When planning to downsize or sell your home, the next question will be whether to renovate or not renovate. That is the question of the day.
My experience in assisting pre-retirement age clients has indicated to me that homeowners need to consider their next move as their final home. This stage of planning has proven to be one of the most difficult decisions to make. A commonly asked question whenever I speak with clients who are thinking of downsizing from their long-time family Niagara home is whether they should renovate before selling. With the “Zoomers” becoming the larger demographic within the Niagara-on-the-Lake and surrounding areas, this is a great question.
Rather than taking on major stressful projects, I recommend to those planners out there to start with a prioritised list of repairs or updates. Consider your timelines, when you want to sell your home, what type of home are you planning on moving into. If you are leaving a large family home for a townhouse or condo, or even a small bungalow, this decision will guide you in terms of how much downsizing is required with your accumulated chattels over the years.
Here are some ideas on how to proceed.
- Once you’ve made the commitment to downsize, decide on the list of repairs and upgrades that will maximize the value of your home
- Allow for a stress free timeline to accomplish these renovations
- Consult with a realtor who is familiar with the values in your neighbourhood to guide you and prevent you from over spending on upgrades
- Consult with an interior decorator or home stager to minimize unnecessary work or changes and target the main points that need addressing
- Consider the age and style of your family home. Would it meet today’s buyer’s expectations? Is your kitchen open concept? Consider painting cabinet doors and updating the hardware, and if need be a modern countertop. If your appliances are dated, consider newer ones – they don’t necessarily have to be high end, just follow the going trends in finishes.
- The most overlooked and easy fix are light fixtures. You will be surprised how buyers notice newer light fixtures. This quick fix can be inexpensive and good lighting always enhances a house viewing.
- Bathrooms are the next best areas to consider freshening up with maybe a new vanity and sink, and updated fixtures
Remember to consult with your realtor to assist you in determining the value of your home prior to renovations. Your agent can determine who will be attracted to your home and ensure that; the choices of upgrades will appeal to this age category and that the changes you make are on trend. But at the end of the day, the seller should always take into account the potential return at time of sale.