Dear Big Tuna

Dear Big Tuna- My husband and I recently came into a bit of money, not a lot, but enough that we would like to make some home improvements. We are long time residents of Aurora and are also considering downsizing in a couple of years. What do you recommend? Sincerely, Flower Lover

Hi Flower Lover, that is a great question! Every budget is different, but for all levels there are always some affordable options for home improvements to ensure you maximize your Return on Investment(ROI). A warning with improvements: these are not fool proof as they are subjective. A classic example is installing a backyard pool, typically this is a lifestyle decision for the family and not the next buyer. However; there are some areas that you can focus on that do improve both enjoyment and resale of your home.

A great place to start would be with a minor bathroom renovation. What is minor? Well, it can be as simple as changing the bathroom fixtures, painting, upgrading the lighting, changing the vanity and in some really dated homes remove the carpeting! Minor projects are those that do not require a lot of work and can be done in a weekend. This type of upgrade can often provide with over 100% ROI versus doing a major renovation. Major projects such as; removing walls, making the room larger, changing the location of shower, will yield about a 93% ROI upon resale of your home. The difference in return is due to increased costs in construction.

Two other big ROI improvements areas to consider are landscaping and outdoor entertainment spaces. Upgrading or improving the landscaping of your home typically will provide you with a 100% ROI. Adding or improving a deck or patio space will give you an average 90% ROI. These are popular options as they do not interfere with your indoor living space.

A word of caution, the ROI data is based on the “average” finishes I discussed. No matter what room or area you decide to spend your money on remember this golden rule: Do not spend more than necessary to get your investment back! It is a balance.

Flower Lover, if you are concerned with ROI rather than your enjoyment factor and if you’re not working with a Realtor; who can help advise you – call Big Tuna! – you can always go online and review previous sales that are comparable to your home and in your neighbourhood. I always tell my clients to consider the next buyer when preparing a home for resale. Unique and extravagant is not always best option!