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Renovating Your Home for Resale

Renovations that add value to your house

Turnkey Kitchen Renovation

It’s no surprise that a kitchen renovation is one of the most valuable renovations you can do. As the heart of any home, it’s the space prospective buyers will gravitate towards during a visit.

However, it is easy to overdo it. You want to make sure you’re adding universally-appealing value. You may love a $1,500 high-end faucet, but a potential buyer might be just as happy with a $200 one, and not be willing to pay more for it. Avoid customizing your kitchen to your own tastes and needs. It’s good to keep up with current kitchen trends, but be sure that your choices will appeal to the largest audience possible.

The type of neighbourhood you live in should also influence the choices you make in design and materials for your renovation. If everyone in your neighbourhood has chosen high-end materials, it’s in your best interest to also choose high-end materials. Many homebuyers pick their home based on the neighbourhood, so other homes on the market in the area are your competition. Additionally, knowing what type of buyer is looking at your home is important. If you’re in a family-friendly neighbourhood, be sure the kitchen accommodates the need of a family — a large island with seating, space to allow many people to move around, a spacious pantry, etc.

Turnkey Bathroom Renovation

Like with kitchens, a high-traffic space like a bathroom has a high return on investment — as high as 102%. The name of the game when renovating for resale is the same for any project: appeal to as many buyers as possible. This means using classic options like a wood or white vanity, clean and modern fixtures, simple tile patterns, etc. A master bedroom may be worth spending a little extra money on for high-end finishes, like a freestanding tub or a double vanity, but keep it simple for guest bathrooms and powder rooms. Those types of bathrooms are more utilitarian, so it’s best to go for quality and longevity over style and flair.

Finished/Converted Basement

There are endless possibilities of how you can finish your basement, so it’s important to make the best ones to see the investment pay off. Finishing a basement adds livable square footage to your house, which can be used in various ways. You can take this opportunity to add an additional bedroom or bathroom to your home, which will increase its value. Adding plumbing and walls may come at a higher price tag than simply installing drywall and flooring, but allows you to list your home at a higher price as well.

Converting the basement into a legal apartment can also be an interesting option for potential homebuyers. With basement apartments in the greater Toronto area renting for anywhere between $1000 to $2000 per month, this could draw in buyers who are looking for additional income.


Curb appeal is essential, as you want to make the best first impression possible to potential buyers. Even if you’ve redone the façade and added new windows, no one will be able to see them if they’re covered by overgrown vegetation. Be sure to trim back existing trees and shrubberies to let the front of your home be seen.

Your current landscaping may just need a little updating and maintenance to attract the right buyers. If you discover a lot of dead or damaged plants in the process, however, take this opportunity to freshen up the overall landscaping. Choose climate-appropriate vegetation, as well as low-maintenance options. Not everyone has the time or interest for a lot of gardening or landscape upkeep.

Renovating for energy efficiency

With environmental consciousness on the rise, more and more homeowners see energy efficient upgrades as added value for their future home. Not only are these renovations eco-friendly, but they can offer you tax credits, and save you money on your energy bill.


With 25% of a home’s heat loss caused by inefficient windows, opting for double- or triple-pane models is the way to go. Even if your windows are not in need of replacement, which you can tell from various signs of wear, modernizing them is a great way to improve curb appeal.


Updating or adding insulation is another way to up the energy efficiency of your home. It’s a rather inexpensive way to add value in the eyes of a buyer. By mentioning that certain doors or windows have been recaulked, and insulated added to drafty places like the attic, a buyer may be inclined to pay a higher price rather than have to do this work on another property.

Important updates with less ROI

While your goal in renovating your home should be to increase its market value, there are certain projects that are unavoidable to do. Redoing the roof is a good example of this. While it’s not necessary to replace a roof before a sale, if it is at the end of its life at the time of the sale, the buyers may ask for a reduction in price, knowing that they will take on that cost in the near future. An old roof can also lead to water infiltration problems, so any signs the roof needs replacing can make buyers wary.

The same applies to the HVAC system. Heating and cooling are an essential part of any home, and can be costly to replace. Like with a roof, if a buyer knows they have to replace it in the first year of living in the home, they may offer a lower purchase price

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