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5 Simple Tips to Increase the Value of Your Home

 

Increasing the value of your property is something every home owner should be thinking about. Buying a house is probably the single biggest investment you have made – and like any investment, property will begin to depreciate if you don’t maintain it.

Here is the thing: starting on a renovation project can seem a very daunting task. Should you really add a third floor to your two-story home?  How much will it cost to finally finish the basement? These are questions to ask of a professional contracting company before coming to any conclusion.

Here are 5 simple tips to increase the value of your home for you and for your potential sale (side note: check out this blog for advice on making the selling experience a bit easier).

Most of these are skilled jobs and should be left to a licensed professional renovation team for the best results and the highest quality finished product.

  1. Swap Out Your Light Fixtures

Changing a couple electric plugs a month is a good way to start a home improvement project on a small scale. Soon, you will realize that changing all the light fixtures is the next step, giving your home a fresher and more modern look, and in many cases also cutting down on energy costs.  Recess lighting is an excellent option these days, as are the hanging lamps associated with art deco design.

  1. Update the Flooring

No area of the house should be left with substandard flooring. Besides, you may even have a leaky laminate floor without realizing it! Signs of water damage in laminate floors include cracking, splitting, or any discoloration.

When it comes to tile flooring (a popular choice in bathrooms and kitchens) it is best to replace if the grout becomes stained or cracks appear in the tile. Replacing a damaged floor is the one renovation project on this list that is recommended to do as soon as possible because dealing with water damage can get quite expensive if it’s not addressed right away.

  1. Improve the Bathroom

Is your bathroom due for a make-over? A lot of homes built in the 70s and 80s, or earlier, have colourful tile designs in the bathrooms that no longer appeal to today’s home owners. You can bring your bathroom into the 21st century with a variety of fun upgrades: new faucets, marble countertops, modern lighting, heated floors, or even installing a steam resistant mirror. The best part is that pretty much anything you do will add huge value to your home because a beautifully renovated bathroom is one of the main selling features of any property.

  1. Update the Kitchen

Renovating the kitchen can mean a whole host of things, ranging from a complete re-modelling to a few key upgrades. Some prime kitchen renovation ideas are: re-designing the cabinets to improve the use of space, replacing the countertops with something more durable and modern, upgrading to energy efficient appliances, or putting in a new floor. Remodelling your kitchen might be costly in the short term. However, it will allow you to raise the asking price by $10,000 – $20,000 when it comes time to sell.

  1. Build a Rental Unit

Consider finishing the basement and putting a bathroom and kitchenette down there to re-purpose the space as a rental unit. Many new buyers are looking for homes with basement rental units to supplement their monthly income and help with mortgage payments, making this a worthwhile renovation investment. Looked at purely from a financial standpoint, building a rental unit would bring the highest return year-over-year out of any other type of renovation.

Save Money and Add Value

If done to standard, these five renovation jobs will bring a return on your energy bills within months and will bring you immediate enjoyment of your home while you are still living there. Furthermore, maintaining excellent operations and making key upgrades throughout the house allows you to set an asking price anywhere between $10,000 to $30,000 higher than market average.

 

Spring Maintenance and Cleaning That Every Homeowner Should Do

Now’s another new year, and it is time for the regular spring-cleaning. We definitely love doing it. After all, it is a chance to let the house breathe through the open windows — refresh your home with clean air.

We advise you that you should not be daunted by this task. You can do it one at a time. An hour every day. And once you are done with everything, we are sure that you will never regret doing it or spending time with your home.

Anyway, for us to give you a bit of help, we have supplied an awesome check to follow.

Maintenance

  • Check exterior exhaust vents to ensure they are not blocked – birds, leaves etc need to be removed
  • Check exterior foundation for cracks
  • Check exterior grade for settling – its important to ensure that the ground is sloped away from your home to keep the foundation as free from water as possible.  If there is any settling be sure to add some soil to bring up to the proper grade
  • Check exterior caulking – cracked out deteriorated caulking can let water rot your exterior framing.  Take the time to remove old caulking and re-apply
  • Exposed wood or peeling paint – winters can be harsh in Canada and as a result rotting wood is a concern – especially wooden pillars, pickets, and handrails.  Inspect these carefully they can be a safety hazard.
  • Check shower/tub caulking and grout lines – remove old caulking and re-grout where necessary.

Basic Stuff

  • Dust bulbs and other lighting fixtures.
  • Wash and disinfect switch plates, knobs, cabinet handles, wherever people put their hands on regularly
  • Open windows and turn on electric fans — be sure it is not that cold outside or not snowing, but it is up to you
  • De-clutter rooms
  • Clean, vacuum, or wash carpets and mats
  • Clean places under furniture pieces
  • Wash windows
  • Clean air conditioning filters and vents if possible
  • Clean, and sanitize refrigerator and freezer
  • Clean oven, stove, and toaster if you have one
  • Vacuum sofa and wipe down chairs
  • Sort books and magazines

Hardcore Stuff

  • Wash sills, trims, and walls
  • Wash and scrub doors, especially the ones in the washrooms
  • Empty closets and cabinets, clean and wipe the insides and the items, and put them back in
  • Find unused items and get rid of it — donating or selling them is a good way to get them out of the house
  • Shine or polish metal fixtures like faucets
  • Sharpen your knives, disinfect cutting boards

Take the time maintain your home and you will feel better as well as retain the value of your home.

Renovation or Relocation

 

Renovation can be costly. Relocation can be a huge headache. But which will be the better choice? In some point in time, you could have asked this to yourself. Many factors should be considered. And this article will let you articulate and think about those considerations and factors.

