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  • Writer's pictureNikki McCall

Why you should update your home!


Real estate market favors turnkey homes or those that are priced appropriately, as they tend to sell quickly. Conversely, homes that have not been updated or renovated tend to remain on the market, as they are often priced higher than their actual value.

As a buyer consider whether your budget can support the maintenance and upgrades necessary for your new home before making a purchase.

As a seller whether you're planning to sell your property this year or a decade from now, upgrading your home can be a great way to increase or maintain its value and make it more appealing to potential buyers.

I found myself recently complaining about how much money we spend on our house when we could use that money to travel instead. I had to remember that our home is an investment. To ensure a return on our investment, we must make an effort to maintain and upgrade it regularly.

Our goal is to make significant improvements at least once a year and some more budget friendly upgrades throughout the year.

Here are some of the improvements we've made in the 7 years of owning our home:

Firstly I think it’s important to note that I nearly rejected this house because it didn't meet my desired aesthetics. However, what it did have was new windows, a high efficiency furnace, a large backyard and a garage. Rather than focusing on minor fixes, I learned to appreciate the major improvements that this house had to offer.

For the interior the first thing we did was paint the main floor. I used a Behr premium silky white in eggshell. With two small children it may not have been the best choice however it does wash well and is easy enough to touch up. The white walls bring a wonderful brightness to the entire house that I just love.


The iron railings were a huge NO for me especially with babies. I could only envision them getting their heads stuck. I tasked my very handy husband with building a pony wall so we didn’t lose the feature of the large stairway wall.

When it was time for the kitchen we did not have the budget for an overhaul. To achieve a more sophisticated appearance, we painted the cabinets white and installed new trim. Later painting the bottom cabinets blue, mostly because I am obsessed with Joanna Gaines but also because the bottom cabinets see a lot more little fingerprints and messes.

To display those stunning yet seldom-used dishes and add some color, we incorporated cubbies and plants into that dead space above the cabinets that is not only useless but a dust collector.

When upgrading appliances and fixtures, it can be tempting to splurge on expensive fixtures and finishes to make your home look more luxurious and upscale. However, it's important to keep in mind that just because a fixture or finish is expensive, doesn't necessarily mean that it's the best fit for your home. In fact, if your home is not particularly expensive or upscale, investing in expensive fixtures can end up feeling out of place and even a bit ostentatious.

Although I adore our home, upgrading to a more expensive fixtures based on the area and style would not be practical or wise. We went to our favourite store, Home Depot and bought the fixtures and appliances that fit both our aesthetic and budget.

I've discovered that my preferred aesthetic leans towards modern, contemporary, and industrial styles. Based on this I chose a rock backsplash and matte black countertops.


Our biggest improvement, and lesson learned, was the flooring. We wanted to change out the dated oak coloured floors. We again went to Home Depot to find a vinyl plank. We chose a mid-priced dark grey plank.


Here’s where a lesson was learned: the tabs on the planks were very cheap and brittle. The floor only lasted a few months and had completely fallen apart. It was truly heartbreaking to experience this setback, especially considering the significant cost we had invested. After some time we went to Rona and settled for a light creamy grey laminate plank. We opted for tile flooring for the front and back entrances, as laminate is not water-resistant. We also purchased extra tile for the bathroom when we eventually renovate it.

For the exterior we added wood decks to the front and rear, replaced the worn out garage door and opener, painted, xeriscape and shingled.

Some tips for decorating or renovating:

  1. Paint makes all the differences and is cost effective!

  2. Check out your local marketplace or buy and sells for furniture, decor and appliances before buying new.

  3. Chose a style and stick with it! Having multiple colours, flooring, decor throughout a house could have a negative effect on the resale value.

  4. Don’t waste money on something that will not return its value for example solar panels, expensive fixtures in a small house, taking down walls, etc

Ultimately, the key to making your home look and feel amazing is to find a style that works for you and stick with it. Don't worry too much about whether or not your fixtures and finishes are the most expensive or high-end options out there. With a bit of creativity and an eye for detail, you can create a beautiful and stylish home that reflects your unique personality and taste.

It’s important to note that not all home renovations are created equal. Some upgrades may not result in a significant increase in your home's value, while others can significantly boost its market value. For example, upgrading your kitchen or adding an extra bathroom is more likely to increase your home's value than installing a swimming pool or a home theater system.

Regular maintenance tasks such as fixing leaky faucets, replacing worn-out carpets, and repainting walls can also help maintain or improve your home's market value. These small upgrades may seem insignificant, but they can add up over time and make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

Another factor to consider when renovating your home is the current market trends. For example, if you live in an area where open-concept living spaces are popular, then upgrading your home to include an open floor plan could significantly increase its value.


Keeping up with current design trends can help ensure that your home remains attractive to potential buyers.

In conclusion, maintaining and upgrading your home is essential not only for your comfort and safety but also for its market value. By investing in upgrades that are likely to increase your home's value and keeping up with regular maintenance tasks, you can ensure that your home remains a valuable asset in the future.

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