Fix Up A House

Is it worth it to fix up a house?

Fixing up a house can be profitable, but investing a few hundred dollars in repairs and upgrades may not add thousands of dollars of value to your home. The average return on your remodelling investment is 20 per cent or 30 per cent less than you spend. Whether you profit from fixing up a home depends on the project, how well you manage costs relative to the resale value and your long-term plans for your home.

It is easy to miss a lot of the wear and tear that happens to your house over the years. But when you start thinking about selling, the state of your home becomes much clearer.

You know that there are things that need to be fixed and cleaned up. However, you only have so much money and time to make repairs. So, what should you fix?

Keep in mind, articles like this one are meant to provide general advice on what works for most people. Ideally, you will have a real estate agent you can talk to who will look at your particular home and give you targeted advice – which will get you the best results for your circumstances.

But even if you are working with a Realtor, this information can give you a starting point on what to discuss with your agent about possible home repairs.

Taking care of the most important things to repair before selling a house will put more money in your pocket! This is one of the primary reasons real estate agent recommend taking care of certain things before you list your home.

Looking for the best home repairs services? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered. 

Consider The Neighborhood

You don’t want to have the most tricked-out house in the neighbourhood, nor do you want the plainest. You’ll get the most value from renovations that put your home on par with your ‘neighbours—for example, installing granite counters in a neighbourhood where the laminate is typical returns less on the investment than would granite counters in a neighbourhood where granite is the norm.

Fix Up A House

Keep It Proportionate

Your home’s market value limits the value of your fix-ups. PBS’ Hometime recommends getting an appraisal and comparing your home’s value to the values of homes that have sold recently. If your home is already at the top of the market, spend frugally. An $80,000 home with an unfinished basement, located in a neighbourhood of $100,000 homes with finished basements, might give a solid return on a new $20,000 basement that makes it like neighbouring homes. However, you’ll lose your shirt if you spend $50,000 on the same basement because the house will still be worth only $100,000.

Projects With Highest Returns

According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2011-2012 cost vs. value report, the highest returns come from replacing a home’s siding, windows and doors. These are relatively inexpensive renovations that increase your home’s curb appeal and enhance its energy efficiency. Indoors, the most lucrative fix is a minor kitchen remodel, which offers an average return of 72.1 per cent. Spruce-ups such as fresh paint, updated light and plumbing fixtures and new grout and caulking throughout your home are almost always worth doing because they make your home look clean, updated and well maintained at very little cost.

Other Factors

Home fix-ups aren’t just about money; there are lifestyle issues to consider as well. Although the luxury shower you install in place of an unused tub might not pay for itself monetarily, the enjoyment you get from your updated bathroom also has value. The length of time you plan to stay in your home matters, too. It’s rarely a good idea to do major projects shortly before you sell. However, if a renovation makes it easier or more pleasant to live in your home, and it doesn’t break your budget, it’s probably worth doing.

Repairs Worth Making Before You Sell


Paint is one of the cheapest, easiest ways to update the look of your home before you list it. And you don’t need to be a professional painter to make this work for you, either. Watch a few videos online, pick your colours and go to town!

Lighter and neutral colours are preferred when selling because they tend to appeal to most people. You never know who will walk through the door to view the house, so it makes sense to keep the styling primary.

You don’t have to paint every room, necessarily, just those that need it. Rooms with dark paint chipped, or dirty paint is the ones that will benefit most.

If you have wallpaper in your home, it is almost always a good idea to remove it to sell your home for the most money. Wallpaper dates a home.

Buyers have a hard time selling past wallpaper. Some sellers assume a buyer should be able to “look past it.” They will say to their agent, and we will give the buyer an allowance to remove the wallpaper. This is a mistake as it defeats the purpose. Getting rid of wallpaper is all about first impressions and making a home more appealing to a buyer. Removing the wallpaper is what puts more money in a sellers pocket.

Just the other day, I was having this conversation with one of my clients in Holliston, Massachusetts. It was imperative to make them understand how important the initial visit is to a home and the impression it makes on a buyer.


