RenovationsWhile it’s a lot more fun to talk about granite counters and new hardwood floors, unsexy repair and renovation money is some of the most important money you can spend on your house.

Unsexy Money – the kind of money you wish you didn’t have to spend: you probably can’t see what you bought, you can’t show it off and no one really wants to hear your renovation stories about it. 

Sexy money? Stainless steel appliances, marble bathroom counters, bamboo floors, new hot tub, deck.

Unsexy money? Drains. Waterproofing. New roof. Insulation.

Why Spending Unsexy Money Is Important

1. Ignoring problems in your home won’t make them go away – it’ll just make them worse. Sure, you could ignore the water you found in the basement – but do you really want to deal with wood rot and mould down the line? What could be a small fix today could cost you literally tens of thousands tomorrow.

2. Protect the equity in your house. If you’re like most Canadians, you’re counting on the equity in your house to form part of your retirement. If you aren’t taking care of your house, you’re putting your investment at risk. Sure, you could save the $299 termite inspection fee today, even though you live on a street that’s known for termites (click here to read all about termites in Toronto). But having a house that’s not structurally sound because the termites moved in could mean a retirement of spam (and not the email kind).

3. It matters when you sell your house. If your house needs unsexy repairs, expect that to be reflected in the sale price – often at more than what it would cost to fix the problems yourself. Today’s buyers don’t want to deal with your mouldy basement or leaky roof and they’ll penalize you for it.  Why not enjoy peace of mind now and reap the $$ rewards come selling time?

4. You don’t want to get sued. That crumbling brick on the steps to your house and the missing stairwell rail might seem unimportant today, but if someone hurts themselves on your property, get ready for a lawsuit (and don’t count on your liability insurance helping you out if you neglected to repair your home).

5. You could actually save money. Adding insulation or upgrading to a high-efficiency furnace can save you a lot of money on your hydro bills (and you’ll feel good about doing something for the environment too).

6. It might be good for your health. Did you know that many Toronto houses have lead in their drinking water? Replacing your 1920’s lead drains won’t just be good for you – you’ll probably end up with more water pressure too. You can read about what to do about lead in drinking water  here.

So go on now…order that camera inspection of your drains. Take a peek behind the walls. Don’t ignore the shingle that fell off your roof. Being a home owner doesn’t just mean paying your mortgage on time – it means protecting your investment through regular maintenance and repairs and staying one step ahead of what your old Toronto house has in store for you.

If you’re freaking out about your house now after reading this blog, consider reading:

10 Things to Know About Your Old Toronto House
What to Fix First (courtesy of Mike Holmes)

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