You’ve enjoyed years at your summer getaway but now it’s time to sell and move on. After speaking to a real estate agent, you have probably decided that you will need to make some renovations before you list. There are a number of common renovations but one of the biggest you might consider is to winterize your property. Being able to list an all-season property instead of a seasoned property sounds like more money in your pocket. Before you make that decision, these are the 4 things you need to know about winterizing your property.
What Updates Will You Need To Make?
Changing your seasonal cottage to all-season is no small task and will require professional help to get the job done. These are the upgrades that will need to be made.
- Insulation: You will need to significantly add to the cottage’s current insulation. You will also need to add a vapour barrier to prevent condensation in the walls. This barrier will also protect your cottage from mould and rot.
- Windows And Doors: All windows and doors need to be properly sealed to prevent warm air escaping and cool drafts entering. You will also need to replace all windows with double-paned windows as they are safe for all seasons.
- A Secure Heat Source: Canadian winters can get cold and you need a reliable and safe heat source to keep the cottage warm. Such sources include fireplaces, electric baseboards or a furnace. Before you decide, consider which one will be more energy and cost-efficient and will your choice impact your insurance.
- Utilities: You will need to upgrade or replace your electrical and plumbing systems (including your septic tank) for increased use and to prevent frozen or burst pipes.
How Much Will It Cost?
You will need to get a formal quote from a contractor for all the updates. To be safe, always have extra money available in the case during the renovation there is a problem. You will also need to budget for permit costs as some renovations might be considered new constructions. Or if your cottage was built before new building codes you will need to bring your cottage to code before continuing the renovations.
How Will Winterizing Impact The Cottage’s Insurance?
Before starting renovations on your property, you should speak to your insurance company. Transforming your cottage into an all-season property might affect your coverage and your premium. You might also not be covered during renovations, requiring you to get additional insurance.
What Will The Return On The Property Be?
To get a formal quote, ask your real estate agent to calculate the current value of your property plus the additional renovations. But to give you a quick estimate, winterizing your cottage could add 5-15% on your list price. This will also depend on what the access to the cottage is like. For example, if your cottage is on an island or if the driveway is long, winding and unpaved the return could be reduced.
If the list price suits you and you have the available funds, then we encourage you to make the renovations. If the money is not there and the return isn’t worth it, do not worry. Cottages sell whether winterized or not. A winterized cottage is a bonus but if the return isn’t worth the investment put your money towards other renovations that will. For more information on how Knowledge Broker can help sell your cottage click here.
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