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If you're considering a bathroom update, you're probably familiar with the typical approaches, such as replacing a countertop or toilet, or removing all the fixtures and finishes to complete a floor-to-ceiling renovation.

 

However, there is another, far less expensive way to make an older bathroom look brand new: using overlays.

 

An overlay is simply a new surface applied over an existing one. For example, instead of replacing an old and worn bathtub – which is costly – you can purchase an overlay system (called a tub liner) that fits on top of the existing bathtub. It's a little like giving your tub a facelift!

 

You can do the same thing with your bathroom countertops and floors.

 

Overlays come in a wide variety of styles and finishes – some of which can make your bathroom look significantly more upscale. Compared to a major renovation, the installation of overlays is relatively straightforward. A tub liner installation, for example, can be done in a day.

 

You can learn more about overlays at your local home improvement centre and at specialty bathroom showrooms.

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Have you ever attended an "Open House" advertised in your area or in a community you like? Most people have. Even if you're not serious about moving, viewing a few properties in a neighbourhood you like is a great way to get a sense of the market.

 

Who knows? You might stumble upon your next dream home!

 

To get the most out of an open house, follow these guidelines:

  • Most open houses will have a handout available containing the list price and other property information. Be sure to keep a copy.
  • Don't just view the rooms. Explore the entire property, including the backyard.
  • Don't be shy about asking the listing agent (or whoever is hosting the open house) questions about the property.
  • Ask about the area. Are there schools nearby? Where is the nearest park or playground located?
  • Ask about potential required repairs and renovations. For example, if the furnace is more than 15 years old, it may need to be replaced soon.
  • Walk around the neighbourhood. Try to get a sense of what it's like to live there. If possible, chat with a neighbour.

Finally, if you become interested in the home, be sure to advise the listing agent that your own REALTOR® will be following up. Otherwise, the listing agent might assume that he or she will be representing you.

 

Looking for a good REALTOR® to have by your side? Call today.

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