When purchasing a new home, buyers are offered many upgrades to choose from. Even when purchasing an existing home, there is the opportunity to make your own renovations and upgrades to the existing amenities.

The dilemma for new home buyers is to know which of those upgrades will be worth their while (and extra cost). Based on industry research and estimated returns on investment, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten upgrades that pay off at resale.

1. Landscaping:
The saying “never judge a book by its cover” often does not work with homes. Spruce up the front yard to improve that first impression and welcoming feeling for potential buyers!

2. Exterior Improvements:
Further to improvements of the natural outdoor appearance on your property, exterior improvements can and should be made to the house itself. Paint, new siding, replacement awnings for windows and doors, and furniture additions to a patio are all small changes that can make a big impact.

3. Minor Remodeling of the Bathroom:
Changes to the bathtub, shower, tiles, floor, toilet, sink, vanity and light fixtures can make a used bathroom look fresh and new again – a feature that homebuyers appreciate.

4. Minor Remodeling of the Kitchen:
As styles come and go, kitchens remain the heart of the house. Keep the kitchen stylish and functional to ensure future buyers will see its value! To keep the costs low you can repaint cabinets instead of buying new ones, upgrade appliances with gently-used ones, and upgrade light fixtures and window coverings to improve the bright and open feeling of the room.

5. Updating a Small Room to Add Functionality:
Those small extra spaces that seem to go unused can be sold as a functional space if you show them that way – turn unique nooks and crannies into home offices, nurseries, or anything creative you can dream up that the next purchaser may appreciate!

6. Replacement Windows:
Windows brave all the elements – especially when they’re living through Canadian winters. Replacing these in a home and liven up the space and even the efficiency of the home, especially when adding new technologies that will lower the heating and cooling costs for future owners.

7. Bedroom Updates:
Little things like chandeliers, drywall, new wallpaper (or even just a steam for current wallpaper), ripping out carpet or staining hardwood floors completely refresh the look of one of the most important rooms in the home.

8. Deck, Patio or Porch Addition:
For the home that has the space, but is lacking livability in the backyard, a deck, patio or porch addition is a great feature to the home. For those handier homeowners (or homeowners with handy friends!), a handmade deck is the cost-efficient way to go.

9. Basement Remodel:
Basements are often large spaces that go unused in homes – make the home that much more attractive at resale time by giving the potential purchaser extra space to use.

10. Fireplace Mantels:
Have an outdated fireplace mantel in one of the central rooms in the home? Replace with a new wood or stone mantel for a relatively low portion of your remodeling budget.