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Today's Real Estate in a Nutshell

TODAYS REAL ESTATE IN A NUTSHELL

By Jay Lough Hayes, Sales Representative Re/Max Rouge River Realty Ltd. 705-772-1025

Bathroom renovations is one of the top five home renovations. Any real estate sales representative will tell you that bathrooms and kitchens sell homes. As long as a woman can waltz into a house, produce a healthy meal and wash the family in a clean environment, chances are that house instantly becomes a home and you have a sale.

I grew up on a farm in The Ottawa Valley, a typical farmhouse kitchen and an outhouse for those quiet times when you needed to be alone. No indoor plumbing; we upgraded to a flush toilet sometime when I was a teenager, living in the lap of luxury … running water inside the house. Our grandfather hooked up a motor to the handpump from the well to water the livestock long before we had running water in the house. And don’t even get me started on Ma Bell and our party phone line.

Years ago, my husband at the time, dropped the cap off a shampoo bottle during his shower. With the bottle cap lodged somewhere in the drain or plumbing, the water just sat in the bathtub.

With a “Help!!” call, my father-in-law showed up with tool box in hand. After yelling at my husband in Italian while standing in the kitchen below the bathroom, he deduced where the lodged cap should be. With crowbar and skill saw in hand, he removed the 100 year old kitchen ceiling. That $3.00 bottle of shampoo was going to get expensive. The ceiling, now on kitchen floor, exposed the bathroom plumbing. Copper plumbing, the expensive kind we can’t afford today, 2” copper drain. With the water shut off to the house and all plumbing from the 2nd floor drained, our expensive copper piping was cut open and the elusive bottle cap retrieved. But, not before we decided that while the kitchen ceiling was on the floor, we could and should replace the toilet with a new one and give it that modern look by angling it into the corner. Home Depot hadn’t expanded to Peterborough yet so Norm’s Cash and Carry got all our business. Of course, when this house was built, they never installed a bathroom window so, while everything was open, we had a new bathroom window installed. The old tub, heavy as the dickens, was lugged down the 100 year old hardwood stairs. Norm’s provided us with a lovely new tub complete with a drain stopper. Well, why not enjoy a new vanity and mirror while we’re at it? My Italian father-in-law proved to excel as a tile installer, laying down a lovely, white ceramic tile bathroom floor. New baseboard trim was painted and installed and after only 2 weeks of showering at the in-laws’ house, our bathroom reno was complete. Why stop there?

We must have been bored or crazy. It took another few weeks to renovated the kitchen. As luck would have it, while the 9 foot kitchen ceiling was down, we decided to lower it 12 inches. New drywall, tape, mud and paint looked pretty nice. So nice that we decided to replace the vinyl kitchen floor that was beat up when the ceiling was removed. New kitchen cupboards were installed complete with a new counter top. Why stop now? This calls for a celebration with fresh paint for the walls. Yippee! By the time all these renovations were completed, we decided to get married. If we could live

through this renovation business, we could live through anything. I found the perfect venue –a new (to us) house. We moved and enjoyed a beautiful outdoor wedding by our new pool.

Today we sell homes that have been upgraded to resemble a spa. Big fluffy white towels folded just so on heated towel racks, odd shaped sinks boasting magnificent taps and hardware, automatic hand soap dispensers, ceramic tile shower floors resembling little stones, marble flooring, waterfall walls, heated toilet seats, bidets, free standing bath tubs, floating vanities, open designs, and the list goes on.

Unfortunately too many homeowners will “make do” with the bathroom they originally purchase with the house and only when the time comes to move, do they renovate to sell. On average, homeowners spend from $20,000 for a midrange bathroom reno, and nearly $65,000 on an upscale bathroom. At resale, midrange renovations recoup 67.2% of their costs, while upscale renovations recoup 60.2%. Labour averages 50% of the total project price at about $65 per hour so if you can DIY, do, but if not, please, hire a professional. It’s so worth it!

Thinking of Buying or Selling in the Kawartha area? Call Peterborough Realty Inc. 705-745-4704