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Home Reno - The Road to a 20% Increase in Value

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  • Apr 7th, 2013 5:21 pm
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[OP]
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Dec 10, 2008
4353 posts
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Toronto

Home Reno - The Road to a 20% Increase in Value

"Buy the cheapest house in the best neighborhood"

Long story short, I bought a pretty substantial fixer-upper (~1200 sqft bungalow) in one of the best neighbourhoods in my city (St. John's, NL). The home was built in the late 60s and not much has been done inside since. It was an estate sale (we were close with the family), and priced below market value.

The labour is all being done by myself and my dad, apart from some electrical upgrading. This is where I’ll save a lot of money (free labour).

We have zero appliances, couches, or furniture and plan on making due with freebies and used stuff as much as we can. The primary focus is on having “good bones” – something we can build on in the future.

Renos started March 1, 2013

Purchase price: $295,000
Reno budget: ~$20,000
Goal valuation after renos: ~$370,000

A comparable home (fully renovated) is for sale with an asking price of $398,000

I'll use this thread to document the reno process and get feedback.

Preliminary Photos – Album here: http://imgur.com/a/m3449

Top Floor Plan

[IMG]http://i.minus.com/jbrYokIYFzBw3f.jpg[/IMG]

List of Upgrades

Every room
• Paint
• Moldings and baseboards
• Gyprock over the stucco ceiling
• Sand and re-stain the hardwood

Kitchen
• Knocking down two walls to open it up more
• Replacing the floor with limonium
• New cabinets (custom made)
• Title granite counter top (significantly cheaper)
• Buying used appliances, hopefully we’ll get some that are free

Living room
• New big window
• Door so you can walk right out on the deck
• Redo the fireplace with brick
• Replace that huge radiator under the window in the living room with something more compact
• New stairs and railings

Bathroom (top floor)
• New double vanity
• New floor

Bathroom (bottom)
• We’re going to leave this as a half bath until we need to change it

Entertainment room (red carpet)
• Hardwood (free)
• Entertainment unit
• Fireplace redo

Office (brown carpet)
• Hardwood (free)
• Remove one closet (closest to the door)

Outside
• Front deck
• Back deck
• Landscaping and some minor tree removal

Not shown
• 50% of the downstairs is undeveloped
• Not sure when we’ll get to that, but we’re not in any rush
Let's hug it out
110 replies
Deal Addict
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Dec 4, 2009
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Aurora
But that's only a 12.5% increase...

Good luck with the reno.
"I'm a bit upset. I've been grab by the back without any alert and lubrification"
Lucky
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Feb 16, 2013
343 posts
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20k i guess is the DIY price? Are you planning to live in it or flip it? Big difference. Why not post some photos?
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 22, 2007
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Mississauga
I'd be interested in the results, mind you it's been well know that it's all about location........location.........location.

Edit:

I'm curious as to whether these reno's are diy'r or contracted out which makes a big different.
How are you going to evaluate after reno home value?
Deal Expert
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Oct 19, 2003
19126 posts
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Toronto (Bloor West …
I guess 20K goes a lot further there than here, I once got quoted 25K just to build a detached single car garage in Toronto.
[OP]
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Dec 10, 2008
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Maymybonneliveforever wrote: I'm curious as to whether these reno's are diy'r or contracted out which makes a big different.
How are you going to evaluate after reno home value?
All DIY

I plan on getting it appraised by an RE agent or two. I'll post the results when I get them, but that won't be for 6+ months
Let's hug it out
[OP]
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Dec 10, 2008
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Kitchen cabinets were all nailed in and glued together, so we had to have a hammer and crowbar to them.

The carpet in the living room has been removed. It was all stapled down so we had to pull them all out. And the moldings and baseboards have been removed.

[IMG]http://i.minus.com/jv6is4v5eX1PJ.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i.minus.com/jbteaNG74yZ9J3.jpg[/IMG]
Let's hug it out
Deal Addict
Feb 5, 2009
2809 posts
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Newmarket
Toukolou wrote: But that's only a 12.5% increase...

Good luck with the reno.
Math is not your strenght I gather ;-)

OP, do you have to to anything to the outside?
Are you going to be knocking down the walls or doing anything like this. Based on the pics apart from the kitchen it seem more cosmetic and you should easily stay within 20k as diy, but I am not sure the reno itself would increase the value by 65K.
[OP]
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Dec 10, 2008
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Homerhomer wrote: Math is not your strenght I gather ;-)

OP, do you have to to anything to the outside?
Are you going to be knocking down the walls or doing anything like this. Based on the pics apart from the kitchen it seem more cosmetic and you should easily stay within 20k as diy, but I am not sure the reno itself would increase the value by 65K.
We're adding on two decks (front and back). This might not happen this summer though, but if I have time (and cash) to do it I will.

We're also replacing several (maybe all) the windows with Jeld-Win's. We're getting them all at near cost, but will be one of, if not the biggest expenses in the entire reno.

I don't want to get too hung up on the % increase. It's just a "fun" goal to work towards.
Let's hug it out
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
17286 posts
4044 upvotes
Toronto
Good luck with the $20000 budget. If I had that house, since I'm not a DIYer, it'd probably cost me $100000+ in renos.

P.S. They put bright blue shag carpet over hardwood? :cry:
Sr. Member
Nov 24, 2002
890 posts
67 upvotes
Toronto
qq for you: The 400K home you're using as a comparable, how are the mechanics of it? Were they upgraded as well?

The HUGE issue I see with home is HVAC, or lack of it! All you got here is electrical baseboard heating. No central heating, no central cooling, probably outdated water heater, and little to no insulation in the walls / attic. If your comparable was gutted, insulation installed, new HVAC installed, new furnace installed, etc. Add 60-75,000$ to your reno budget.

I know I for one will not want to use electricity to heat my home. Electricity prices have doubled in the last 5 years in the GTA, while NG prices have been slashed across the board!

I know that in my neck of the woods (downtown Toronto) a contractor purchased a semi-detached home and sold it 100K more than comparable homes were selling next door! The way it was justified (and there was a bidding war on this home too!) is by:

- gutting the inside of the house to the outside brick wall
- leveling new engineered floor joists
- all new balanced HVAC
- all new electrical / plumbing
- spray foam insulation the entire home! (you can now use a candle to heat this home!)
- all new windows / doors / porch / deck
- new build in central vac

During the open house, there was a photo book on the kitchen table with pictures of all that was done, copies of permits, and engineering drawings. Everything was done to code. This house will stand the test of time. New home owners will pay the extra 100K because it buys them peace of mind knowing that it was done correctly and not a "quick flip to make a quick buck". Your buyers are buying their future home. Make them feel it was done correctly and they will pay more. You'd also feel better about doing a good job, and spend less time in court. :)

Just my $0.02 ..
[OP]
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Dec 10, 2008
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The heat is oil and hot water radiation. A new furnace was installed 6 months ago and the oil tank is good until 2023. I'm also in NL and no one has AC in their homes here.
Let's hug it out
Deal Addict
Mar 21, 2006
4478 posts
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Burlington, Ontario
Labour, even if done by yourself, is never free. It's going to cost you one way or another.
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Aug 14, 2012
1379 posts
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AB
Good luck, expect a lot of negativity online don't let it damper your dreams as they are good. People are just more negative online imo.

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