I used to be obsessed with watching HGTV when I had cable (hello, Scott MacGillivray from Income Property? Need I say more). Now that I don’t have cable (for a few years now) I am in rehab from my addiction to HGTV.
In Vancouver, it almost seems as if you don’t need to do very much and you still get a crazy return from initial investment “The market keeps going up” but there are a two home renovations that do provide more ‘bang for the buck’. Of course your primary residence shouldn’t necessarily be considered an investment, but in crazy real estate markets like Vancouver, many people consider it their only form of investment and leverage like crazy and hope for the best.
In fact, the average price of a Vancouver condo increased to $650,000+, up 15.1% from one year earlier according to June 2017 reports in the Globe and Mail.
my renovations thus far:
I have been in my condo for the past 4 years or so and have made about $3000 in a bathroom renovation (I changed the bathroom countertop, changed the tiles in the bathroom to glass tiles, added a glass shower door) before I moved into the apartment. The bathroom was nice, it was clean but it had a ‘motel’ look to it (white tiles) and I couldn’t deal with that. Call me a princess or a spoiled millennial but I wanted soothing aqua blue glass tiles.
More recently, I have changed out the appliances in the kitchen to stainless steel appliances (from white appliances) to the tune of about another $3000 (new fridge, new stove, new dishwasher, and new over the range microwave). I bought the appliances at Best Buy and saved money by negotiating. Ideally, I would change the countertop in my kitchen and change the backsplash to something different to complete the updated look.
I also had it professionally painted for around $600 before I moved in. 4 years later with my dog who sheds everywhere it’s looking like the paint needs a touch up!
So in total, I spent about $6600 on renovations for my home. I recently changed the appliances to stainless steel because I needed a bigger fridge for frozen meals (perhaps it was my nesting instinct, instead of cleaning I got a new fridge) given the new baby joining the family and also because the dishwasher was getting old. Everything was working though but probably in need of updating soon anyway. My reasoning was that if I were to sell this in about two years, then I might as well enjoy some of the updates now rather than later.
The Two Best Renovations for Return on Investment:
Well I’m sure you’ve guessed it by now…
According to This Old House the two renovations that provide the most return on investment are the kitchen and bathrooms. This is where most people spend most of their time. They are considered more costly to renovate though. They also recommend neutral colours that are timeless.
HGTV estimates that the return on investment for kitchen and bathroom renovations are about 100% return of cost.
Moneysense suggests that you don’t need to update the whole thing or rip out the whole kitchen to renovate. They suggest small changes that provide big impact, like changing the countertop or even resurfacing the wood cabinets or changing the light fixtures.
the small change that provides 165% of return on investment is:
Finally, one small ‘renovation’ that provides a 165% return on investment that is often overlooked, according to Moneysense is a fresh coat of paint.
Simple and easy to do it yourself (I preferred not to and hired someone to paint my own apartment) which provides an even greater return on investment.
When my husband sold his condo, he didn’t make any changes to the bathroom or the kitchen but instead just put in a new coat of paint to the tune of about $800 for a 1 bedroom apartment. That coat of paint (a nice neutral light grey colour) did wonders to the apartment and made it look much more roomier and spacious. The walls were a turquoise blue previously (left from the prior owners, not his doing!) which I’m sure is not up everyone’s alley when they peruse through during the open house.
Readers, has the renovation bug hit you too? What have you renovated in your home to make it more ‘you’?