Best renovations to boost ROI

If you do only one thing, according to a new report from and BMO, painting inside and out should be it. That low-cost investment tops the list of key renovations guaranteed to up cash flow for landlords and property values for investors looking to cash out.

Other top performers include the ever-popular kitchen refurb, bathroom remodeling and replacing doors and windows.

The latest Annual BMO Home Renovation Report shows fewer Canadians are planning home renovations this year, but they are focused on projects with the greatest returns. Half of Canadian homeowners (51 per cent) plan to renovate their homes in the next year, compared with 62 per cent in 2011.

"Making home upgrades can add significant value to a home; however, it's crucial that homeowners consider the financial implications involved," says Laura Parsons, mortgage expert, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Renovation projects come in different shapes and sizes and vary in return on investment."

Renovation Hit list:

Painting: When done well and with taste, applying a fresh coat of paint to the interior or exterior of a home is a simple way to realize gains on your renovation investment.
Return: As much as 300 per cent.

Kitchen remodeling: A kitchen renovation can be one of the most costly home improvement projects. However, careful planning, budgeting and shopping will help minimize expenses. Consider aspects such as whether or not the project is in line with the style and quality of the rest of the house and neighbourhood.
Return: 68-120 per cent.

Bathroom addition/remodeling: A bathroom addition should be a top priority for those looking to add value to a home with only one bathroom. This is particularly true if neighbouring homes feature multiple bathrooms. Additionally, upgrading an outdated bathroom will also bring significant value to a home. Return: 80-130 per cent; 65-120 per cent respectively.

Window/door replacement: Replacing inefficient windows or doors can be an excellent use of your home improvement dollars, as they refresh the esthetic and also help to keep energy costs down. Stick to standard styles; odd shapes and highly customized arrangements do little for resale value.
Return: 50-90 per cent.

Deck addition/improvement/expansion: Decks are one of the few exterior improvements with any significant return, apart from painting.
Return: 65-90 per cent.


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