Finishing touches: Adding value to your property without breaking the bank

Finishing touches

The expected decline of home values in Canada has been frequently publicized recently. After years of growth in the market, experts believe a crash – or, more aptly, a correction – is coming to the market, suggesting that the average home price nationally could see anywhere from a 25-30% decline from the all-time high (February 2022) by the end of 2023. Experts can be wrong, of course, and a softer lander may be possible as the market begins to correct.

Nonetheless, while macro trends will worry homeowners looking to sell, they will still want to maximize the value of their property before selling. And even in the most bearish of market climates, sellers can take simple steps to add value without breaking the bank.

Concentrate on the Most Important Room

Studies have shown that the living room is the most likely deal-breaker in a home sale. It’s the space where prospective buyers can most easily visualize themselves as the homeowner. Having it pristine clean is, of course, a must, but you will also have decisions to make on layout and décor. As to the latter, a sense of newness can also be achieved on a budget.

The question you must ask yourself is, how far do you go? For instance, getting a new couch is an expensive undertaking, but you can certainly add the illusion of newness without breaking the bank. Sprucing up walls with mirrors (adding a sense of depth to a room), paintings, and other fixtures can revitalize a drab or uninspiring room, and it might surprise you how inexpensive it can be to refresh a room through prominent living room wall décor Canada retailers, such as Bouclair online. In the end, a few smart touches to the living room can have unquantifiable benefits without needing to pay out for a full makeover.  

For layout, you should remember that your comfortable setup is not always going to look attractive. You might “point” everything at the television, but you can afford to experiment with the furniture layout to make it more appealing. You can even find free feng shui tips on YouTube to help you decide.

Front Is More Important than Back

While the living room remains the most important space to concentrate on, first impressions do count. Taming the lawn (if you have one) or yard should be the first task. Studies have shown that a well-maintained garden can add a few thousand to the asking price, and it does not need to be a huge landscaping job either.

Experts tend to talk about “complementary” yards and gardens. By that, they mean the front yard should fit with the house and, to an extent, with the rest of the neighborhood. Sometimes more is less in this respect, so go for the decluttering option, with a few furnishings sprinkled through, rather than filling your yard with items.

If time and budget dictate, you should always prioritize the front over the back. Remember, in listing photos – online and offline – it will be the front of your home that is given the most scrutiny. Touching up the front door with a lick of paint, making sure window sills are clean and maintained, and even getting a new doorbell can all add to the all-important first impression.

Replacing Kitchen and Bathroom Fixtures & Fittings

In an ideal world, the majority of us would completely replace the kitchen and bathroom(s) before we make a sale, but budgetary constraints won’t allow that. Still, there are many ways to upgrade without spending too much money.

Kitchen cupboards are usually built to be easily replaced. And it might surprise you as to how cheaply you can do it. Moreover, with some perseverance, you can do the labor itself. If you are looking for a quick sale and feel replacing cupboards is a step too far, a paint job won’t cost too much money or effort. Replacing faucets, in lieu of an entire sink, is also an inexpensive way of smartening up a kitchen or bathroom. If you shop around, you can easily find smart-looking taps for well under $100. Again, labor costs can be minimal, or you can fit them yourself.  

As with the living room, you should remember that the kitchen and bathroom need not be set up for your daily routine and comfort; rather, they should be organized for aesthetics. Keep them as clean as possible, and you should have a policy of sparseness for the objects that usually clutter up these rooms.

Box Rooms: Making Use of Extra Space

The smallest room in the house, AKA the box room, can often be used for storage. But if you take some time to strip it down and put those boxes in the loft or cellar, then you have a new space to transform.

The most obvious example is making it into a home office, as many of us did during the pandemic. A small desk, chair, and other furnishings can be acquired from a second-hand furniture store (no need to buy new if you are on a budget), and it can instantly add value to your home.

If not an office, then perhaps a reading nook or quiet space. Whatever it is that makes that small room look like it would be useful will speak volumes to prospective buyers, and it need not cost a fortune.

Conclusion: Small Touches Can Go a Long Way

Estimates vary, but some experts argue that the smallest of changes – a touch of paint, decluttering, tidy lawn – can add up to 10% to the value of your home. It’s not small change. However, it’s not going to work – at least not to that extent – in every case. Still, you are playing the percentages. If Home A is a little cleaner, tidier, and organized more smartly than House B, then it’s always going to win out in the housing market.

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