Consider the Location of the New Property You are Eyeing

Are you prepared to leave the neighborhood that you were living in for years? Is the new property seated on a very convenient location? Those are just a few of the important questions you must ask yourself. And here are a few more:

  1. If you have a kid, is the local school good for your child?
  2. Is it near a market or mall? Is it walking distance from the new property?
  3. Is the property scalable? Are you allowed to renovate or expand the house on it?
  4. Is the house on the property a cookie-cutter house? Is it identical to the houses of your neighbor? Are you okay with that?
  5. Will you get what you want and will it be much more cost effective to relocate than renovate?

Some of these things can make or break your plan to relocate. Some of them cannot be controlled, which can easily make you create a decision for your family. Of course, your answers to those questions depend on your priorities.

Can You Let Go of Your House?

Have you made a lot of memories there and are you willing to let go of that special place? This is an essential factor that you must consider. Leaving your current house can be heartbreaking. Make sure that you also consult the other family members. Some of them might not handle letting go of the friends and places they have been accustomed and familiar with after all these years.

Is Your Budget Ready?

Remember that relocating might seem inexpensive first. However, you should know that it could be costly, too. You will need to hire movers, cleaners, and even real estate agents. You might also need to finish some contracts if you are renting. And you will be required to update some documents to reflect the changes in your address, and so on.

Why Renovate Instead?

If you are going to sell your house to relocate, it will be a good move to perform a renovation first. The good thing here is that the value of your property will rise. And you can easily get the amount of money you have spent on the renovation job.

On the other hand, it will delay your relocation plan. If you suddenly change your mind, then you will still have a nice house to keep. If your mind does not change, you still get to sell your old house on a higher price.

In a Nutshell

Depending on your priorities and family members, this decision can be complex or simple. Make sure to talk to them first. Having a nice house is good, but living with depressed people is much worse.

5 Things to Consider When Getting a New Carpet

It’s snowing a lot this month, and it would be nice if your feet is on something warm. No we’re not going to talk about your socks. What we would want to talk about are carpets. Yep. Those warm and fluffy rags that feels heaven while it’s freezing cold outside and you’re in front of your fireplace. Kind of a romantic setting, yah?

In this article, we will provide you with five simple consideration that you need to know before you buy your new carpet.

1. Too many people in your house mean a cheaper and sturdier carpet. There’s nothing you can do about it, especially if you have pets. Unless you’re buying a carpet for your own room, then spend luxuriously. But if it’s for the living room, forget about that fancy carpet you saw. Get something that can handle abuse. Preferably a shag carpet will do well in that situation. Another type you might want is modular tiles.

2. Bring a small piece of your drape or old carpet with you when buying. You don’t want your new carpet to be out of place. Make sure that you get the correct color that will match with your drapes or your walls.

3. Know that carpets have extra-added cool features, too! One of the feature you want to have is Anti-Static Technology. It would really save you against those sudden mini arc lightning.

4. Decide if the carpet will be only for winter use. If you are looking for that warmth during the cold season, a mohair carpet will be ideal for you. However, it’s a delicate carpet that tends to shed a lot. So, if it isn’t for those warm cozy nights, choose another type.

5. If you don’t care much about the warmth the carpet might bring but you want to make your room look warm, then it is best to get a hemp and sisal. It’s screaming with “tropical weather.” Although, this is another delicate carpet you might not want if you have children or pets.

Custom Home Building Renovation Tips for your Toronto Home

Most people would visualize on what they want. They would visualize their dream house. There are actually custom builder who are accustomed to building a home to the specifications of their customers.

  • A covered outdoor cooking and storage area will be great to experience that “cottage” feeling.
  • Install wood burning fireplace. This will not only be used as heater, but also you can cook on it.
  • Outdoor lighting. To have that cozy feeling and extraordinary visual effect at night.
  • Use real hardwood flooring in the bedroom and to top it off use area rugs. This will create hygienic environment and would be easy to clean and maintain.
  • Fix the basement. Basement would be a great area for the whole family to hang and enjoy.

Getting the Most Out of Your Basement

The Dream is Within Reach

Basement renovations have become incredibly popular for many reasons, but the main reason has been to take advantage of the extra square footage that you have sitting below your main floor. Basements are being renovated with more sophistication. Whether it is a new home office, gym, bedroom, family room, or even sometimes a kitchen!  The basement has given many families the square footage they need to turn their home into a dream home! With more complex basement renovations, means more opportunities for poorly renovated basements. To eliminate the possibilities of a poor renovation, asking a professional to work with you on your renovation plan is significantly important. A professional can help guide you in the right direction. A professional can also take care of all the stress that is attached to performing a renovation. Most likely you have a budget for this basement renovation, and having a professional show you your options in that price range is important as well. Beginning a renovation that is clearly out of your price range can lead to you spending much more dough than you had originally planned to spend. Hiring professional costs money, but this initial investment will allow you to stick to your budget and to renovate your basement perfectly.

Lighting Changes Everything!

I am only going to discuss one significantly important factor to consider when performing a basement renovation. Many people looking to renovate their basements forget to add quality recessed lighting. This means installing lights into the ceiling of your basement. The reason I am emphasizing this aspect of the basement, is due to the fact that most basements have little natural light. Windows tend to be quite small in basements, therefore giving off a dark and sometimes dingy feel. Adding excellent lighting in your basement will give your basement the brightness it needs to be a welcoming space for your family and friends. Recess lighting also saves a lot of space that would otherwise be wasted on lamp space. Saving on space for lamps will give you the ability to truly take advantage of the extra square footage you are accumulating through your basement renovation.

O Canada

Our next blog will include more tips on basement renovations. Living in Canada may give us a tough winter, but having the extra square footage is excellent for us Canadians. We should all use our basements wisely, and this is why we will be creating another blog on basement renovation! We want to help you create your dream home! Remember, if you are going to dream, you might as well dream big!

Written By: Jake Fortinsky

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