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What are the best home upgrades to increase your home's value?

“Always pick your yard based on your Summer lifetstyle.”


August 27, 2018 - Karl Yeh

When buying a home, wonder what additional upgrades you should consider to increase its' value? What are the key rooms/areas? We build upon our previous video about upgrades that increase the resale value of your home, this time with an interior designer's perspective. In this episode, we discuss home upgrades that provide the best return. We dive deep into bathroom and kitchen upgrades and why they should be number one on your upgrade list. 

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Karl Yeh:

Hi everyone. I'm Karl Yeh. Welcome to another Homebuyer's School video, a channel where you get the latest strategies, tactics, and tips from home-buying experts.

And remember, if this is your first time on this channel and you want to get the latest strategies from the experts, hit the subscription button below. Hit the little notification bell so you don't miss anything [00:00:30] .

Today, I'm joined by Deborah Armstrong, Senior Interior Designer with Brookfield Residential, and the question we're going to answer is,

What are the new home upgrades that will provide the best return?

Deborah, when I'm planning to buy a house and I'm looking at the upgrades, what are the ones that I should really consider that will provide the best return when I plan to sell the house later on?

Deborah Armstrong:        

Your kitchen and your bathrooms are number one.

You want to make sure that they're very updated. You want to make sure that the cabinets, whether you replace [00:01:00] them or you refinish them, the countertops are up to date, the fixtures, the lighting, and also the flooring, tile.

Again, those two areas are your main areas.

Everything else is paint and maybe fresh carpet, but really focus on the bathroom and the kitchen.

Karl Yeh:          

The bathroom, kitchen. And remember, you can check out our videos on the best flooring to choose from in the videos above.

Bathroom upgrades

In terms of kitchen and [00:01:30] your bathrooms, what specifically in them?

Deborah Armstrong:          

I would just take a big look at the overall picture, and see what is not up to date. Some cases, it just might need that those cabinets are really worn and they just need a fresh coat of paint, or maybe they need to just have new doors on them.

In some cases, they might need to be completely redone, replace the hardware, make sure that's current, and the countertops.

Karl Yeh:           The countertops. How about the bathtubs? [00:02:00] Same thing?

Deborah Armstrong:          

Again, yes. If the bathtub is in good shape, no need to do that. Focus again on the countertop and the tile, make sure that's ...

Karl Yeh:          

Okay. And are there say, and for the toilets as well, is there any ... Are you looking at brand new types of toilets that you're looking at?

Deborah Armstrong:  Not necessarily. You just want to make sure that it is clean, a clean toilet, and it still looks good, there's no chips or the seat's not cracked. [00:02:30]

A toilet's a toilet.

But people are going to go in there, and the first thing they're going to look at is if that tile's updated, the countertop, the faucets.

Karl Yeh:          

When we're talking about the bathroom, one of the things is, "Do we need to rip out the tiles?"

Deborah Armstrong:       

Yes. You can't place tile over top of tile. If the tile needs replacing, if it's outdated, if it's chipped or cracked, you definitely have to take that tile out and start with fresh.

If it's just the grout, the grout is dirty, [00:03:00] you can use a grout cleaner. Takes a little bit of elbow grease.

There's also a new product out. It's called Grout Refresh. It cleans, but also is color matched to the current grout, so it refreshes it right up again, and that actually has a little bit of sealer in it.

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How to clean and seal your grouts

Karl Yeh:          

Okay yeah, because that's the worst things to ever do is to clean the grouts, right?

Deborah Armstrong:      

Oh yeah, it takes so much time and a lot of elbow grease.

You could've prevent that by using a grout sealer when you first [00:03:30] install that tile or you first moved in, and keep up that sealer.

Karl Yeh:          

How often do you need to seal the grout?

Deborah Armstrong:          

I would seal the grout, depending on the wear and tear, in a kitchen back splash right behind the stove, maybe every six months.

Karl Yeh:           Oh wow, six months.

Deborah Armstrong:        

It doesn't take long. While you have a cup of coffee in the morning, just take that sealer, they come on a sponge. Just go over the grout and wipe it down.

It's as easy as that.

The key is keeping up with that and making it part of your [00:04:00] schedule on your calendar.

If you don't, you can run in to a lot of problems with the grout staining, and then it's going to be a lot harder scrubbing and getting that stain out.

Kitchen Upgrades

Karl Yeh:          

Let's move on from the bathroom to now the kitchen.

Before we continue, just remember we have our video on marble versus quartz versus granite countertops if you want to have a look above.

Now I just talked about countertops. Obviously you should upgrade the countertops if ...

Deborah Armstrong:          

[00:04:30] If you still in your home have the old laminate countertops and stained, maybe cracked or chipped, it's time to replace them.

You're going to get more value not putting another laminate in there, but maybe looking at a new quartz countertop or a granite countertop, something that has a perceived value, so when people walk in the home, they'll go, "Wow, this is why we're spending this money on this house, because look how updated. They have the current products."

Karl Yeh:           And how about the flooring?

Deborah Armstrong:          

Again, [00:05:00] flooring, if the grout's dirty, if it's chipped or if the hard wood's worn, you want to make sure that it either looks really really good.

If it's unrepairable, you want to replace it. If it's really outdated and you want to get the best value, update it.

Karl Yeh:          

We've been talking about, let's say, a resale home.

Let's talk about a new home.

Is it the same thing for, let's say when you're buying a new home and you're looking at the [00:05:30] upgrades? Is it the same thing, bathroom and kitchen as well?

Deborah Armstrong:           

Absolutely. I always recommend first, upgrade the things that you cannot change easily. Number one, your hard wood floor. You're not going to be ripping that out any time soon.

Your cabinets, again, and your countertops. Those are the three areas to spend money first, then focus on any additional things in the kitchen and the on suite. That's where people will look at.

Karl Yeh:          

Awesome. The question [00:06:00] I have for you is:

What are some of the upgrades that you've done to improve the value of your home?

Let us know in the comment section below. Thank you very much for joining us, and we'll catch you next time.


Your turn:

Let us know if you have additional interior design questions that we can answer by submitting them in the comments section below. 

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