The exterior is the first thing buyers will see, so you want it to look good. Replace missing fence boards, add sod if the yard is looking the worse for wear, and clean up any junk that may have accumulated in the yard or on the outside of any storage sheds.

Make sure the grass is mowed and that weeds are taken care of before someone comes to view the home. You can also plant some flowers in the beds to add colour and make the place feel homier. Here are some low-cost exterior home improvements worth doing.

Moss growth on the roof, missing shingles, and problems with the siding are all things that buyers will notice. Try to get all these things patched up now, so you don’t have to answer questions about it later.


Kitchens Are Essential to Home Sales Everyone wants a large, spacious kitchen with all new appliances – where they can cook and entertain (even if they never do either). Now your kitchen may not satisfy these desires without significant upgrades, which may not make sense financially.

Do not do a complete kitchen renovation unless your agent tells you that he or she believes you can make your money back on the sale.

However, you can make some minor repairs that will make your kitchen appear more inviting, even if it isn’t a “dream kitchen”. If the painting, lighting, and countertops all scream the 1970s, you can change all of these without too large of an investment.

You can paint as necessary, install new fixtures and replace the countertops to something more appealing (granite and marble are not a requirement for an updated look).

The price of solid surface materials, however, has come down in recent years so it might be worth getting an estimate for installing granite countertops, especially when the kitchen counter space is not huge.

As far as appliances go, buyers are going to expect these to work. If the oven, dishwasher or range are out of operation – or in awful shape – replacing them might be necessary to appeal to buyers.


A clean bathroom – one where everything works as it should – is a necessity. If you have a problem with a running toilet or a leaky faucet, make repairs as necessary. You can cause the toilet to look much better just by replacing the seat.

Cleaning up the grout or replacing it is always a good idea, as it can become dirty over the years. Any missing tiles should also be replaced.

If the bathroom has old wallpaper or dingy surfaces, a new paint job is recommended. The brighter and cleaner you can make the room, the better.

The bathrooms and kitchen are the most important areas in a home. These are areas where buyers will put their focus. They are also the most expensive areas in a home to upgrade. This makes it vital for you to repair any issues before putting your home up for sale.

Check out our Melbourne home repairs to help you to build your dream house. 


Lighting can make even the smallest home seem open and inviting. You want to maximize the perception of space, so you will want to take advantage of the many lighting options now available. You can learn more about lighting different spaces online and find a variety of affordable lighting options that will be far superior to the current overhead or stand lights in your house.

Take some time to analyze your current space and see if you can find some ways to improve the lighting. If you have “dated” light fixtures, this is another area that for a little bit of money invested can translate into a quicker sale.

Don’t forget natural lighting, either. Ditch the heavy drapes for light-coloured curtains that let the in the sun.

Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Refinishing Hardwood Floors Without a doubt, hardwood floors are one of the most popular flooring selections in a home. As Debbie Gartner, the owner of Floor Coverings International in Westchester NY, explains the look of wood floors can change the appearance of a home.

This is the type of flooring that most homebuyers prefer. What does this mean when you are selling? It means that you have your hardwood floors looking their best. Refinishing your hardwoods when they need it can change how a buyer views your property.

There is nothing like entering a home where the hardwood looks spectacular. The great thing about refinishing hardwood floors is the return on investment which is very high.


Go to your home and make sure everything works as it should – from the small things like doorknobs and locks to bigger stuff like your garage door.

Everything doesn’t have to be new for a home to be desirable to buyers, but all the functional aspects of the home must be in good working order to fetch the best price. A few broken components are all it takes to start driving the price down, so get them fixed.

One of the smartest things a seller can do is be ready for the buyers home inspection. More home sales fall apart at the home inspection than at any other point in time during a transaction.

This leads to the importance of know what the most common home inspections issues are and dealing with them beforehand! Some very specific issues can kill home sales. If you are aware of any of these problems, it is important to address them before putting your home on the market.

Pre-Sale Inspection

One crucial way to avoid the problems that can swiftly end a home sale is to have a pre-sale home inspection. A pre-sale home inspection can help you identify issues and fix them before you try to sell your home.

Unless you are a professional contractor, a real estate agent or a home inspector, you are probably going to miss a few things as you go looking for problems with the home.

