As seen in SNAP magazine, March 2012
During our past 10 years of doing business in Greater Victoria, my experience assisting clients in developing their home renovation plans has reinforced the fact that a wise investment in home improvements can add great value to both your property and to everyday enjoyment of your home.
In addition to consulting with a professional design firm, homeowners can benefit greatly from a consultation with their Realtor to discuss specific issues relating to their property which may impact a home renovation plan. Local market conditions as well as aspects of the property itself can greatly affect issues around design and layout as well as quality and types of finishes incorporated into your design.
I asked Roger Jones of JONESco Real Estate for his thoughts on what are the most critical issues a homeowner ought to consider prior to investing in a major renovation:
“First and foremost, it is important to recognize that certain home improvements add real market value to a property while others should be viewed more as personal preference items which enhance your own enjoyment of the home. An improvement which has potentially broad appeal (such as an upgraded and more functional kitchen or hardwood floors) definitely adds value while more specialized items (such as a swimming pool or exotic hardwood built-ins) may not necessarily add direct value when it comes time for resale. It is wise, therefore, to factor your likely timeframe for ownership of the home into your plans. If you are thinking in the longer term, it makes more sense to invest in those more personalized options which will add your own enjoyment over a long period of time – if you know that your timeframe is likely only a few years, then the renovation should probably be more focused on making improvements which will stand you in good stead when it comes time to resell. ”
“Location and the quality of surrounding homes are also key factors when considering the scale of your renovation. It is generally true that you don’t want to create the most expensive house on the block. There is a cap on the price range a prospective buyer expects to consider paying for a home based on the property size, location and setting . Buyers may also expect a certain minimum level of finishing and amenities based on these factors. Prior to commencing a renovation project one needs to be realistic in terms of how much should feasibly be invested in a particular property based on these kinds of considerations. Your Realtor will be able to supply you with current market information specific to your neighbourhood and can offer advice pertaining to your own situation.”
In conclusion, here are a few of my own rules of renovation which I pass on to my design clientele:
- Contact your Realtor and have a discussion about what you are hoping to achieve with your renovation.
- Work with a local Interior Designer utilizing their expertise in developing your plan.
- Get several quotes prior to commencing work.
- Always allow for a 25 percent overrun in your renovation budget (if you stay within budget it’s a bonus!) and set a realistic timeframe for completion of your project.
- Enjoy your home and your informed investment.
I invite you to visit Roger Jones website at:
Ivan Meade is a local designer and principal of Meade Design Group, a multidisciplinary interior and graphic design studio in the heart of downtown Victoria – www.meadedesigngroup.com