Vancouver has spent years on real estate roundups as one of the most expensive (and unaffordable) cities in North America.
While some property values are starting to decline, the rate of growth is slowing even more. A Reuters poll of property market analysts says average Vancouver home prices are predicted to increase by 1.7 percent (originally forecast at 3.4 percent), which is lower than the rate of inflation.
If you’re a homeowner, now’s the time to be proactive: take action to increase the value of your property. You might be wondering how this is possible if you can’t directly control or impact the market. More homes are under construction than usual, and that may say something about owners taking matters into their own hands.
One way to almost immediately increase the value of your home is by renovating. Some upgrades are right at the tip of your fingers, and don’t take much time (or money) at all.
Here is some of that low hanging fruit:
New hardware and fixtures
High end fixtures and good lighting can increase the value of your home. You can also upgrade the handles and pulls on your bathroom and kitchen cupboards on a minimal budget. Try to keep the look consistent throughout the home.
New kitchen cabinets and backsplash
A brand new kitchen will add major value to your property, but it’s tough to achieve for less than $10k. For a quick and cost effective refresh, paint or stain the cabinets and replace the backsplash.
If you have old appliances, you may be able to apply a faux-stainless steel decal to give them a facelift–but get a professional to do it so it doesn’t look cheap.
If you’re in a townhome or house, attractive landscaping helps with your curb appeal. Make it classic and simple and easy to maintain. The next homeowner may not have a green thumb, or may not like bright pink flowers. Make sure whatever plants you choose don’t require much upkeep. Hedges, evergreens and perennials are top picks.
If you own an apartment with a balcony or patio, pick up some neutral planters instead (the ones that hang over the railing save space, but clear it with your strata first).
Paint can increase the perceived value of your home. Another way to ensure ‘curb appeal’, fresh paint on a home’s exterior helps make a great first impression. However, we’re under no false assumption that most people reading this are in single family homes, so we suggest a coat of fresh interior paint (in a neutral colour) before you list your apartment.
Whether you’re taking on a big project or tackling your goals bit by bit over time, a little can go a long way. And if you can control some of your home’s value, why wouldn’t you?