Outdoor lighting and ground lighting
- Built rock gardens with weed protection
- Added large stones for a retaining wall
- New front steps and two side rock steps to go into the back garden
- Removed the caulking around the windows and replaced it
- Fixed the front concrete porch to get rid of the stains
- Remove and put a new Alexandria Moulding PVC Square Post Cover
- Designed and created a new interlocking brick path from the front steps around to the driveway.
- Dug the entire front yard 5 feet deep after I got the go-ahead from Call Before You Dig and removed weeds, rocks, and grubs.
- Fresh turf was delivered and installed by myself only after I dug a drainage system from the side of the house towards the road. I also had to move our neighbours downspout as it was facing the wrong way.
- Every outdoor vent around the house was replaced.
- Spray painted the house number black
- Removed the seal around the garage door and replaced it (we plan on getting an insulated door next)
- Added 3 new bushes and shrubs to the front as well along the side of the garage and walking path.
- New $6000 roof shortly after moving in with new skylights as the others were leaking.
- Removal of the climbing bush of sorts that took over the side of the house and overtop of the entire garage. Unfortunately, I forget what it’s called but it’s the worst to remove. The bricks had spots on them that we had to scrub after. I would see lots of this in the UK but it’s so unsightly not to mention it will ruin the brickwork.
- Painted the half-moon air vent over top of the garage.
- The city came and planted a fruit tree at the front of our property closer to the sidewalk. The tree is a serviceberry tree from which we make homemade jam.
- Installed a new front door with a window insert to get rid of the cheap door that was causing heat loss.
- Fixed the parging around the entire house as it was cracking
- Completed a full teardown of our upstairs bathroom at which time I found mouse poop, dead mice, and a large opening to the front porch.
- Replaced the downspouts for new and made sure they were draining away from the house.
- Cleaned the leaves and other materials found in the eavestrough
- Built a new fence as the wood fence was not installed properly and falling over.
- The sunroom screen door window did not close (the inspector missed that) so I replaced the door.
It seems like lots and it was and continues to be because maintaining a home increases the home value inside and out.
Replacements To Increase Home Value Long-Term
Luckily, the windows in our home are in great shape.
Windows are a great way to increase home value as they are a long-term value along with a roof, doors, and structural issues with the home. (I had to deal with one major structural issue.
I make sure to clean the inside and outside of all the windows around the house each season.
During the winter we remove the screens to prevent mold from the condensation.
Next time you go for a walk around your neighbourhood have a look at the windows and you’ll see some with black mold.
This is because they are not maintaining the windows properly extending their life.
Let’s also remember that all of that was just for the front of the home.
How To Determine Home Value
Real estate market value is far different from your MPAC assessment since realtors take into consideration comparable homes in your neighbourhood.
A realtor will look at three things when determining what your home value is especially if you are wanting to sell.
- Market Value
- Appraisal Value
- Assessed Value
The market value of your home is whatever someone is willing to pay you for it.
An appraisal value is a value determined by the study of comparable properties and local market conditions.
Assessed Value is completed by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC).
The main purpose of an MPAC assessment is for your municipality to calculate property taxes.
For example, there are aspects of your home that will increase your home value and property taxes such as:
- Inground Pool
- Finished basement
- Fireplace gas or wood
- Amount of bathrooms
- Heating and cooling system
The problem is when homeowners fail to report renovations or get permits.
When homeowners fail to report they help to skew the statistics and home value in the neighbourhood.
How To Increase Home Value With These 10 Tips
I had 10 tips in mind to help increase home value for you but ended up with more.
The truth is there are many things to consider when renovating and upgrading to get the best return on your home when selling.
- Landscaping front and back of the home
- Clean exterior of the home with a new insulated garage, clean window, and no mold
- Updated Kitchen with sparkly appliances
- Newly renovated and updated bathrooms
- Hardwood, Engineered, Laminate, luxury vinyl flooring
- New Windows
- Finished Basement
- Location of your home
- New Roof whether it be shingles or a metal roof
- Indoor Maintenance including cleanliness, blinds, curtains, painting etc.
- Removal of electric heating if possible
- Upgrading the electrical panel
- Repair any structural issues
Increase Home Value By Planning Ahead
One of the worst things you can do as a homeowner is to wait until the end to start updating your home.
When you’re pressed for time it may be impossible to increase home value before your house goes on the market.
Planning to sell your house with a date and agenda in mind will determine what projects to tackle first.
You’ll also be able to decide which home renovations will offer optimal returns.
Lastly, if you create projected expenses in your budget and save money for the upgrades it will make the process far easier.
Discussion: What renovations have you done to increase home value? What was your return on investment when you sold your house? As a buyer what are you looking for when searching for a home?
Leave me your comments, ideas and experiences below.