• Melanie Evans

Your Property is Your Biggest Investment, Are You Treating It That Way?


If you consider yourself to be someone who invests, even in a fairly small way, we have no doubt that you meet with your financial advisor at least once a year - if not more often - to review those investments, discuss how well they are performing and what can be done in the coming year to make them work even harder for you. You do right? Of course you do, it would be very irresponsible and short-sighted of you not to.


However, for most people their homes have been the largest investment they have made in their lives so far, no matter how many other financial instruments and investments they have added since. So, as you would not dream of skipping that annual appointment with your financial advisor, are you giving your property, your biggest investment, the attention it deserves?


All too often the answer is no, people simply do not. They forget that their Waterloo Region home is more than just the place they head back to at night and is, in fact, a big part of their financial wellbeing and financial future. So, reviewing it as an investment annually is something that you should also add to your yearly to-do list.


Taking Stock of The Current Situation


If you see a financial advisor about your investments, it should be a real estate agent you turn to take stock of your home as an investment. Once you have found the right one, the most fundamental question you need them to help you answer is a deceptively simple one; how has the value of my property changed?


A number of factors should be taken into consideration when coming up with the answer to that question. Current market conditions and recent fluctuations of market in your area will play a large part, obviously, but the agent should also take into account how changes to the physical space might impact both the property's basic value and overall marketability.


For example, the new kitchen you invested in a few years ago has almost certainly added to at least the property's perceived value. The deck you added should do the same too, especially as outdoor living has become so important to so many over the last few years. But the fact that the furnace is a decade old and the windows have seen better days may negate some of those positives.


Ask the agent to provide you with a comprehensive assessment of your property’s value, and marketability in the same way as they would if they were to list your home for sale, as is, today.


Looking Ahead to the Future


Making use of the agent assessment as a starting point, you should then begin looking forward to the future when your home is viewed purely as an investment. Is it time to finally replace that furnace? Would a new paint job improve the home's curb appeal? What do the homes that are selling in your area right now for the highest prices have that yours does not? Would it make sense to try to add them, or is it just a fad?


Timing can make a difference. Do you plan on still being in the home in five years? Will you still be there in ten? If you have decided that this is a long-term investment - rather than a starter or a transitional home - then springing for that bathroom renovation - makes sense. However, this improvement might not be immediately reflected in the resale cost if you plan to sell two years from now.


Any good real estate agent is a person who has their finger on the pulse of your local market and the current trends that are helping to drive it, so he or she can steer you toward the best choices for maximum salability of your home. For instance, maybe you’re thinking about building some kind of larger outdoor amenity. The agent should have a perspective on what sort of spaces are most sought after. Tastes and home trends change, and they can help you stay up-to-date.


Lastly, while your real estate agent should be your primary go-to expert for managing the investment that is your home, it makes also makes sense to bring your financial advisor into the picture as well. There is considerable overlap in how you manage your long-term finances and how you manage your property - more than you might think - and having both advisors involved will help ensure everything is working in sync so that the value of all of your investments can grow.


Are you considering selling your house in the Waterloo Region? Or do you want to invest in a new one? Is this the best time to do it? What are similar properties selling for? How long will it take? Should you set a high price and expect to haggle to get the best deal? Should you market your home for a reduced price in order to create a bidding war? Is there anything you can do to increase the perceived worth of your home by staging it? How do you go about finding qualified buyers? Is your house really worth as much as you think it is?


These, and many other Waterloo Region property questions, can all be answered by Team Pinto. Let Team Pinto use their huge local real estate experience and expertise to help you. Contact the award-winning Team Pinto here, or book a free Zoom consultation to discuss your unique Waterloo Region real estate concerns at greater length.


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