What’s worth Renovating?

One of the questions most frequently asked by homeowners considering a renovation is “what’s worth doing”? The answer isn’t a simple one, as it depends on what you want to get out of the home. Do you want to improve your property value, increase your personal enjoyment of the property, or a combination of the two?

If you’re thinking of mainly increasing your home’s resale value, it’s important to be aware that the cost of professional improvements to a home will very often not be recovered in a corresponding increase in your properties value. A home’s list price is essentially a reflection of the demand from buyers for a home’s features and location. Just because you’ve invested a certain amount of money in your home doesn’t necessarily translate into adding that same figure onto your potential resale price. If you’re doing some of the renovation work yourself, you’re more likely to recoup the costs of your improvement.


Generally, the areas to focus on in terms of increasing your resale value are the kitchen and bathrooms, since these are the critical areas that frequently are deciding factors in buying a home. However, even in these areas, make sure your improvements are limited to what’s clearly visible in a quick walk-through. New cabinets, counters, or fixtures will all win points, but upgraded plumbing is an expensive undertaking that will add little to the overall appeal of your home. Prospective buyers will expect reliable plumbing as a “given”, and will not be willing to pay a premium to get it. Even if you’re not planning on selling just yet, your Coldwell Banker representative would be happy to talk to you to confirm what features are in demand by buyers in your area, and to council you on where you can concentrate your resources to get a good return.


If you’re planning on a renovation primarily to enhance your family’s enjoyment of your current home, focus on what would please your family, but do keep in mind that you will eventually still want to sell your home, and some improvements can actually reduce your chances of future resale. If it’s a toss-up between a few potential renovations, you should lean towards the one that will be the most appealing to the maximum number of buyers in the future. For example, a home theatre or media room is a current trend that would be enjoyed by just about anyone. On the other hand, a hot-tub can be costly to heat and time-consuming to maintain, so many buyers might not find this adds value to the home. Your local Coldwell Banker real estate professional would of course be happy to chat with you and give you the benefit of their experience to help you decide what’s worth renovating in your home.