Your home is a place to crash, relax, celebrate and live. But it’s also something that can help you build wealth and equity. A home is likely the largest purchase you’ll make in your lifetime, so ensuring that it increases in value over time and becomes a smart investment is a critical part of homeownership. Learn more about what affects the value of your home and how you can take an active role in increasing it yourself.

Factors That Increase Your Home’s Value

There are certain factors that will increase the value of your home. If you can learn how to leverage these factors, you can focus on the areas that matter most when it comes time to sell your home.

Characteristics Of Expensive Houses In The Neighbourhood

The easiest way to learn more about what increases the value of homes in your area is to do your research. Look into the most expensive homes that have sold in your neighbourhood and make a list of what they have that your home doesn’t. While you won’t be able to add in three extra bathrooms and an indoor pool, there may be some other desirable upgrades that are more easily integrated into your existing space.

Quality Vs. Quantity

It’s no secret that buyers would rather have two beautifully renovated bathrooms than three subpar ones that require more work. Focus on making quality changes as opposed to taking on a wild amount of small projects for the sake of checking off a list. Make sure all of your choices start with a desire to focus on quality, and that should steer you in the right direction.

Determine How Long You’ll Be Staying In Your Home

Part of this process requires asking yourself the tough questions like, “How long do I plan on living here?” Once you know if this is your forever home or a home that’s meant to transition you elsewhere, you can then determine if your upgrades need to add value for you in the short- or long-term or only for future buyers. If you plan to move in the next year or so, you can choose to invest in upgrades that will add value when your home hits the market. If you plan to be there for years to come, you can choose to invest in upgrades over time that will add value to your space for your benefit.

What Are Buyers Looking For?

The mistake that some homeowners make when trying to increase value is focusing solely on what they want as opposed to what buyers are looking for in the market. It’s all about finding the balance between what upgrades you’ll enjoy as the current owner and what new owners may be looking for down the road. COVID-19 has forced us all to really look at how we use our homes to live, work and play. Be sure to keep in mind current trends – like open space living, “smart” features and functional work-from-home offices – so you can make sure your upgrades will still be valuable 5 –10 years down the road should you decide to sell.

Home Improvement Ideas To Increase Home Value

There are certain improvements you can make to your home that will have a positive impact on its value. Understand the impact of your home improvement options so you can select the projects that best suit your space, needs and intended final result.

House Exterior/Remodelling

The outside of your home is the very first thing buyers see, either in person or online. Make sure their first impression is as positive as possible by investing in exterior upgrades that will help increase your curb appeal and pique the interest of potential buyers. This project entails walking out to the edge of your property and taking a look at what parts need some TLC. Make sure your front door looks welcoming, your gutters are clean, your fence is freshly painted and your driveway/paths are power-washed.

You can take this project on yourself, just be prepared to put in the cash for supplies and manual labour required to achieve the end results.


Improving your landscaping can have a big impact on your curb appeal and overall home value. This project entails tasks like trimming back hedges/shrubs, cleaning up garden beds by adding mulch or rock, making sure the lawn is mowed and leaves are raked and ensuring unsightly weeds are pulled.

If you have the ability to do so, you can definitely take this project on yourself, but it’s very much dependent on the season. You’ll likely need to invest in purchasing some gardening supplies like mulch, rocks and tools as well as potentially colourful plants to help brighten up your space.

Painting Walls

A fresh coat of paint can have a huge impact on a space. Over time, walls can start to look tired, faded and scuffed. Purchasing some paint and making time to recoat your walls can help hide unsightly markings, dents, dings or previous nail holes while breathing some fresh air into your space.

You can absolutely take it upon yourself to complete this project by purchasing paint and the necessary painting supplies. Just be careful which colours you choose and how you apply them. If you’re uncomfortable painting or making decisions regarding colours, you may want to seek out professional help to ensure you end up with a sleek and improved end result that will add value to your home.

Kitchen Renovation

If completed correctly, a kitchen renovation can have a huge impact on the value of a home and how it functions. Not every homeowner has the necessary budget or space to start knocking down walls and creating a magazine-worthy remodel. You don’t need to approach a kitchen remodel with an “all or nothing” mindset –  there are plenty of smaller upgrades and changes you can make that will help you add value. Upgrading outdated countertops, refacing cabinets, adding new cabinet hardware, changing out your facet and sink, changing your backsplash, updating lighting fixtures and painting the walls can have a great impact on the space without requiring any huge construction undertaking.

If you have the budget and space, absolutely consider a full kitchen remodel as it can add a lot of value to your home!

Bathroom Remodel

We spend so much time in the bathroom that a quick remodel of these spaces can have a great impact on your home’s value. The goal with a good bathroom renovation is to create a functional space (regardless of how small) that’s clean, fresh and welcoming. None of us enjoy hanging out in the bathroom, but who says we can’t if the space looks nice enough?

Consider upgrading the floor and wall tile, removing a bathtub insert to tile up to the ceiling, changing out the vanity and countertops, upgrading fixtures and hardware and making sure you have nice lighting. Opt for anything that’s sleek, easy to clean/maintain and appealing to a wide range of buyers.

Smart Home Technology

Buyers love smart features in a home, like thermostats, carbon monoxide detectors, doorbells, security cameras and lighting. While these features don’t technically add value to your home, they don’t cost a lot of money and can increase appeal and interest while also helping your home stand out among other comparables in the market. Anyone who loves technology is likely going to pay more for these features, so if you plan to invest in this area, make sure you talk it up in your listing when it comes time to sell.

Low Maintenance Required For Appliances

Doing a check of all your major appliances and upgrading accordingly is a great way to add value to your home. Buyers are much more likely to feel at ease knowing a homeowner has recently upgraded and inspected things like the water heater and furnace, which can add a huge, unexpected cost to their bills if something were to go wrong. Whether you’ve never had a problem or you tend to have reoccurring issues with certain appliances, take the time to have them inspected and/or repaired to remove that burden from the potential buyer and increase your home’s value.

Energy Efficiency

Incorporating energy conservation features can have a positive impact on the value of your home. Not sure where to start when it comes to energy efficiency? You may want to consider improving your attic insulation, switching to LED lighting and investing in new double-paned windows. If you’re looking for more insight into energy efficiency, you can reach out to a certified energy auditor or your utility company to learn more about how you can better conserve energy and add value to your home in the process.

Housing Additions

Square footage has a very big impact on the value of a home. Bigger homes most often have more perceived worth, and buyers tend to notice and appreciate an increase of square footage. Adding an additional room or section onto the home that serves a specific purpose can add value in the same way as a fully renovated basement. If you’re considering adding onto your home to serve a current purpose, consider if that purpose adds enough value to offset the cost or if it can be transitioned into something different that appeals more to buyers when/if it comes time to sell in the future.

Adding value to your home doesn’t need to be complicated. Focus on the areas that are most likely to help you get a return on your investment while improving your current living space and adding value for the future. If you’re considering home improvements to add value to your home, be sure to connect with a real estate agent in your area to learn more about your options and current market trends.