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5 Rooms Scott McGillivray Thinks You Should Focus On – and How it Will Pay Off

5 Rooms Scott McGillivray Thinks You Should Focus On – and How it Will Pay Off

Thinking about hitting the refresh button on your home? It’s no surprise that giving an update to your house is a great way to increase the value of your property. After years of experience, here are the rooms I think you should focus on.


1. Kitchen
There’s no surprise here. Updating a kitchen is, and likely always will be, the best way to add value to a home. Kitchens are the heart of any house – they’re where families congregate, but they’re also where people work. As a result, making an investment in a kitchen that is functional, looks great and can accommodate your lifestyle will almost certainly pay off in the long run. Since trends tend to come and go, I highly recommend that you stick with classic designs and neutral colours. Your future self will thank you when it comes time to sell.

2. Bathroom
After the kitchen is as good as can be, turn your attention to the bathroom(s). I would suggest focusing on the main bathroom first and then moving on to those that are used less frequently. Bathrooms are important to pay attention to because, over time, not only do they look dated but with so much water running through them you want to make sure there’s no unseen water damage or mould build-up. A bathroom that’s renovated properly shouldn’t have these issues, so making the investment now will ensure that you get a good long term return on your investment.

3. Unfinished Basements
If you have an unfinished basement, converting it into a useable living space can really pay off – especially if it’s an income suite! Keep in mind that with unfinished basements you need to have adequate ceiling heights. If not, you won’t have useable space and you won’t be able to create a legal income suite. In most cases that means no less than 7′ over 75 per cent of the space. That said, if you can do it within your budget, definitely finish an unfinished basement. Your investment should be well worth it.


4. Laundry Rooms
I know. Spending money in a room, or in a nook, where you do the laundry doesn’t seem like a lot of fun, but these utilitarian spaces offer a great opportunity to increase the value of your home. If you’ve got the space I would suggest heated tile floors, a little storage and even a nice backsplash if you’ve got a sink. I also suggest front-loading machines so that you have the option of stacking to save space. Measuring ROI isn’t quite as cut-and-dry as it is in a kitchen, but a smartly designed laundry room will pay off both financially when it comes time to sell and also in terms of lifestyle.

5. Mudrooms
For those who live in small houses, a mudroom can be a real luxury, but if you’ve got one it’s worth making it as functional as can be. When I built my house we created a dedicated mudroom with plenty of storage and a message/mail spot. It might just be the smartest thing we did. We were lucky that we had the space, but even if your area is small, consider dedicated coat and shoe storage as well as a pantry for all those awkwardly shaped and miscellaneous items. Investing in this pass-through area can really payoff when it’s done right.

Photos courtesy of McGillivray Entertainment.

Scott McGillivray is a real estate expert and host of HGTV Canada’s Income Property and Moving the McGillivrays.

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