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Blog by Linda M Linfoot

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Make Sure Renovating your Home is for the Right Reasons

Thinking of renovating? Make sure it’s for the right reasons.

Canadians still seem to have the reno bug – if a recent homeowners study is accurate. According to the report, Canadians are planning on spending $46 billion on home renovations in 2011 – up from $45.3 billion in 2010.

If you’re thinking about joining the masses and improving your home this year, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons – or you could be flushing unnecessary funds down the proverbial toilet.

As an example, many homeowners don’t realize that every renovation isn’t guaranteed to show them a return – and most of them won’t even make you your money back when it comes time to resell. According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada, only interior and exterior painting, kitchen and bathroom renovations have the potential to achieve a 100% return on investment.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t renovate other parts of your home – you just shouldn’t do them with the sole purpose of making money upon resale. Instead, focus on home improvement projects that will actually improve your home – and your quality life while you plan to live there. A basement renovation, for example, might be a necessity if your growing family needs some extra space. Installing energy efficient windows can also help you save a lot of money on heating and cooling costs, if you’re planning to be around long enough to reap the rewards.

If you find yourself in a strong buyers’ market right now – and you need to sell quickly – then you may have to forego some of these rules. After all, if every house for sale on your block has hardwood flooring, and your home only has 20-year-old carpet, you might have to bite the bullet and spend a bit of cash upfront if you want your home to sell for top dollar.

If you’re wondering how much of a return on investment your coveted renovation project might get you, check out The Appraisal Institute of Canada’s calculator . Above anything else, avoid launching an expensive renovation project just to keep up with the Jones’s – especially if it’s going to launch you into debt. No granite countertop is worth that!