Five easy pieces – of advice for upgrading your home

If you’re in the market to buy a new house or condo, you’ll be faced with decisions about upgrading your home. The list of potential upgrades is often long and daunting, especially for someone who is “new” to buying new. It is important to look at how long you want to live in the home for, potential projects or short-term renovations you may have in mind and the best return on your dollar.

1. Now or later?

There are a couple ways to look at upgrading your home. There are the ones that can be done only during the building process (or are extremely expensive afterwards), ones that make the most sense during the building process and ones that are more of a cosmetic or superficial nature that are nice to have but can be done at anytime. It is hard for a new homeowner to think of what the long-term plans for their new home are, but believe me – this exercise will be well worth it in the end.

2. Add value

In terms of upgrades that are best to be done during the building or construction stages, these are things you are going to want to ask your builder about sooner than later. These upgrades are also a surefire way to increase your home’s value right out of the gate. Most builders adhere to an eight-foot guideline in terms of ceiling height. However, new homes have been known to incorporate ceilings of up to a 10-foot height. The appeal of higher ceilings is it immediately makes the room feel larger and can add to the general design and appeal of the room. It also adds a general feeling of luxury to a new home.

3. Brick or aluminum?

Many builders offer both brick and siding options on their floorplans. For this decision, homeowners really have to evaluate their long-term plans. Using brick helps guarantee your house will last through most any weather condition (think about a popular fairy tale with three pigs and a wolf!). It can also be quieter, blocking the homeowner from any outside noise. That being said, aluminum siding is actually much, much more cost effective, but does need regular maintenance. Unless you are planning on staying in your home through the test of time or want to ensure high resale value, siding might be the way to go!

4. During construction

Other areas to consider for upgrading your home during the building period of your new home can be additional lighting, pot lights, additional outlets (especially on a second floor), additional fireplaces, larger windows, larger windows in the basement and a rough-in for the basement. These are upgrades that almost all have to be done before the house is complete and can be very costly once the house is built.

5. Give it all some thought!

Purchasing a new home can be very exciting and a little nerve-wracking. Make sure to take the time to really think about what you want in your new home, so once you move in, it is perfect.

Photo by Brandon Barré



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