Transform New Houses For Better Resale Value

If your house has been built in the last five to ten years, there are a lot of great things going for it. It probably doesn’t have that much wear and tear on it yet, the style and layout are all contemporary, the kitchen will still feel fresh. There are tons of qualities you get from a new home. But there’s one area where older properties seem to have the advantage: the outdoors. New subdivisions have a major shade problem. When subdivisions are built, they’re mostly cleared out so houses can be put up in as little time as possible. Trees and other natural features take decades to mature, but they make a neighbourhood feel lived in and friendly.

Homeowners selling in newer subdivisions in the GTA have an uphill battle if they want to get the highest price for their lot. There are signs the real estate market in Toronto is taking a downturn and there’s just no competing with older, transit-friendly, well-shaded neighbourhoods in older parts of the metro area. To get top dollar on their investment, homeowners may need to spruce up their exteriors.

First, start with the curb appeal. It’s the first impression buyers get and it’s important to stand out on a street that feels monotonous. The easiest way to add curb appeal is through a thing called softscaping, where you add texture and colour to the front of your home. Plant trees now if you don’t have them already. They take decades to grow, but in conjunction with shrubs and boulder accents, they go a long way toward improving your curb appeal. You can expect to spend about $7,000 on curb appeal through softscaping. It’s quicker and cheaper than building a patio or a walkway. This is the first thing that people are going to look at on the listing and when they come to see the property.

Then there’s the back exterior. It may not instantly grab buyers’ attention, but it can pay off even more than curb appeal. A livable backyard adds another dimension to a home. In fact, over half of all homeowners said outdoor living space made a property more attractive.

The biggest challenge facing backyards in new subdivisions is shade. Especially if your backyard faces west, you can wind up with some scorching afternoons. Fortunately, you don’t need to wait decades for trees to grow in and provide shade. If you’re selling, the patio furniture will be up to the new homeowners, but a permanent or semi-permanent pergola with a thick, shade-giving canopy instantly improves impressions of the backyard.

Building a patio or laying down stone near the backdoor where you might barbecue or eat outside will also improve the value of your home. Add a pergola to provide shade so you can enjoy the outdoors at any time of day and even on those hot, muggy days that sometimes sweep over the GTA. Any addition you can make to your exterior that makes the backyard feel like an extra room for the summer months will improve the price you can get when you sell. Exterior investments are high on the list of necessary renovations when you have an eye on resale value.