House flipping has become almost a sport in some cities around the world. Bolstered by HGTV reality shows, the DIY-reno business is booming. It’s especially hot in the Toronto real estate market; it seems now like every developer, realtor, contract and regular joe is investing in flipping houses for sale in Toronto.
It makes sense: not every prospective buyer is interested in doing their own renovations. Many busy professionals just want a turn-key property. So if you know what you’re doing, you can get a shabby house for cheap and transform it into a clean modern property and sell it for tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars more, making a tidy profit in a short amount of time.
But which home renovations add the most value for investors? What are buyers willing to pay for? Often, it’s not worth it to gut a whole house, though with some smart planning you can get the most bang for your buck.
Here are four upgrades that appeal most to buyers.
These days, open kitchens are a focal point for the home, and act as a gathering place for the whole family. Buyers will definitely appreciate a modern and stylish aesthetic in this room – but it can be easy to go overboard. While costly layout changes, such as opening up a closed-off kitchen, can be worth it for those enjoying their home for several years to come, it often doesn’t equal the same return in sold price. Instead, focus on cosmetic updates such as new cabinetry, switching out countertops, and perhaps adding an island. Keep in mind that dated appliances won’t make or break a home sale – these are items that prospective buyers can source for themselves.
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Bathrooms really show their age. The last thing you want is buyers snubbing their nose at a pink and blue 1950s bathroom, or a black and white 1980s one. If you can retile, add a nice showerhead, re-glaze the bathtub and add a vanity with lots of storage, buyers are likely to be impressed. Since the square footage of bathrooms is usually small, such updates may not even be that expensive!
A home flip is not complete without a fresh coat of paint – and it’ll be required in just about every room. Think neutral here, as not everyone may appreciate your bold feature wall colour choices. Look for taupes and creams with either warm or cool undertones that will best compliment your flooring and appliances.
While painting is one of the most cost-effective ways to shore up an old home, ripping out carpet and adding sleek hardwood or laminate flooring can go a long way. Nothing says “old house” like musty, smelly carpet! This is an area where investing a few thousand dollars can transform the look and feel of your listing, and widen its appeal for buyers.
Focus on these main four renovations when you’re flipping your house, and then consider landscaping, doors, and lighting as other smart ways to earn a profit.
Zoocasa.com is a leading real estate company that combines online search tools and a full-service brokerage to empower Canadians to buy or sell their homes faster, easier and more successfully. Home buyers can browse real estate listings on the website or the free iOS app.