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September 20th, 2019 
Susan-Jane Frank
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Durham Region
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Royal LePage identifies top renovation values

There are a number of do-it-yourself projects that are sure to increase a home's resale value, says the Royal LePage Renovations and Returns Survey.

"Amid today's competitive real estate market, renovations offer a relative affordable means to boost the value of a home," says Lisa da Rocha, vice-president, marketing and sales, Royal LePage Real Estate Services.  "Do-it-yourself tasks such as painting walls, changing cupboard knobs or laying new flooring will make a house not only more appealing to buyers, but also offer a great return on investment."

With the expansion of renovation chains across the country, and the proliferation of do-it-yourself television shows, it is no surprise that homeowners are tackling renovation projects now more than ever.  According to Statistics Canada, renovation spending grew by 8.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2007 to $9.2 billion, from the same period in 2006.

"There are some renovations, such as finishing a basement which a homeowner does for their own enjoyment without much concern for the return on investment," says da Rocha.  "What we have explored within this survey are renovations that are intended to translate directly into enhanced enquiry in a property."

Royal LePage says it identified the top renovations that will increase the equity of a home.  The list is ranked in ascending order of cost of project.

  1. Freshen up:  Adding a new coat of paint can freshen up a house and make the interior look like new - not to mention more spacious.  For homeowners looking to sell in the near return, neutral colours are most preferred.
  2. Floors galore:  Today, hard surfaces are all the rage.  If genuine hardwood exceeds budgets, laminate works well.  Buyers like to see hard floors throughout, so if possible, be sure to lay down laminate in dining rooms and living rooms, and even in bathrooms and bedrooms.
  3. Lighten up:  Old or standard-grade light fixtures, electrical and light cover plates can easily date a house.  To modernize, add distinct flair to the interior, consider installing new light fixtures.  Remember to go green, and use compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs, where possible.
  4. Pebble Beach?  Well, close:  The old adage, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, is extremely true when it comes to selling a home.  To increase curb appeal and entice buyers' ensure front laws are tidy and gardening is minimal.  While there is no need to go overboard and plant an expensive Japanese maple, adding some standard shrubs and flowers will make a home more inviting.
  5. Stylishly steel:  Similar to the issue with old light fixtures, knobs, fume hoods and backsplashes can make a kitchen seem outdated.  Sleek, stainless steel hardwood designs have the biggest and most positive impact on those people looking to buy a home.
  6. Opening all the right doors:  An elegant entrance enhances a prospective buyer's first impression of the house itself.
  7. Return on investment from the ground up:  To see an even higher return on investment, replace old flooring with new hardwood.  While a range of qualities, textures and colours exist, it's best to opt for a neutral wood colour to accommodate the widest possible array of tastes and décor.
  8. White picket fence?  Building a fence and a deck instantly boosts a home's appeal.  Keeping kids and pets in the yard, and nosey neighbours out, fences provide the back and side yards with a sense of being finished.
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