Renovations: Return on Investment – Part 2

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. Fore example, we’ve seen homeowners convert a three bedroom bungalow into a single bedroom on the main floor, and move their teenaged children into basement bedrooms.

In Return on Investment Part 1, we talked about a main bathroom renovation and how it made a big difference in the value of the house. This month, we feature a main bathroom/basement renovation in our return on investment series.

Case Study #2: A Basement and Bath Reno in Caledon

The existing basement for this reno was a big, open room that had a mixture of stucco, drywall and paneling. The homeowners wanted to improve the look of the room but also make it warmer. We ripped out the finishes and insulated the walls with spray-foam, which the homeowner immediately noted made a difference in the comfort level of the space.

We finished out the space with drywall, and added a storage closet and stone around the fireplace. While it wasn’t a huge project in terms of what we did, we gave the room the needed facelift and warmth.

The existing bathroom was their main family bathroom, and when you walked into the room, you walked right into the Jacuzzi tub. While they wanted to update the room, they didn’t have a clear vision of what to do; we recommended, since they weren’t using the tub, that the room become a standard three-piece bathroom (toilet, shower/tub and vanity).

We moved some fixtures around to make the space feel roomier. The removal of the Jacuzzi allowed for a larger, much-needed vanity, as well as a small linen closet.

We asked our client and homeowner Sharon to fill us in on the details of the house sale.

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

A: We wanted the renovation in order to have a warmer basement, more storage space and an up-to-date main bathroom. Because the basement wasn’t properly insulated, it was cold, and as a result, the space wasn’t being utilized. The main bathroom was outdated, ugly and also lacking in insulation due to squirrel damage behind the walls.

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

Naturally, we always have resale in mind when doing renovations, but it wasn’t the driving force behind the project. Having said that, I feel that it is rather short-sighted to undertake a renovation without a thought about the salability of the property in the future.

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: As a family, we benefitted from the changes in numerous ways. First off, we gained a warm and cozy basement family room where the teenagers could go and hang out. We also gained a huge walk-in closet that we used for storing sports equipment and games. And then upstairs, we all enjoyed the brand-new bathroom with a linen closet and gorgeous shower!

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

A: It is hard to quantify the value of the renovations toward the sale price; however, I have no doubt that the renovations positively affected the amount we received because our house sold for more than all other houses of the same size in the neighbourhood. The selling price is not the only important factor, though. We are convinced that our house sold in record time because it showed so well due to the renovations.