Are you still stuck at home or working from home like me? Or just spending a ton more time indoors because it’s winter? If so, there’s a good chance that you’re looking around the house at something to fix, build, add, tear-down, or upgrade. That’s why home improvement places haven’t had many sales: They’re getting a ton of business from people who have been under house arrest. Good luck trying to get a deal on paint or lumber this year…
Renovations fall into three categories: Those which give you a big return when you sell, renovations you have to do, and those with the highest enjoyment value. You need to think of them in those three different categories.
Must-do things like replacing the roof, upgrading your furnace, or replacing that green shag carpeting from the 1970s aren’t an option: You’re not likely to get your home sold down the road if you haven’t done some modernization.
Renos that give you enjoyment and pleasure aren’t always those where you’ll increase the value. These want-to-do things are different for everyone. The most common ones are sun rooms, landscaping upgrades, fencing, deck add-ons, garages and basement finishing.
Increasing your resale value might match some things you also would really enjoy, but you should do an internet search to be sure, or ask a realtor for feedback. Kitchen and bath updates are surefire ways to increase your home value. They return 75 to 100% of what you spend on them. Repainting usually falls into all three categories: It might be a must do, or a want to do, but also increase your home value in returning around 67 cents of every dollar you spend on painting.
I managed to do two of those in one: In my new half-duplex the third bedroom is 70 square feet. I work from home and that isn’t big for an office where I spend six to eight hours a day. So, I developed half my basement to have a 500 square foot office. It’s great for resale value, and even better for my mental health and enjoyment. If only I hadn’t done it in February before someone turned off the lights on my income for the year….
Of course, decluttering costs nothing, as does getting more organized. They’re both on my favourites list as they’re free and part of my personality type anyway. Oh, and consider avoiding the lowest returns on resale values: pools, skylights and hot tubs.