Friday, 1 May 2009

Renovations and Recession

Wo-Built: Time of the RenoWo-Built's Screenshot: Time of the Reno: Leave the house repairs to us, so you can do what is important!!!

We all know that in a recession the real estate market will become a buyer’s market; there may be blips of buying activities, but by and large the seller is at the mercy of the buyer. Hence, if you can, the prudent and smart move is wait out the recession and then sell. And this is the perfect time to upgrade your home at a leisurely pace.

As we have said before on our forum, the main areas of improvements and the ones that will get you some of the highest returns on your investment are upgrades to your kitchen and bathrooms. My favourite is the kitchen as there are so many possibilities, from the inexpensive to the opulent. An inexpensive upgrade (often below $10,000) is to paint the kitchen cabinets, update the work top and change sink, faucets and backsplash. This modest change will modernize and "contemporize" your kitchen’s appeal and increase the value of your home.

A more expensive, but still affordable way is to change the cabinet doors instead of painting them. However, you will have to take into account the number of doors and the condition of the cabinets and it might be more effective to change the cabinets entirely. This also allows improvements in the design. A very popular style is the Shaker kitchen and most manufacturers will have a version.

Of course you don’t have to stop at the kitchen. It is very trendy at the moment to have an open concept where kitchen and living area is integrated to various degrees. We can also talk about kitchen islands…. maybe larger kitchens with more cabinets making a greater impact on the potential buyer. In this case the cabinets are all replaced and this is the perfect opportunity to donate your old cabinets to charities (follow this link to find charities in your area that accept building material donations).

Martina Ernst
Wo-Built Inc.
links: House Prices: Part of the Problem or Part of the Cure?
by Ari Berman How can I renovate in a recession?
by Emilie Sennebogen

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