Build your own happy returns…
Even if you plan on staying put, it’s helpful to know that the money you spend renovating will bring a return. For our friends the property flippers, a return means short-term monetary gain and the thrill of the experience. For most renovators, improved lifestyle will be all the value they need for many years to come.
Following on from last fortnight’s blog post about renovating without blowing your budget, we acknowledge that cost is a key factor in home renovation decisions. Here are our thoughts on which projects provide the greatest return; increasing your home’s value, as well as your lifestyle value.
Start with the obvious
Kitchens, bathrooms and outdoor living areas sell homes in Queensland. They don’t have to be state-of-the-art; quality fittings and modern design are all it takes to appeal to buyers in most areas.
Think of the people
When we walk into a home, we imagine living there. We consider and often purchase based on the emotional connection. Of course, emotions run hot and cold, and you can’t appeal to everyone. So, we suggest looking at what other people are investing in, in your area. Do you live in a heritage suburb? People in your area are more likely to place emotional value on original fittings that keep with the style of the home.
Likewise, if you’re at the top-end of the market, you’ll get more of a return out of installing high-quality big brand appliances. Whether you’re renovating to sell or to stay – the changes you make will be influenced by the human need to fit in. We’re afraid to say it, but the adage of keeping up with the Joneses applies to renovation investment!
In saying that, you don’t need to end up with a carbon copy of the house next door. Be guided by what’s going on around you, and then add your personal touch. In small doses, the right buyer will also buy into the personal investment someone has put into a project.
Play to their aesthetic
Stump replacement, new wiring and plumbing are all things that make a house safe for its inhabitants, secure your asset, increase its liveability, and provide an investment in health. Unfortunately, if it’s not tangible and can’t be seen, it’s not going to give you bang for your buck in the short-term. The good news is, if you’re planning to renovate as part of a project, rather than piecemeal, these items will come at a lower price and cost of inconvenience. Get them sorted in the context of the big picture!
An instant visual appeal will give you a quick return if selling and a good feeling if you’re putting down roots. Remember, a home’s appeal starts before we set foot on the garden path. A new front door or gate, a neat retaining wall, a beautifully designed low-maintenance front garden, fresh paint and shiny new floors are all worthwhile investments.
Have great expectations
If you have a four-bedroom home, an ensuite is an expectation. The same goes for air conditioning in the main bedroom and living – particularly in Queensland. Ample storage is another deal-breaker. If it’s a problem for you, it’s likely to be an issue for a future owner. Solve it now, add value to your home and to your experience.
Open yourself to possibility
If there were one word we would use to guide your renovation, it is ‘open’. When you open your living spaces, you open your home to return on investment opportunities. No-one wants to live in a rabbit warren except rabbits!
If you’re adding a new deck or extension, make it a useable size – think about the average furniture most families have in this space and allow enough room to dance around it in the good times. Back in the day, a deck was a place to station your bbq; now it’s an extra room.
Probably the most important thing you can do to guarantee a return on your renovation investment is to enjoy the process. There’s no more valuable gain than a feeling of achievement and satisfaction.