Despite what you may have been told by the media and those who wield sledgehammers and boundless sweat equity on home-renovation shows, updating your primary residence rarely results in profit. In the relatively stable but flat Lethbridge real estate market, it’s critical to view property updates through the eyes of both a buyer and an appraiser. Why? Because they offer the most objective perspective on real value. All homeowners have a personal attachment to the four walls they live in.
It takes a willing and courageous REALTOR® to advise you straight-up about what is valuable to you versus what is valuable to the market.
For example, if a home down the street is functionally very similar to yours, how much more would a buyer pay for your upgraded appliances? How much more would she pay for a fresh coat of paint? Would she pay $5,000 more of her hard earned money for your new high-efficiency furnace versus a five-year old furnace that is working just fine?
Appraisers generally do not assign a profit to home maintenance efforts. Substantial updates do fetch market dollars but not over and above what the homeowner spent, and often substantially less.
Homebuyers don’t do this kind of math at all. They fall in love with a home and then they go through a mental checklist of what ‘works’ in the house versus what they have to fix. In other words, it’s emotion first, logic second. And the logic goes like this: the buyer expects the systems in the home to be in good working order.
Will an updated, well maintained fetch more money than a home that is not updated or well maintained? Yes. But profiting from your primary residence is a goal best saved for television, or better still, for homeowners who plan to live in and maintain their home for many, many years. More below!