Potential resale returns on various home improvements

People are often curious about how certain home improvements will affect the value of their homes. The chart of percentages displayed here presents some findings compiled by the Appraisal Institute of Canada from their 2008 membership survey. It is intended to give the homeowner a very general idea of the potential that certain improvements have in adding value to your home.

Sky lights 0-25%
Swimming pool 0-25%
Landscaping 25-50%
Fencing 25-50%
Brick walkways 25-50%
Home theatre 25-50%
Block paving 25-50%
Concrete paving 25-75%
Central air conditioning 25-75%
Deck 50-75%
New windows and doors 50-75%
New exterior siding 50-75%
Flooring 50-75%
Basement renovation 50-75%
Addition to dwelling 50-75%
Fireplace 50-75%
Garage 50-75%
Roof replacement 50-80%
Heating system/furnace 50-80%
Interior paint 50-100%
Kitchen renovation 75-100%
Bathroom renovation 75-100%
Energy efficient features Avg. 61%

Other considerations

  • Improvements that are commonly found in the area the home is located in will almost always deliver the highest returns.
  • Renovations in homes that have a lower market value when compared to other homes in the area generally see a higher return from home improvements.
  • Poorly done renovations have a smaller upward impact on the home’s value, and can actually have a negative affect on property value.
  • Renovations done on a home that is generally in poor repair overall have a minimal impact on its market value.
  • It’s rare that renovations recover their full cost in added value. Home owners should understand that there is some value associated with enjoyment of the improvement.
  • Not all improvements are created equal, even those that might fit in the same category. For instance, in a bathroom renovation a “spa type shower will add roughly 36% of it’s cost, while a Jacuzzi or whirlpool type tub recovers approximately 65% of its cost.

Asbestos in the home

Citizens of Canada’s are no strangers to asbestos problems. Used throughout the 20th century as a prominent building material and insulator, health hazards related to asbestos has affected millions worldwide. Highly regarded for its qualities as heat and fire resistant, homes, buildings, and other products built before 1980 could still contain asbestos materials.

If you are a potential homeowner or are seeking to remodel an older home, exposure can cause many health concerns for you and your family. If you are interested in living in a safe, healthy environment, free of health damaging materials, here is some information to get you on that track.

Asbestos exposure can cause a debilitating lung ailment known as mesothelioma. This asbestos-related illness is one of the hardest for physicians to diagnose for a variety of reasons. The disease typically has a latency period lasting anywhere from 20 to 50 years when it has already reached its later stage of development. Its symptoms also resemble many of other less serious conditions. Mesothelioma treatment is usually limited to a handful of procedures and results vary from patient to patient. If your home or jobsite has had asbestos removed, exposure may have occurred previously and receiving a medical checkup is of the upmost importance.

Health Canada offers assistance and information in the prevention, disposal and removal of asbestos. They are federally responsible for helping citizens maintain and improve health at home and the work place. Homeowners should not disturb any suspected asbestos themselves as this makes its fibers airborne. The inspection and removal of toxic substances must be performed by licensed abatement contractors who are trained in handling dangerous materials. They work under provincial and federal regulations to ensure no health concerns arise from improper removal.

Once the area is asbestos free, environmentally sustainable materials should be considered including cotton fiber, cellulose and lcynene, water based spray polyurethane foam that can reduce energy costs annually. With the constant growth in technology, there is absolutely no need for health damaging materials such as asbestos.

Click for a larger image displaying potential problem areas for asbestos in the home.

A qualified home inspector can often detect the presence of asbestos and other potentially dangerous products that may have been used in home construction over the years. Put “healthy living environment” for your family at the top of your “wants and needs” list when shopping for a new home.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon ranks high on Canadian Business best places to live list

Saskatoon ranks 17th out of 154 Canadian communities that are rated in the third annual Canadian Business, “Canada’s Best Places to Live” list.

This particular report weighs a number of factors including house prices, incomes, crime rates, employment, weather and lifestyle.

View the results here.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Rental construction initiative on Saskatoon City Council agenda

Saskatoon city council will consider recommendations being brought forward by its Administration for a “New Rental Construction Land-Cost Rebate Program” at the next council meeting on Monday April 7, 2008.

This forwarded to me by a reader from the “Council Agenda in Brief.” (no longer available)

“City Council will receive a report from Administration recommending that they adopt, in principle, the New Construction Land-Cost Rebate Program and that Administration prepare an implementation plan by June 30. The program proposes a land-cost rebate to all developers of new rental units in Saskatoon, provided these units are constructed within 18 months and they remain rental units for 15 years. A further requirement is that 20% of these units be targeted as entry-level housing, and would also be eligible for an additional land-cost rebate. The rebates would be between 50% to 75% of land costs in return for an expedient delivery of new rental units. The program target is the construction of 1,000 new rental units within a two-year period. During the past twenty years, Saskatoon has had little investment in new rental unit construction, and this proposed one-time incentive is required immediately to break the inertia on new rental unit construction.”

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

How rent controls in Saskatchewan can do more harm than good

There’s a bit of a debate occurring on another post about whether or not Saskatchewan needs to implement rent control legislation.

Few would disagree that this market is extremely tough for renters and it would be difficult to make a case that Saskatoon renters don’t need some help right now. Is rent control the right way to do that or does such legislation ultimately lead to greater harm in the rental market?

Here are some points gleaned from a policy paper written by William Tucker, author of “The Excluded Americans: Homelessness and Housing Policies. Please refer to the complete document to examine the evidence in support of his position.

  • Rent controls cause frustrated property owners to sell and redirect investment dollars to a multitude of other investment opportunities that exist in the free market, ultimately reducing the supply of rental housing.

  • Rent controls produce excess demand, which further reduces the stock of rental housing for those who need it most.

  • Rent controlled housing tends to come off of the market and stay off of the market forever. Renters just don’t move.

  • Rent controls create closed communities, which excludes newcomers from entering the market.

  • Rent controlled housing tends to fall into the hands of middle-class professionals, not the poor.

  • Rent controls provide an incentive for landlords to neglect property and tenants.

  • Historically, vacancy rates are significantly lower in rent controlled areas than they are in free and open rental markets.

  • Median rents tend to be higher in areas with rent control than in areas that aren’t controlled.

  • Rent controls reduce the quality and quantity of housing available to renters.

Standard supply-and-demand theory predicts that any price controls, including rent controls, will produce an excess of demand over supply–an economic “shortage.” There is virtually no disagreement on this premise. In a survey of 75 of the world’s outstanding economists, J. R. Kearl and his colleagues found nearly unanimous agreement on the proposition: “A ceiling on rents will reduce the quality and quantity of housing.”

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate