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Budget-friendly tips to increase your home’s value


You love your home. It’s your biggest asset, so taking good care of it is one of your highest priorities. By keeping up with the repairs and making smart improvements & upgrades, you increase your home’s value over time. Then when it’s finally time to sell, your home will stand out in the market and get the greatest return on your investment.

Whether you’re planning to sell or you simply want to build equity in your home, these budget-friendly home upgrade tips are for you.

Tip 1: Get expert opinions

Home design professionals, like realtors and designers, know how to transform a home into something everyone wants to live in. So before you spend any money on renovations, invite a real estate agent or interior designer to check out every room in your home. For all major renovations, you should always contact your home insurance provider to ensure that you have the right coverage.

They’ll study your flooring, kitchen appliances and counters, bathroom, fixtures, lighting, blinds and curtains, and even furniture placement. If you need a furniture refresh but you're on a budget, BCAA Members save an extra 5% at Bouclair. Then they’ll give you a healthy to do list (including recommendations for paint colours, appliances, and furniture) that matches your budget with affordable upgrades that won’t break your bank. Many realtors will do this as a courtesy, and you may have to pay an hourly consultation fee to a designer. Even better, your realtor will typically know good contractors they trust and can recommend painting crews and contractors who can build or install new closets, blinds, cabinets, and fixtures.

Pro tip from a Vancouver realtor: focus on the first rooms that buyers see when they look at your listing and walk through your door. If the first room they see is your kitchen, then that’s the first room to improve on your to do list. Don’t have a realtor? You can find a local real estate agent through the BCFSA.

two women discussing bills over laptop

Tip 2: Get an inspection

Live in an older home? Get an inspector to search for problems that aren’t cosmetic. A professional home inspection is crucial to keep you safe and secure and keep your property in great shape. When you hire a home inspector, they’ll check for hidden things that need fixing, like deteriorating roofs and shingles, mold, rot, corrosion, pests and termites, windows & doors, and outdated or failing electrical systems. Find the tools you need to maintain your home at Home Hardware where BCAA Members earn 2% in CAA Dollars online.

An inspector may discover hidden concerns that could negatively impact your home's value. For example, a small hidden water leak could quickly become a big and expensive problem. Just like dental work, the longer you delay your home repairs, the more expensive those repairs will become. You can find a BC home inspector through the Home Inspectors Association of BC.

Tip 3: Paint it

A fresh paint job is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to improve your home—and it’s one of the first things buyers notice when they look at your real estate listing. A newly painted condo or house will look fresh, clean, and modern, and that all equals value. But which colours should you pick? Your realtor or interior designer will have strong ideas on which colours will make your home come to life, and they’ll tell you to avoid colours that will make your home dark and dreary. Save money by looking for the recommended shade at your closest Cloverdale Paint where BCAA Members save 25%.

If you’re thinking of selling soon, your realtor or interior designer will advise you to pick neutral colours, as they appeal to the greatest number of buyers. Do take their advice on what colours to paint in each room, as they’re giving you colours to match and complement your furniture, appliances, and lighting.

Popular neutral colour options include:

  • Grey
  • White
  • Charcoal
  • Light blue

To paint it yourself, follow these 10 steps to painting walls like a DIY pro, courtesy the experts at Architectural Digest. The Canadian Paint and Coatings Association offers more tips to do your own painting and transform your home.

woman painting a wall

Tip 4: Redesign it

You can avoid paying for an interior designer by getting inspiration from design magazines, inspiring interior design books, design and remodeling TV shows, and interior design websites, including Apartment Therapy and HGTV’s inspiring photo gallery.

Track all your favourite ideas by tearing pages out of design magazines and making a mood board on a big corkboard. If you want to keep it digital, create a digital Canva mood board or a Pinterest board where you can pin your favourite design pages and photos.

Tip 5: Boost your bathroom

Bathrooms are forever high on buyers’ lists. Investing in a bathroom overhaul is one of your best ways to increase your resale value. Here’s a DIY bathroom remodel to do list that includes small improvements like:

  • Re-caulking your tub
  • Replacing your vanity
  • Replacing your old shower head and faucet

Of course, once you change a few things, you might want to improve them all. For even bigger improvements, buy a new tub or refinish your existing tub, and get a contractor to install new flooring and wall tiles.

woman at a fixture shop trying out faucets

Tip 6: Clean and clear it up

Cleaning and decluttering is the least expensive and easiest thing you can do to help speed up the sale of your home. Buyers want to imagine their own furniture in your home—and they don’t want to see, or step over, mounds of stuff as they tour your place on their computers or in person.

Clear out your closets and storage areas to make your home feel roomier and make it easier for a buyer to picture themself living in your home. Here’s how to clean your home. You can follow Marie Kondo’s advice on how to tidy up and balance home and work life. Set up a designated area in your home where you can put items you no longer need, like books, clothing, electronics, furniture or kids’ toys, and get them ready to be sold, recycled or donated.

Tip 7: Make it energy efficient

One of the best home improvements you can make before selling is improving your energy efficiency. For example, you can add insulation to your home, replace your ancient appliances with more efficient ones, and stop the energy losses in your windows, skylights, and doors. Another great improvement is installing a water alarm, they work like smoke detectors but warn of water leaks from toilets, water heaters, overflowing baths and sinks. Some alarms even alert you on your smart phone when a possible water leak is detected or can even shut off the water to the appliance or the main water supply to your home

There’s a tax incentive to help you do this, too. The Canada Greener Homes Grant allows homeowners to get government financial support to make their homes energy efficient. Eligible homeowners in Canada can apply for grants up to $5,600 per home or $40,000 for deep retrofits.

So with some smart and efficient upgrades, you can reduce your electric bill, increase your tax return, and improve your resale value.

Tip 8: Insure it

If you are doing significant home renovations, be sure to call your insurance provider to determine if an update to your policy is required.

As BC’s Most Trusted Insurance brand, from 2019 to 2020, BCAA paid out on average 95% of home insurance claims related to fire, water, weather and theft. Home insurance gives you peace of mind that your property is protected from the unexpected, and ensures you keep the value you’ve built up. Visit bcaa.com/home to get a BCAA Home Insurance quote today. BCAA Members save up to 20% on Home Insurance, plus everyone saves 5% when they buy online.


Home Insurance is sold through B.C.A.A. Holdings Ltd. dba BCAA Insurance Agency, a licensed insurance agency, and underwritten by BCAA Insurance Corporation.