1 May, 2013

Most Canadians have now crawled out of the winter months to find their homes or patio in need of cleaning, repairs, or total renovations. I know the spring bug hits me very hard each year in terms of DIY projects around the house, but none more than outdoor improvements.

beige shed in a backyardLast year I built for my daughter a playhouse/shed. In all reality it turned out to be a little bit more than a common playhouse or shed. With ¾ inch oak floors a Dutch door and plans this year for a patio, I believe I have over built for the neighbourhood as far as playhouse building goes.

Other plans for this year is a greenhouse with an additional shed built into it for more storage due to the fact I am without a garage or carport on the property.  If this isn’t enough I have a few dream projects such as landscaping for the rear of the yard and porch off the front of the house to take in those summertime sunsets that drop down right in front of our home, but for now those two projects are closer to dreams than reality.

head shot of Jeff Di LorenzoNow being a BC Mortgage Professional I am privy to information regarding home renovations that increase the value in your home and ones that will only increase your comfort of living. So many times I have seen people come to me and say Jeff I have totally renovated my kitchen at a cost of $35,000 so my home has surely went up in value $35,000 or more. With the current housing market, the fact is unless your kitchen was in terrible visual shape you probably have not added much value if you were to list and sell it. I see people switching out cabinetry for new cabinetry that is more appealing to them or replacing one colour of granite for a new colour. Now this did work in years past with Vancouver’s red hot real estate market, but for now we are in a bit of a holding pattern. That being said, if this is a home you plan to stay in for a long time then these renovations are truly about pride of ownership and will definitely give you good value for dollar spent.
different angle of beige shed in backyardTake for instance my yard renovations. I need outdoor storage space, so I built a playhouse/shed and plan to build a shed/green house. These two projects cost a fair chunk of money and do take care of needed storage issues but, in terms of an appraisal or, what a Canadian bank or mortgage insurer will deem as value; this will bring nothing.  Lenders will request an appraisal of house and usually up to 5 acres but will not consider outbuildings in value.

That being said I need a carport or garage. If I was to add a standard carport or garage to my property which currently has none this would reflect positively to most appraisals and show an increase in value of my home. As well if I added a deck to my home off the front this too would increase the value of my home.  How much value may vary; here is a neat site that gives average home improvements and the value vs cost. Keep in mind when looking at home improvement projects which ones will add instant value and which ones are for personal comfort.

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