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

Flip This House exposed: The “unreal” side of reality TV

Flip this house exposed: the unreal side of reality tv

This is not exactly important real estate news but I couldn’t resist writing a small snip about this story.


It seems that the popular A&E reality program, “Flip This House” has run a number of episodes which amount to nothing more than a sham. Featuring self proclaimed “real estate developer” Sam Leccima, the episodes represent his renovation projects as having been sold for huge profits. As it turns out, most of them haven’t actually sold and at least one of them wasn’t actually renovated.


To make matters worse, it’s clear that Sam Leccima is the target of a number of civil suits from prospective investors who trusted him to invest their money wisely. One gentleman claims to have lost $100,000 to the smooth talking television celebrity.


A&E claims to have no knowledge of the sham and they have pulled all episodes which feature Leccima from their re-run schedule.


Thanks to Doug Quance for the heads up on this bit. Doug is an Atlanta based agent who has been on top of this home town story since October of last year when he noticed some of Sam’s sold properties were still listed for sale.

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

Women drive housing demand and hammer away at renovations

Women drive housing demand and hammer away at renovations

The “2007 Royal LePage Female Buyers Report” was released this morning.   The report which marries findings from a national consumer poll with anecdotal research examines buying habits of Canadian women.  Among some of the findings, the report found that women are playing an increasingly significant role in the real estate market.  In fact, of single women who are not yet homeowners, 31 per cent say they will potentially purchase their next home within three years and 30 per cent already own.


With a cheque book firmly in one hand and a hammer confidently in the other single female homebuyers of all ages continue to knock down barriers by purchasing real estate and tackling home repairs. Currently, 30 per cent of single, never-before married women own their own home, while 45 per cent of divorced or separated women and 64 per cent of widowed women are homeowners, according to the Royal LePage Female Buyers Report released today.


Click here for the media release and access to the entire report.

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

Keeping water out of your basement

Water out of your basement

It’s starting to look like spring has arrived. Following a winter with precipitation levels which were 40% above the average, and with plus zero temperatures predicted for most days over the next couple of weeks, it’s about to get wet. The City of Saskatoon has issued a warning that a little preventative maintenance is in order if you’d like to keep the spring melt off from ending up in your basement.

Here are the tips they’ve provided to prevent a basement flood.


  • Remove snow from around your foundation and window wells.
  • Most lots drain along the outside edges. Remove snow from these areas.
  • Keep the snow in your yard because shoveling it onto streets or lanes could block drainage.
  • Clear snow and ice from around the bottom of your downspouts and extend downspouts at least two metres so water drains away from your foundation.
  • Where possible and safe, help clear snow, ice, and debris from the catch basins in your area.
  • Check your roof and eaves troughs for excessive snow.
  • Consider hiring a professional to clear snow from your roof.
  • A roof rake may help you to clear snow and debris from the edge of your roof.
  • Consider using sandbags to block water from entering low lying areas beside your foundation.
  • If water is getting close to your foundation, use an appropriate pump to drain it to the gutter or back lane.
  • Please use all equipment properly and follow safety guidelines.

Best wishes for a dry spring.