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Start the year with a fresh approach to home improvement

As we welcome the new year (and the new decade!), there is no better time to think about making a fresh start. While it may be a little late to make New Year’s resolutions, it’s never a bad time to prioritize improving your quality of life with tools for your home, your health, and your finances. We’re starting the year off with a three-part series to help guide you through this time of renewal.

First up, a fresh approach to home improvement that focuses on small but meaningful changes you can consider in 2020 to get more out of your life at home.

5 high-value home improvements

According to a survey of over a thousand Canadians conducted by HomeStars, only nine percent of us are planning to sell our homes within the next 12 months, while 64% of respondents are considering home renovation projects. If you have plans to make updates to your home in 2020, you’ll want to ensure that the projects you undertake are ones that will provide good value for your investment.

While exterior renovations may have higher rates of return, interior projects can have the most significant impact on day-to-day living. Here are five low-cost, high-value home improvements to consider, whether your home improvement plans are to spruce up the house for a quick sale or simply to stay where you are and live more comfortably:

  1. Exterior paint: It’s not the right time of year for outdoor work in most parts of Canada, but as you create your springtime to-do list, you’ll be glad you added painting to that list. Painting the exterior of the house can cost between $500 and $1,000 if you do it yourself, but it can add as much as $5,000 to the value of the home.
  2. Replace plumbing fixtures: Upgrading plumbing fixtures can be a considerable expense, but it doesn’t have to be. Even relatively inexpensive new fixtures can dramatically change the appearance of a room, and this home improvement project offers a return on investment of approximately five to six times what it costs.
  3. Add a fresh coat of paint: An underrated-but-valuable home improvement is that of a fresh coat of paint. How valuable? It’s estimated that freshly painted walls deliver an ROI of approximately 165%, apparently the highest of any home improvement project.
  4. New lighting: Like updated plumbing fixtures, new lighting fixtures have the potential to be quite expensive, but even lower-cost lighting fixtures will make a dramatic difference if the ones currently in your home are showing their age. Better still, if your upgrades include swapping out incandescent bulbs, you can save on your energy costs as newer LED bulbs use up to 75% less energy.
  5. Outdoor space: Adding outdoor living space can help you get more enjoyment out of your home while adding value to the property. Consider a project like adding a deck in the yard, which can have an ROI of 75% or more while providing you with more space to enjoy.

Though there is a range of cost and effort in these home improvements, they all have one thing in common: they can help you get more out of your home, whether you’re living in it yourself, or getting it ready for sale and trying to attract the highest bid. Once you have the projects that are best suited to help you get more out of your life at home, developing a budget for those improvements is the next step.

Budgeting for home improvement projects

A key consideration of any home improvement project is how to pay for it, especially since developing a budget and sticking to it is a hallmark of achieving good financial health. Of course, your personal financial circumstances will be a major deciding factor. Still, you can consider using one percent of your home’s value as a starting point for an annual home improvement budget. With an average home price in Toronto of over $800,000, that means setting aside approximately $8,000 each year for home repairs and improvements.

If you focus your attention on updates that can enhance or maintain the value of your home, it might make sense to use your home equity to help cover the cost. For example, a product like the Home Trust Equityline Visa provides the convenience and flexibility of a credit card while offering access to the equity in your home. Plus, you’ll receive added benefits, like 1% cash back on eligible purchases that you can factor into your budget for next year’s home improvement projects!

Visit our website today to apply and check back soon for the next post in the series!

This post is one of a three-part series to help you get a fresh start to the new year and the new decade. Visit the rest of the posts in the series: How to achieve success with realistic goals. A new approach to money for the new decade.


The information, materials and opinions contained in this Blog are provided for your information only. This Blog does not constitute legal, financial or other professional advice and you should not rely on it as an alternative to specific advice based on your particular circumstance. This Blog contains links to third party websites. These links are provided for information and convenience; Home Trust does not endorse the content of any third party website, and it makes no representation or warranty as to the information on such third party sites. By clicking on any link to a third party site, you leave Home Trust’s website and do so at your own risk. Home Trust disclaims all liability for any damage or loss that results from your access to or reliance on information contained in this Blog or any third party site.

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