Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Home Reno Plans: Value Added Or Value Subtracted?

Canadians' ongoing love affair with renovating their homes is alive and well, with more than $20 billion being spent every year since the new Millennium. But how do you know what improves your home's value, and what might make it harder to sell? Here are some tips that might make the decisions a little easier:
Develop short-term and long-term goals: If you will be at your house for less than five years, you might want to forgo the addition to your home and simply repaint, or install new windows or floor treatments.

Don't use a renovation just to express yourself: Don't expect prospective buyers to pay for your wonderful, but unique taste—you might love a pink and black marble en suite, but not everyone will.

Stay in character: When planning your renovations, try to match the neighbourhood aesthetics. Ask yourself if mini-Windsor Castle touches work well in your post-war housing neighbourhood.

Become a Do-It-Yourself-er: Hardware and home renovation shops often have project seminars to show you how to get the job done properly. Many stores also have in-house experts who can give you advice, should you need it.

Consider professionals: Professional architects, contractors and designers know the quirks of your local zoning regulations. You don't want your garage conversion shut down because you don't have the correct permits.

Financing: If your project exceeds your cash on hand, there are many financing options available including small loans and larger mortgages. Consider taking out a line of credit to help you get the job done properly and see it through to completion. One of the most innovative home equity lines of credit available is Manulife One, offered by Manulife Bank.

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