Forget kitchens and bathrooms, simpler renovations may be better

by Steve Randall28 Oct 2019

Investing in home improvements can make a big difference to the value of a home but it can also provide an ‘emotional return’ on investment.

But the things we generally think of as the best renovations to undertake may not provide as much of an emotional return as some simpler choices according to a new report.

The Appraisal Institute of Canada says that costly repairs and updates may add value but some projects provide greater levels of enjoyment.

“When you’re doing renovations, some of them have a different impact and it’s not always about value,” senior appraiser Dan Brewer told the Canadian Press.

An expensive kitchen or amazing bathroom may be the popular choices for renovations but enjoyment is likely to be higher from something as simple as a new garage door or adding decks.

And when homeowners are making changes to their property, the experts advise caution in making choices that are too personal.

Buyers tend to want decoration in neutral colours rather than bright statements and ignoring this could be costly by creating a lower-value perception or putting buyers off altogether.

Even adding a touch of luxury such as a swimming pool won’t necessarily provide a financial return on investment according to former CREA president Pauline Aunger.

“If you had two houses, side-by-side and they’re identical houses but one has a pool and one doesn’t, it doesn’t mean the buyer will pay $20,000 more for your pool,” she told the Canadian Press.


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