Renovate your home now, sell it later

Do you find yourself stuck in the middle? You own a home that you want to sell in a few years but it needs updating NOW, how do you proceed with your renovations and what becomes the priority when upgrading for the future or for someone else?

I find a great deal of people in this position who want to sell their homes in the near future but still want to take on an immediate renovation project. If you choose your products and budget carefully it is possible to get maximum return on your investment. Here are a few tips to help you with your choices:

Be Neutral: Even if you love bright colours and trendy fashions, try to consider the next people who will view your home and the design elements they will want to work with. When decorating for the unknown buyer it is a good idea to keep your upgrades as neutral as possible; this will have the most appeal for multiple buyers. You can make the space your own in the interim with brightly coloured accessories and dashing draperies which move with you yet they make your current space decorative.

Be Frugal: Frugality is a must when designing for the future, yet I want to make sure to differentiate between frugal and cheap. Consider not only the people who will be buying your home but the years you have to live in your new renovation. Putting in low quality product will not age well and will not look good when you go to sell your home, even if it is only a few years from now. Also, you want to put in decent product for the next homeowner so you can sell the home with a clear conscience!

Be Aware: Take a look at the MLS listings in your area to keep current on what the market is doing in your neighbourhood. Investing $40,000 or $50,000 dollars in your home will not net you that in a resale if similar homes are also for sale at the same time. It is possible that a stunning renovation will sell your house faster than the competition but the state of real estate right now will not give you a big return on investment. Putting granite and hardwood into your home will look amazing but a similar look can be achieved with high definition laminate countertops and faux hardwood allowing you for a chance at a return on your investment.

Be Careful: If you are buying new products now with the intent of selling your home later, take extra care with the new products. Regular maintenance such as professional carpet cleaning and paint touch ups will keep your home looking well maintained and will enable you to list your home at a moment’s notice. Also, keeping your personal items such as furniture, drapery and bedding in good repair will show so much better when you sell your home. When potential buyers are viewing your home they look at the overall finish including the items which will move with the homeowners.

It is possible to achieve a designer finish in your home without it costing the earth. An in-home consult with a designer can help you to choose the correct finishes to help maximize your budget and give you a sellable, fantastic looking home.

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Contact her at 403-343-7711 ext. 227 or email her at

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