Equity Improvements in Vancouver
18 Mar 2022

Unique Vancouver Equity Renovations

The equity growth for homes in the North Shore, Greater Vancouver, and Burnaby area over the last few years has been staggering just by virtue of the soil on which the structure sits. But location doesn’t guarantee the home will sell for top dollar. The competition for resale is fierce and the key to a higher sales price is multiple offers. To entice those offers and set your home apart there are renovations that are unique to the climate and culture of Vancouver.

Why Consider Equity Renovations?

It doesn’t matter where your house is in Canada, buyers are always looking for an appealing house with modern features. You can have a unique feature, but if the rest of the home is outdated or in need of repair, most buyers will not be willing to absorb the renovation cost and the resale value will reflect that.

Buying a home is an emotional decision and “love at first sight” certainly exists in real estate. Equity growth renovations allow you to get beautiful and functional spaces while addressing critical areas that buyers consider important when buying a home. According to Renovation Magazine’s 2021 Cost vs. Value Report, exterior improvements offer the greatest return. However, consider the report is nationwide in the US and based on a cost/return analysis for both individual components such as garage doors, as well as large improvement projects. Kitchens, bathrooms, exteriors are harder to calculate because of their vast differences in scope and budget, but in general, these improvements offer a great return on investment (ROI) from a resale standpoint.

“I’ve been in real estate for 30 years and, in my experience, equity home improvements pay for themselves if they’re done tastefully and recently, within two to three years of the sale,” said Lance Phillips, owner of Lance Phillips & Co Real Estate. “They can significantly shorten the home’s time on the market and perhaps inspire several buyers to offer multiple bids.”

Common Equity Improvements Should Come First

Equity home improvements should use modern designs, fixtures, and appliances that enhance the existing feel of the home without taking away the charm. They should be fairly neutral, but not bland or builder-grade.

Exterior Curb Appeal – Buyer decisions and judgements begin before even stepping out of the car. An exterior refresh using appealing elements and colours can build anticipation and inspires buyers to envision themselves living there. Along with clean landscaping that doesn’t hide the home, modern exterior designs have a mix of materials (stone veneer, exposed treated wood, etc.), stylish complementary colour choices, and non-descript technological security elements (cameras, solid doors, etc.).

Kitchen – Even if the buyers aren’t cooks, the kitchen is a central point for entertaining. A well-designed kitchen can be the show-stopper that inspires offers. This generally means a thoughtful design with a triangular workflow in mind, custom cabinets, new brand-name appliances with a designer stove hood, a solid low-maintenance countertop, and a backsplash that is subtle but unique.

Bathrooms – Bathrooms have transformed from utilitarian into a place where people can relax and revitalize. Not having to make improvements here can put buyers at ease that the plumbing has been examined and improved upon. An impressive master bathroom can be a tiny spa retreat. A well-designed half bath can be a convenient, quirky hidden gem.

What Renovations Are Popular in Vancouver?

Unique features that cater to the area’s culture and lifestyle will make your property memorable and speak to buyers with similar interests. Some people will spend a little more to get the things they want.

“With the temperate climate, active lifestyles, and the high demand for rentals in the area, there are some out of the ordinary improvements that can appeal to the Vancouver buyer and add to the value of the home,” said Mr. Phillips.

Gourmet outdoor kitchen – The volume of rain in Vancouver is a bit of a myth. Sure, it rains, but many winter days allow yardwork in shorts. For those who are avid BBQers or can’t live without a woodfired pizza oven, outdoor kitchens are a must. Having a well-appointed covered cooking and entertaining area brings the indoors outdoors and allows for enjoying the Vancouver weather year-round.

Convenient separate structure – In a changing workforce dynamic with permanent remote or hybrid remote work, some homeowners are choosing to build tasteful outbuildings for an office to provide that sense of separation on the same property. Other outbuilding designs are perfect for workouts, art studios, guest spaces, or a combination of all these. These spaces appeal to a wide variety of buyers and bring added value to any home.

Attractive basement rental unit – Limited inventory and high-income potential make this an appealing prospect for many Vancouver homeowners. On top of building a separate kitchen and bathroom, reducing noise, individual entrances, and separate HVAC or all costly necessities as well. However, the ROI is generally as low as 2 years and can supplement the cost of the mortgage allowing more buyers to qualify.

Spectacular sunrooms – Light, atmosphere, and relaxation are what sunrooms are all about. They are excellent for plant lovers and people who like the feeling of being on a patio year-round. These can be designed with insulated accordion doors that transform the sunroom into an outdoor space in the summer. Sunrooms, when constructed and designed correctly, can elevate the appeal, light, and sales price of the home.

Vancouver Equity Improvements

“I’d say most home improvements constructed by the homeowners in their free time end up being fairly obvious and could have the opposite effect on equity, reducing the appeal of the home,” Mr. Phillips advises. “Unless the homeowner is highly experienced in construction and home renovation, I recommend getting a professional for any improvements.”

Design and renovation professionals know the market and will direct you toward the most sensible equity renovations to enhance your lifestyle and maximize your equity growth and resale value. Every equity growth project is unique to each home. Contact Platinum Contracting today and we’ll consult you on how to best maximize your equity growth within your budget.