And even if you are a professional, a home inspection will still be required before a lending company will loan a buyer money to purchase your home. If you don’t find the problems now, you will be forced to deal with them later before you can finalize the sale.

Have an inspector look over your home, fix whatever is broken and then move forward with your sale – confident that you have covered all the bases.

Types of Home Renovation: Which Ones Boost Value?

The Basics

The basics are those things that buyers expect when they purchase a home. This includes a roof that doesn’t leak, functioning gutters and downspouts, a dry basement, a reliable furnace, solid floors, walls that are in good repair, and retaining walls that work. Most potential buyers also expect your home to have functioning plumbing and HVAC systems. In upscale properties, the basics might also include a certain number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and multiple-car garages, and any other amenities that are common to the neighbourhood.

This doesn’t mean you have to upgrade all of it. You can focus on regular maintenance and smaller, cheaper improvements that keep everything in good working order. Adding these items to a home that lacks them doesn’t add value; it merely brings the property up to the standard level of the rest of the homes in the neighbourhood, ensuring that you can ask a comparable price.

On the other hand, while you want your house to stand out from the competition, you shouldn’t make unwarranted upgrades that greatly exceed other properties in the area. Not only will you end up losing money; you may also scare off potential buyers. In short, before you invest tons of money in an elaborate full-house renovation project, consider what the competing properties in your neighbourhood have to offer. Find out how similarly priced homes in your neighbourhood measure up and make improvements based on your specific marketplace.

Curb Appeal

Items that add curb appeal help the property to look good when prospective buyers arrive. While these projects may not add a considerable amount of monetary value, they will help your home sell faster. Curb appeal items include a well-manicured lawn, low-cost landscaping, fresh paint inside and out (at least the front door), cleaned carpets, and new fixtures (even redoing the address numbers). You can do these projects yourself to save money and time.

Err on the side of plain vanilla, though. Now is not the time to incorporate bold design choices into the décor. Subtle accent walls and tasteful backsplashes are simple design features that will add to your home’s appeal.

Lighting is another element that can break the bank. While you want the house to look bright and inviting, you don’t want to overdo it or overrun your home circuitry. Instead, consider installing recessed or LED lights for a modern-looking upgrade. If you need help with these projects, you can consult an interior decorating professional. Just make sure you lean toward inexpensive choices.

Avoid bold design choices in your décor. Subtle accent walls and tasteful backsplashes will more effectively add to your home’s appeal.


The projects that add considerable value are big favourites of fix-it-and-flip-it advocates—and they should be high on a homeowner’s list too. While most of these efforts will not recoup their costs, some will come close. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) cites new siding, kitchen renovations (new countertops and state-of-the-art appliances), and new windows as projects with some of the highest return on investment, often recouping 80% or more of their costs during resale. Upgraded bathrooms, refurbished decks, and energy-saving improvements also offer a lot of bang for the buck.

We have an extensive range of home repairs Melbourne services at Hitch Property Constructions.

Personal Preference

Personal preference projects are nifty items that you want, but that other person may not like or be willing to pay to get. In most areas of the country, these include amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, hot tubs, wine cellars, basement game rooms, and ponds. Believe it or not, a swimming pool rarely adds value to a home. First of all, it usually costs a small fortune to have an in-ground pool installed. Secondly, many homebuyers view a pool as a high-maintenance hassle and safety hazard—especially as it’s useable only a few months out of the year (unless you live in a tropical climate, of course).

There’s certainly no harm in adding these items to your house, but don’t expect potential buyers to be willing to pay a premium to get them when you are ready to sell. And be wary if the renovation means replacing a popular or commonplace feature. If every other home in your neighbourhood boasts a two-car garage, you should probably think twice about converting yours into a game room. Do you want to be the only house in the area with no protected place to park?

A home is an investment, and regular maintenance — a little DIY elbow grease, a call or two to the pros on occasion — helps keep your investment strong.

Fixing up a home involves more than just making a profit. If you are fixing up the house to live in it and enjoy it for several years, you can make upgrades without considering return on investment. However, if you’re planning on selling the house, you’ll need to consider whether you can recover your investment through the upgrades you make.

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