Top 5 Condo Renovations That Increase the Most Value
Renovating your condo can help maximize your rental income in the changing housing market. But not all upgrades have the best return on investment (ROI). While some improvements can dramatically boost the value of your unit, others only make it appear luxurious without increasing its worth.
When upgrading a condominium, the rule of thumb is to make it stand out without over-extending your budget. So, which condo upgrades add the most value? We’ve dug around and engaged several experts, and these are the five sure-fire upgrades to increase your condo’s value.
Know Before You Start
Contact Your HOA First
Before picking up a hammer, it’s critical that you consult the HOA for any necessary approval. Unlike renovating a single-family detached house, there are a lot of gray areas when it comes to upgrading a condo.
As a condo owner, you own the interior of the unit- internal walls, countertops, carpet, bathtubs and plumbing and lighting fixtures. But the ceiling, outer walls and roof are considered common property.
In most cases, you won’t need an HOA’s approval for interior renovations like paint, trim work, light fixtures and unit-specific plumbing fixtures. However, any upgrades to the shared walls, ceiling, floorboards and electrical wiring that’s shared between multiple units will require an HOA’s approval.
Even if your renovations don’t typically require HOA permission, it’s still important to get in touch with the board to ensure that your project is compliant. If you proceed without approval and breach the CC&R, the board may require you to redo the renovations besides paying fines.
Check with Your Insurance Provider
Before renovations get underway, it’s wise to contact your HO6 insurance policy provider and enquire about potential changes to your coverage. You want to ensure that you have adequate coverage during and after the renovations.
Some condo renovations, for instance, adding a home office and upgrading current rooms, can boost the “value” of your condo.
From an insurer’s perspective, these upgrades increase the amount of money necessary to rebuild the condo. In that case, you should be ready to increase your dwelling coverage to ensure you’re not underinsured. Not all renovations hike your premiums, though. Some upgrades, including home automation technologies that boost security and minimize damage, may actually lead to lower rates.
On top of that, construction and renovation times generally increase the risk of damage and theft. The risk of personal liability is also likely to increase, especially for DIY jobs. Having the right coverage will give you peace of mind if something terrible happens during this period.
Condo Renovation Tips that Increase Market Value
Start with a Fresh Coat of Paint
Agents and realtors will almost always advise property owners to repaint their units before listing. Reason? Freshly painted walls are among the most important things that potential buyers and renters look for when home-hunting.
If a prospective buyer is comparing several units, including yours, a fresh coat of paint could be a key deciding factor.
A professionally painted condo interior has the potential to yield a 100% value bump and increase your unit’s market value by up to 5%.
Of course, it’s not just about having a fresh paint job: what’s more important is choosing a desirable color. The rule of thumb is to go for light and neutral tones, including gray, beige and off-white, to attract a wider audience.
Upgrade Your Kitchen
After the walls, the kitchen is the next part of your condo that your prospective buyers will closely inspect. Agents often say that kitchens sell houses- and it’s not hard to see why.
People spend most of their time in the kitchen, so they tend to attach to it emotionally. Secondly, trendy kitchen designs are a major part of the mainstream media, from Instagram to Facebook and reality shows. So, it’s common knowledge that home buyers already have expectations of what their next kitchen should look like.
We understand that you probably don’t have enough budget or time for major kitchen renovations. In that case, we recommend giving it a simple but stylish facelift- reface or paint the cabinets, replace laminate counters with butcher block, update the sink area and upgrade the lighting fixtures.
Refresh the Bathroom
The condition of your bathroom can make or break a condo sale. This is one of the most frequented rooms in any home, so you have no option but to make it look and feel gorgeous. If you can make the bathroom as appealing as possible, your prospective buyers may as well presume that the rest of the condo has been well taken care of.
A report by Remodeling Magazine shows that bathroom renovations have the potential to recoup 60% to 67% of their costs.
When improving the bathrooms in your condo, start with a close inspection to make sure that everything is working and there are no leaks. Depending on your budget, you may want to consider updating your old faucets and showerheads with modern ones. A floating vanity is not only stylish, but it also frees up more floor space if your bathroom has a small footprint.
Add Smart Features
Gone are the days when the smart home tech was exclusive to hobbyist programmers and the rich. As the cost of automation comes down, more and more condo users are looking for ways to integrate tech systems into their day-to-day lives.
That’s to say, adding smart devices and systems to your condo will, without a doubt, add value to your condo and attract the right renters or buyers.
When turning your condo into a smart home for renting, you’ll want to focus on technologies that make day-to-day living easy. These include smart plugs, a smart thermostat, smart lighting, smart doorbells, and smart appliances, such as a smart fridge, smart faucet, and smart washer and dryer. On top of that, consider technologies that boost your unit’s security and safety, including smart motion sensors, smart smoke detectors, and smart locks.
Refresh Your Flooring
Real estate experts still insist that hardwood is still king when it comes to condo flooring. When installed properly, hardwood flooring has an average return on investment of between 70% and 80%. Realtors also say that maple, oak, and walnut wood floors have the potential to increase the asking price by up to 2.5%. This is in addition to being able to sell or rent out your condo faster than average.
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to hardwood, engineered timber flooring will be a good bet. When done right, engineered timber flooring is almost indistinguishable from natural hardwood flooring, so it exudes style and class without wrecking your finances.