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I am often asked what the value of different improvements are that people have done or intend to do to their home. This is a question without a precise answer however two things are important. Firstly realize that you will seldom get 100% or more return for your expense and secondly that not all improvements produce the same return.

for a graphic illustration from the Appraisal Institute of Canada. It describes the home value improvement as measured as a percentage of the expense. At the top of the list is renovations to the kitchen and bathrooms with a 64% to 68% return. At the low end, items like hot-tubs, pools, underground sprinklers and built-in vacuums produce a negligible return.

In all cases, part of the cost of the home improvement has to be taken back in use and enjoyment. If you renovate or add perks to your home don't expect the market to pay you back if you immediately sell. Be sure to stay in the home long enough to consume the use and enjoyment portion of that improvement expense.

There are certain things that you can do to improve the saleability of your home. These are things that are not big money items but are big visual issues. A clean home always sells better. In this way trim the lawn and hedges, wash or paint house trim, repair or replace front door, add some flowers for colour, weedkill the driveway, fix the fence, wash or paint interior walls... you get the idea. It's all about presentation, you won't see a car dealer selling a dirty or malfunctioning car, same reason when selling the house.