exceptionally close to parks, beaches, or a vibrant downtown area, there will generally be no reason for a person to buy a house on your street over one in another neighbourhood on the other side of town. Your real estate agent will be able to make side- by-side comparisons of your home with others that are similar, ensuring that you can compete effectively across a wide area. Take the general condition of the outside of the home into account as well. Where the surrounding yards are patchy and overgrown, it is not worth putting a ton of money into flower beds and trellises that people driving by might mistake for a bed and breakfast stop-over or a fine place for their wedding reception. You know you have gone too far if people stop and ask how much it costs to rent the space. However, prospective buyers will also seek out new homes by driving around areas they like and looking at neighbourhoods they think may be in their price range. Stone walks, hanging vines, and attractive flora will catch a buyer’s eye. At a bare minimum, you should present an image of a well-cared-for house in solid condition. Standing out a little bit is not a bad thing, but don’t overdo it. Some agents say that the longer you are in the house after the renovation, the more likely you are to recoup the costs as home prices tend to go up over time, and natural appreciation will absorb whatever costs you incur. On the other hand, other real estate professionals say that the more recent the renovation, the more likely a buyer will see it as new and assign more value to it. For example, if your privacy fence or bathroom is a few years old, they will have begun to show typical signs of age and blend into the rest of the property. In any renovation, be it landscaping, doorways, or kitchens, do not try to meet the highest demands of fashion. Instead, make it contemporary, but don’t go for the bleeding edge of home design.


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