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Earlier, we wrote about ways to increase the value of your house. Today, we’re sharing our best tips to impact the value of your condo.
But I’m not selling my condo! Why should I care how much it’s worth?
When you upgrade your condo, you get to enjoy a better, more liveable space today, while ensuring you’re prepared if you decide to sell or refinance the condo in the future.
Make Sure to Do the Boring Regular Maintenance Things
Just like a house, regular maintenance is crucial for keeping your condo’s value intact. While your condo corporation may take care of some of the maintenance in your unit, there are likely still some jobs for you to do. Here are some maintenance tasks to consider:
- Check for leaks: Make sure there are no leaks in the walls or ceilings or near any external doors. Condos are sometimes affected by floods and leaks that happen in other units, so keep an especially sharp eye on your bathroom and kitchen ceilings and floors. Find a leak? Let your property manager know ASAP.
- Clean the HVAC: Regular cleaning and maintenance of the HVAC unit will ensure it is functioning correctly, increasing energy efficiency and improving indoor air quality.
- Inspect windows and doors: Look for any drafts and replace damaged weather stripping.
- Replace filters: Keep your air and water filters clean and updated.
- Test smoke detectors and fire alarms: Ensure these devices are in good working condition to prevent fire-related hazards.
- Repair leaky faucets:
- Repair small damages: Fix any minor issues such as scratches, holes, or damage to the flooring, walls, or countertops.
Small Condo Updates to Increase Value
Small updates are an affordable and effective way of adding value to your condo. Here are some ideas:
- Update light fixtures: Installing new lighting is one of the easiest ways to update your space. Replace outdated lighting fixtures with more modern ones and replace old bulbs with LED bulbs.
- Install a ceiling fan in the primary bedroom: While almost every condo in the GTA has air conditioning, there’s nothing like the cool breeze from a ceiling fan – especially if your condo is located in a busy area and sleeping with the windows open isn’t an option.
- Paint walls and ceilings: You’ll be shocked at the transformation that results from a fresh coat of paint. Aim for a neutral colour (though we love a pop of colour on a featured wall). Don’t forget to paint the ceilings and baseboards to get the look of a total makeover.
- Update kitchen and bathroom fixtures: Replace old faucets, sinks, and showerheads with new, stylish, and efficient ones.
- Replace cabinet hardware: Swap old and dated cabinet handles and knobs with new and modern hardware.
- Upgrade window treatments: Install energy-efficient window coverings such as blinds, curtains, or shades to reduce energy consumption. Just make sure to check if your condo building has any restrictions on window covering colours.
- Install shelving: Add built-in shelving to create more storage space in the coat and linen closets and laundry area.
- Install closet organizers: Every condo owner wishes they had more storage, and there’s nothing like professional closet organizers to make you feel organized. Bonus: the future buyers of your condo will value them too.
- Add an accent wall: Add a pop of colour or texture to your living room or bedroom by painting or wallpapering an accent wall.
- Add built-in shelving and bookcases: Built-in shelving in the living and bedroom areas is a great way to add a cool design feature while optimizing your space.
- Install blackout curtains: Install blackout curtains in the bedroom to block out light and create a more restful sleep environment. You’ll be amazed at how much better you sleep!
- Invest in sound-proofing: If you live in an older building or loft, this can be an especially good way to block out the sounds of the neighbours and add value too. Check with your property manager about any rules about soundproofing your unit before you start!
- Add a wall-mounted TV: Create a sleek and modern entertainment space by mounting your TV on the wall and hiding all those pesky wires forever.
Bigger Condo Renovations
While big renovations take time and money, they can significantly increase the value of your condo. You’ll want to check with your condo board before you start any big project, as you may need their permission to renovate, and they’ll undoubtedly have rules and renovation times you’ll have to abide by. Here are some ideas:
- Remodel the kitchen: Update the kitchen by installing new appliances, cabinets, countertops, and backsplash. If you’ve got the space, consider a built-in wine fridge – everybody loves a wine fridge!
- Upgrade the bathroom: Think: new vanity and sink, modern shower or bath, new toilet, new tiles, new floors and built-in storage. Don’t forget to upgrade your lighting and paint at the same time!
- Replace your flooring: Replace old or worn-out flooring with new engineered hardwood, tile, or carpet to create a more modern and inviting space. Make sure to check the condo rules – many buildings have restrictions on the type of flooring you can install.
Invest in Energy Efficiency and Smart Technology
Investing in energy efficiency is not only great for the planet but can also increase your condo’s value. Here are some ideas:
- Install energy-efficient appliances: Replace older appliances with energy-efficient ones – double bonus!
- Add a programmable thermostat: While some condos have special building-specific thermostats that can’t be upgraded or replaced, if you’re one of the lucky ones who can install a programmable thermostat like a Nest, you’ll be able to control the temperature from your smartphone and benefit from energy savings as it learns your patterns and adjusts automatically.
- Get smart: You can automate so many things these days, from lighting to appliances to home theatre to window coverings.
Update and Style Your Condo Balcony or Terrace
Private outdoor spaces are in demand, and buyers place a lot of value on them. Here are some ways to update your balcony or terrace:
- Add plants and flowers: Add colour and life to your balcony or outdoor space with potted plants and flowers. Don’t have a green thumb? There are some great artificial options at IKEA (it’s one of our stagers’ go-to places for artificial plants)
- Add a living green wall – or an artificial one! Transform the look and feel of your balcony instantly. Check out: Rymar Grass
- Install outdoor lighting: Install lighting on your balcony or outdoor space to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Nothing like a set of twinkle lights to instantly transform your balcony into a charming and cozy space.
- Install decking: There are some great balcony decking options that are easy to install and relatively inexpensive. Just double-check with your property manager that you’re allowed to install something – they’ll want to make sure that your decking doesn’t interfere with water drainage.
- Create a seating area: A comfortable seating area can make your balcony more inviting. Add a table and chairs or a lounge chair to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Don’t forget to finish off the space with an outdoor rug and some cool accessories.
Improve the Livability of Your Condo
One of the most enjoyable ways of updating your condo is by focusing on liveability. Create dedicated zones, re-purpose underused rooms (I’m looking at you, den) and splurge on updates that will make you feel extra special.
- Create a pet zone: If you have pets, create a designated pet area with a bed, toys, and food and water dishes.
- Add a workout area: If your building doesn’t have a gym or you prefer to exercise in private, create a dedicated workout space with a yoga mat, weights and anything else you’ll regularly use. It might be the perfect way to use up the dining area that you never use.
- Install a steam shower: We love a steam shower! Install one to create a relaxing and spa-like experience in your bathroom.
- Turn a spare bedroom into a home office: If you have a spare bedroom that is currently unused, consider turning it into a home office. You’ll have a dedicated space to work from home, and it can help increase productivity.
Make Your Condo Generate Income
Making your condo generate income is an excellent way to increase its value. Here are some ideas:
- Rent out your parking space: If you don’t need it yourself, why not rent it out? Depending on your building and location, you’ll be able to get $75-$300 a month in income.
- Rent out your locker: If you haven’t used the things in your locker in the last year, consider getting rid of what you’re storing and instead renting it out. Locker rents in Toronto vary from $50-300 a month.
As a condo owner, maximizing the value of your property is always a smart move, even if you’re not planning to sell it anytime soon. Maintaining, renovating and upgrading your condo not only creates a more comfortable and enjoyable living space for you but also ensures that you’re prepared if you decide to sell or refinance your property in the future.