Home Improvements – Love Them or Hate Them?

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Homeowners renovate for two reasons: because they have to or because they want to.  Or, more precisely, they work on home improvements to maintain the value of their home, or because they want to enjoy their house as much as they can.

We’re in the hate group, and can I say hate with a capital H.  Our first home was a house my dad built.  For the most part it was well constructed, there were some issues, but Daddy was always a phone call away to come over and help us out.  Our second home was a nightmare.  We purchased it new, and within 2 years we were doing major work to it.  The basement had been dug to deep and the landscaping not done properly and it resulted in a flooded basement, over and over and over again.

After 6 years of living there we had had enough, we had dumped so much money into that house, and we knew that most of it we would never get back when we decided to sell it, and so we decided to cut our losses and just put it up for sale.

We did eventually sell it, and ended up purchasing a condo with no basement and no yard.  It was a win/win!  And because we bought the unit when it wasn’t finished, we got to pick what we wanted inside.  Again we gave a lot of thought to what would give us a return on investment should we re-sell.  We chose these upgrades with the hope that if they at least don’t net us the money we spent on them back, we can at least sell our unit faster because of them.

1. Premium Window Coverings

We splurged on the window coverings in this place, by getting black out blinds for the bedrooms, and insulated accordion pleated shades for our balcony door.  It helps lower our gas bill in winter and our electric bill in summer. 

2. Deck

Well we didn’t really have a choice of whether or not to have a ‘deck’ (a balcony actually in our case since we live on the second floor), but for a home a deck is a great way to boost resale value.  We did choose a low maintenance option though.  Composite Decks require little work to keep up and if you are confident in your handyman skills, you can purchase your own Deck Building Materials and really come out ahead in the end by saving labor costs and putting it together yourself.

3. Kitchen

This is where we did the majority of our upgrades.  We put in a free standing island, got stainless steel appliances, tile floors and granite countertops.  More recently we replaced the builder grade dishwasher with a Bosch one, and I’m super happy with it, and will be sad if I ever have to leave it behind.

4. Baths

We put tile floors in the bathrooms as well.  The master bath has dual sinks, and we added a glass shower door.  We had a small linen closet built into the master bathroom as well, so towels would always be close at hand.

5. Small Touches

We had decorative arches built into our front entryway, crown molding in the dining/kitchen/family room, and French doors added to the office.

Now I’m not naïve enough to think that I’ll get every penny we spent on the upgrades back when we decide to sell, but if there happens to be two units in our building for sale at the same time and ours is one of them, I hope investing a bit more into our home will mean that buyers will choose ours over another.  And I do admit to getting enjoyment out of the little ‘extras’ we added to our home.

So are you a reno lover or a reno hater?  What sort of projects have you done to your home with the hope that if you have to sell it you might see a return on the investment?

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