Renovating your Home – What Should I Do to Get the Best Price

The Dynamic Ottawa Housing Market 

There have been many impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic with one being the significant change in the Ottawa residential housing market. For many years Ottawa enjoyed a stable market with a predictable inventory of homes. There was a slow and steady growth in the value of the houses. This has all changed in the last two years. With more people working from home and the stable Ottawa economy, there has been an unprecedented increase in home prices. There are several reasons for this dramatic change; however, the bottom line is that there is now less inventory in comparison to the number of buyers


Renovate and Stay or Renovate and Sell, the Big Question

We all have seen Home Renovation TV shows. They always reveal very impressive home renovations. It appears to be a quick and painless process that, on TV, is completed in a 30-minute program. Reality is not that simple. Any home renovations should be considered very seriously. The first big decision is if you are going to remain in your home. If so, do you want to increase the living space and functionality for your family’s enjoyment? 

Do you plan to sell your house and purchase a new one? Before discussing any renovations, it is imperative to decide if you plan to stay or to sell. If you were staying, then the upgrades are for you and your family to enjoy the home. In the long term, the renovations will increase the value. If, on the other hand, the plan is to sell the current home and purchase a new one, then renovations that you would select, and the budget will be very different. If you are selling, the renovation budget will be much smaller. 


Big Decision, Talk to Your Royal LePage Team Realty Agent 

Before making any decision, speak to your family and your Royal LePage Team Realty Agent. The Agent will give you a much better idea of the current market environment and the value of your home, and what it will be worth following renovations. Some of the factors to consider are: what is the time frame you are working within, will you have time to complete the upgrades, what is the budget, and who will do the work? Are you going to do most of the work yourself, or will you need to hire someone? After considering these many factors, you will now have all the information to make the right decision.


We Are Selling the House!

When you decide to sell your home, then there are a specific set of suggested renovations. These will provide the most significant return on your investment. Most experts agree that the two rooms in your home where you can recoup most of your investment are the kitchen and the bathrooms. Always check the outside of the house. The first impressions are always critical. A fresh coat of paint is always a great idea. If possible, it may be recommended to paint the inside of your home as soon as you decide you are selling. This will ensure that there will not be a strong smell of fresh paint when buyers are in the house.  If you are selling a home, you might worry whether you have over-improved your property. In other words, have you upgraded too much to recover the cost? Depending on the scale of the work, you should keep at least 10% to 15% of your budget in reserve. If you, your friends, or a contractor do the work, you must ensure that all required permits and inspections are completed correctly. Not following the required steps can negatively affect the ability to get house insurance and delay your home’s sale.

The following renovations provide the best return on your investment when selling your home according to CIBC:



A brand-new kitchen is not necessary when selling your home. You want a clean, bright kitchen with updated appliances, updated fittings such as door handles and faucets for the sink. Upgrades can be completed within reason and can be quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, new fixtures, lighting, or other aesthetic changes. According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada, kitchen facelifts typically pay back about 75 to 100 % of their cost, making them the most popular and beneficial home renovation investment.



Next to the kitchen, the bathrooms are the following most important rooms to renovate. The bathrooms in your home can see from 75 to 100 % return on investment. It may not be necessary to replace the tub/shower, if they are still in good condition, you can update and install a new showerhead and faucets. Make sure the toilet is immaculate; if not, consider replacing it.  



You can count on payback of 50 to 75 % when you replace old or outdated flooring. Replacing ageing hardwood and tile or laminate can give your home a whole new look. It would help if you covered the heavy traffic areas with builders’ paper. It provides temporary floor protection against water spills, paint splatters, scratches, and foot traffic during the renovation process. 



A well-designed, organized closet with ample storage space and other features, especially in the primary bedroom, is a great selling point. A small investment in new closet storage, shelving, hooks, and hangers can go a long way when trying to get the best return on your investment.


Energy upgrades

Any energy upgrades such as energy-efficient windows, a new furnace, or solar panels on your roof, energy upgrades are a hot trend in home building and renovations and typically bring with them at least a 50 to 75 % return upon resale.


Plan Your Renovations and Get Ready to Sell

Selling your home is always an exciting time. By working with your Royal LePage Team Realty Agent and selecting the best renovations that are completed carefully, you will be ready to sell your home at the best price.

Before you make any of these big decisions, it’s important to speak to your realtor first to give you a better perspective on the value of the upgrades in the current market environment.Find out more about the Return on Investment percentages sourced from CIBC’s website.


Related Links:

Green Renovations — Basements

Home Renovations with a Great Return on Investment

Is It Time to Renovate Your Basement?

Caroline Johnson


Royal LePage Team Realty

5536 Manotick Main Street,

Manotick, ON, K4M 1 A7

Office: 613-692-3567

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