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Renovations: Return on Investment – Part 1

When it comes to renovations, we always advise our clients that they are renovating their home for themselves, not for the next person who may purchase the home down the road.

Choosing to renovate because you think it will yield more money when selling the home isn’t always a good strategy. Why? Because the person coming in after you may have a completely different vision for the space or different lifestyle needs. You can end up spending a lot of money and not achieving the desired result.

Despite this advice, we are pleased to share with you a few cases in which, after undergoing a renovation project, clients have decided to sell their houses and the renovation made a huge difference.

Case Study #1: A Contemporary Bathroom Reno

With this typical builder-grade bathroom, the homeowners had a vision of a contemporary bathroom. We spoke to the homeowner and our client, Ester, to get her story.

Q: Please describe what prompted you to renovate your bathroom.

A: Our home was a bungalow with a main-floor bathroom aged 11 years, with no separate powder room, so we were also sharing the bathroom with guests. It already looked quite tired when we bought the house (two years prior to the reno). We were embarrassed by the standard builder-grade finishes. We were also disgusted by the inherited mould around the tub area, despite several re-grouting and re-caulking attempts. The standing water in the warped tub also slipped past the home inspector’s check-up at the time of purchase. Believe it or not, we had a much nicer, cleaner and newer full bathroom (with a functioning tub) in the finished basement, which we never used. We really wanted to be able to enjoy our time in the bathroom, make good use of the space and not have to blush every time guests came over.

Q: At the time of the renovation, did you have “resale value” on your mind?

A: While we didn’t have resale as an immediate goal, we still wanted to make sure that we’d see a return on investment. We feel it is the kitchen, the bathroom and the flooring that all work together to sell a home for top dollar – as long as there is practicality, simplicity, neutrality and quality in the design. We believed that the future purchaser would see the value in our design, fall in love and pay our asking price. It’s not every day that one can find quality pop up in the real estate market!

Q: Prior to selling the house, can you explain in what ways did the renovation change /improve the space for you and your family?

A: Our daily lives were transformed by the reno, with this beautiful spa-like bathroom. We made excellent use of the space by adding a closet area, opening the crammed feel of the room with wall-mounted cabinetry and transforming the tub area into a glass-enclosed shower haven. The shower was spacious with a bench, recessed shelf, rain shower, hand shower and adjustable water jets. The large Italian porcelain gave the room a rich look with neutral colours that were pleasing to the eye, especially impressing our guests. Additional touches, such as a comfort-height toilet, soft-close cabinet doors, ramp-up lighting and a programmable thermostat-controlled heater put the room over the top.

Q: In what ways did the renovation make a difference in the sale of your home?

A: I believe a combination of small touches, minor renovations and an impressive spa bathroom all worked together to sell our home above our asking price. We made sure that the focus of our listing included the luxury items as well as the cost it took to get there, and we knew any reasonable purchaser would see the value of a quality renovation, especially one completed to perfection by Inspire Homes. My advice to anyone questioning whether or not to go the extra mile with a renovation project is this: “Build it; they will come!”

View more Contemporary Bathroom Renovation photos.