Value Add Home Improvements

If you have the funds to perform improvements on your home, you want to also consider the long-term payback in terms of increase in value and payback when you sell. So, what improvements get you the best return?


Adding Square Footage – although a quite significant project both in time and money, this can return between 50-83% of the initial investment.


A Deck – adding this brings more use and appeal to the outdoor space, and can return between 65-90% of initial investment.


Kitchen Re-Model – there is a sweet spot here, extremely niche styles with million dollar price tags don’t return. However, quality timeless appliances and finishes can get you a return between 50-120% of initial investment.


A New Bathroom – adding a bathroom, especially to a one bathroom home (typically older homes have a shortage of bathrooms) can return 80-130% of initial investment.


The most important thing to consider is who your future potential buyers may be. Make improvement that will be generally seen as increasing the appeal and livability of the home.

canadian cash in hand

Getting Over the Down Payment Hump

One of the largest barriers to entry into home ownership is saving enough cash for a down payment. Small every day expenses add up; and depending on the market you live in, rent may also be eating a significant portion of your income each month. You do have options; here are some ways you may be able to obtain the funds to put towards a home:


Save – Simple. Utilizing a Tax Free Savings Account, determine an amount to save each month that you believe is reasonable yet substantial enough to get you to your down payment goal. Set up automatic transfer into that accounts that line up with payday and bills.

Extra Income – Ever consider a side hustle or second job. Put 100% of this cash flow into your down payment.

Home Buyers Plan – Have money in your RRSP account? The Federal government will allow you to pull up to $35,000 from your RRSP account. Note, you have 15 years to return the funds back into your RRSP account.

Sell and Asset – If you have a valuable asset your willing to give up, sell it! Just make sure to establish a clear paper trail; get a receipt or signed bill of sale to legitimize the source of funds.

The Bank of Mom and Dad – This may or may not be possible. Parent may have built up some equity in their home they can access with a secured line of credit. If this is a gift, a signed gift letter stating so will be needed. If it is to be replayed, the payment must be included in your debt ratios used to qualify.