CASH IN ON VALUE OF HOME
Market’s hot and so is summer: Create an oasis
What’s hotter than midsummer in Essex County? The local housing market. With sale prices sizzling and bidding wars heating up, many current homeowners who had thought about moving are now giving their residences a second look. With help from the right contractor, designer or architect, their present address could become what they have been searching for.
“All of the builders are going flat out. They are building houses as fast as they can,” notes Dennis Gerrard, executive officer of the Windsor-Essex Home Builders’ Association. “In the real estate market, you have a scarcity of supply.”
That is driving up the prices buyers are willing to pay. The Windsor-Essex County Association of Realtors reports that in April, the average local home price was $283,295, a hike of 24.51 per cent compared to the $227,520 paid in the same month in 2016. Often, buyers paid significantly over the asking price.
Seasoned real estate agents who have been selling houses in Windsor-Essex County for 30 years have never seen anything like it.
Doing the math, some homeowners find it is more affordable, convenient or logical to stay put, renovate and enhance what they’ve already got.
It’s a trend identified by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s 2016 market analysis, which found the renovation market is booming, nearly doubling since 2000.
Payoffs for renovating the home, putting on an addition or turning the backyard into a personal paradise are big.
An outdated kitchen can be reconfigured with an intelligent floor plan, well-crafted cabinetry, stone countertops, island and pantry.
A tired bathroom can become a private spa with a multi-head shower/steam room, deep soaker tub and vanity table with glamour lighting.
The wall separating two small bedrooms can be knocked out to create a spacious master bedroom and walk-in closet.
Other desired on-trend features that may be achievable in an older home include: a home theatre, home office, main floor laundry room, and new hardwood and tile, laminate or vinyl flooring to replace worn-out carpeting and linoleum.
Even minor redecorating can renew a home, such as changing out light fixtures and repainting the walls or old cabinetry.
Homeowners blessed with a backyard “are bringing their indoors outdoors,” says Margaret Ketler, who co-owns Bluewater Pools & Spas in Windsor and Leamington with Mike Shanahan.
When people call in Bluewater, “we take all of their ideas and create a backyard oasis that suits their family’s needs,” Ketler says.
The design is based on the homeowners’ lifestyle.
The motivation to invest in a pool and spa is “the enjoyment of being at home,” says Ketler. “Summers are hot. It’s almost unbearable without a pool to take advantage of that outdoor space,” she observes.
A spa provides year-round therapy and relaxation.
With approximately 130 builders in Essex County, along with tradespeople, architects, designers and decorators, homeowners have access to experienced and talented professionals who can transform their visions into beautiful, physical reality.
At the very least, the upgraded property will be ready to score top dollar should the homeowner decide, after all, to sell.
Projects like this Bluewater Pools inground swimming pool allow homeowners to beat the summer heat and “take advantage of that outdoor space,” says the company’s co-owner Margaret Ketler.