Terra Caribbean - Blog

Home Improvements - Worth it or Not?

Thursday, November 27, 2014 | By Karyn Fakoory
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Making improvements come with the territory of owning a home. Whether this is done for the homeowner’s benefit, or for a return on investment of the improvement when preparing to sell the property, sometimes a little bit can go a long way. And sometimes it does not.

There are times when these improvements will not make a difference to the bottom line before a sale, especially in the current market.  When the house requires major restoration: a new roof, structural repairs and heavy-duty renovations, generally speaking, it likely is not worth making the investment. Rather, it makes more financial sense to price the property “as is” and let the purchaser make the improvements to their specifications.

When one of our Agents tours your property and sits down to discuss pricing for selling, beyond thorough market research, we are looking at the home through the buyer’s eyes - without the emotional attachment that you may have.

So how do you know when to renovate versus when not to? 

  • Get a quote from at least two reputable contractors. Find out exactly how much you will need to spend to have your investment make sense. Make sure you are clear on realistic timelines as well.
  • Call your Agent and ask their advice. Start with finding out the pricing for the house in its current condition. Ask what they think the achievable price will be with the work done. Keep in mind that very rarely will the answer be equal to the current condition price plus renovations. 
  • Factor in the time and hassle of the home improvement. There may be additional expenses incurred for your accommodation during all of the work – especially if it goes over the anticipated time line.

You should now be able to decide whether to invest in improvements – or not.

When you decide to take the leap to sell your property, it is important to look objectively at the condition of your home:

Does it need a paint job? Are your finishes dated? Does the house look tired? Often, the answer is ‘yes’ to all of these questions. 

Here are a few simple improvements you can make that will go a long way towards your sale:

  • Paint the entire house, in neutral colours – yes, both inside and outside.  This freshens up the house and makes a favourable and impactful first impression. Without this step, the first thing that the buyer sees is the need for work to be done = the list price beginning to go down, in their estimation immediately. 
  • Same rule applies to kitchen and bathroom hardware.  Updating the fixtures is easy to change, low cost, and improves these key rooms in your house significantly.
  • Tend to the garden.  Make sure that the lawn is cut and the garden beds are neat. Be mindful that during the rainy season your grounds will require extra maintenance.

I am personally in the process of taking my own advice.  My house is a mess; my living and dining rooms are doing double duty as my kitchen. However, we’ve already done the homework I’ve shared with you. I know that the end result will reap the intended rewards; an upgraded house if we decide to stay or an improvement to the bottom line if we do decide to sell.



                             Karyn's House BEFORE                                                         Karyn's House AFTER Renovations


So, if you would like sound advice on buying/ selling a home or more details about my personal home renovation journey, I'd love to hear from you! Give me a call at (246J) 262-2483 or email:

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