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It’s always smart to look for opportunities to improve the value of your house, even if you aren’t planning on selling it. I like to think of maximizing my home’s value as an ongoing project – I get to enjoy a better, more comfortable space today, while ensuring I’m ready if I decide to refinance it or sell it in the future. Here are some ideas to consider:
Regular Home Maintenance
The easiest way to improve the value of your house is by making sure it doesn’t lose value because you haven’t properly maintained it. In addition to making sure it’s cleaned regularly, here’s a quick list of home maintenance to do’s:
- Inspect your roof: Snow, ice and summer storms can take a toll on your roof. Make sure to check for any damage or leaks.
- Protect pipes from freezing: Sub-zero temperatures in the winter can cause pipes to freeze and burst. Insulate exposed pipes and if you’re away from home, consider letting a faucet drip to prevent freezing.
- Clean and repair your deck: After the winter weather, your deck may be in need of some TLC. Clean and repair any damage, and consider sealing or staining to protect the wood.
- Inspect your windows and doors: Check for any drafts or damage and make any necessary repairs or replacements.
- Clean your gutters: As the snow and ice melt, your gutters may become clogged with debris. Clean them out to prevent water damage to your roof and foundation.
- Test your sump pump: With spring showers comes the risk of basement flooding. Make sure your sump pump is in good working order to protect your home.
- Check your air conditioning: Make sure your air conditioning unit is in good working order to keep your home cool and comfortable during the summer.
- Inspect your chimney: If you use your fireplace in the winter, make sure to have your chimney inspected and cleaned before the cold weather arrives.
Over time, almost everything in your home will need to be repaired and much like regular home maintenance, repairs help your house hold its value. So take the time and fix that leaky faucet, the scratches on your hardwood floors and the hole in the wall; replace the old caulking around your shower, fix that broken window screen and repair the broken laundry shelves. Your future self will thank you.
Small Updates to Increase Your Home’s Value
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to improve the value of your house is to make small updates and improvements. Consider updating light fixtures, painting a room, replacing the knobs on cabinets, investing in new window coverings or replacing old faucets and sinks. Small updates add up!
Big Updates and Renovations
While bigger updates and renovations take time and money, they are one of the best ways of improving the value of your house. You may want to consider the following:
- Remodelling the kitchen: If your kitchen is outdated, it might be time for an overhaul. You can completely transform the layout and functionality of your kitchen or simply update the appliances, countertops and cabinetry. Just be sure to keep your remodel within reason – you don’t want to over-improve the house for your neighbourhood.
- Updating the bathroom: Like the kitchen, the bathroom is an important selling point for future buyers and impacts how much your house is worth.
- Add more living space: Increasing the square footage of your house can be a great way to improve its value. This can include adding an additional room or even an entire storey – or finishing the basement to create more living space.
The Unsexy Stuff
While it might not seem sexy to you, investing in the ‘guts’ of your home is a great way to increase the value of your home. Consider:
- Updating the roof: A new roof can be a major selling point for potential buyers. If your roof is old or in need of repair, consider investing in a new one to increase the value of your house.
- Updating the electrical or plumbing systems: Getting rid of old knob and tube electrical or upgrading the plumbing and drains won’t just improve how much your house is worth – it’ll probably save you in insurance costs too.
- Updating your old furnace or air conditioning system
Invest in Energy Efficiency and Boost the Value of Your Home Too
Help control your hydro bills while helping the planet – and make your home more valuable to future buyers too! Consider installing energy-efficient windows, upgrading to a more efficient heating and cooling system, and adding insulation.
Focus on Curb Appeal
When you improve the curb appeal of your house, it improves its value – and your neighbours will appreciate it too. Consider:
- Updating the landscaping and gardens
- Adding outdoor lighting
- Painting the front door and window trim
- Replacing the house number
In the typical Toronto house, space and storage is at a premium. Adding built-in storage solutions isn’t just a lifestyle upgrade for you – it might increase how much your house is worth too. Consider:
- Professional closet organizing systems in the bedrooms
- Long-term storage solutions in the basement
- Built-in shelving in the garage
- Built-in solutions for pantries, the laundry room and the bathrooms
Invest in Outdoor Living Space
Post-pandemic, we all care a lot more about our private outdoor spaces. Host better barbecues while helping the value of your home, by:
- Updating the existing deck or building a new one
- Investing in landscaping
- Building an outdoor kitchen
- Installing a permanent shed
Make Your Home Generate Income
If you’re looking for ways to improve the value of your house even more, consider making it generate income. You can do that by adding:
- An apartment or nanny-suite in the basement
- A laneway house
- Solar panels
There are so many ways to improve the value of your home while you’re living in it…you don’t have to wait until you’re ready to sell! But if you are reading this article because you are ready to sell, make sure to read this before you spend any money: Don’t Waste Your Money on These 19 Pre-Sale Home Improvements.