Renovating your home is a great way to add value – however, you need to take care that you don’t fall into some traps that could land up having the opposite effect – devaluing your property.
Planning is key. Many of us cannot afford to do everything that we want to all at the same time – so a master plan which lays out each phase is essential to avoid wasting money. A master plan will also help you to ensure that the final result will consistent in look and feel.
When deciding what to do, keep in mind those items that are likely to appeal to buyers:
- Opening up the house to the garden, patio or deck
- Bigger windows to take advantage of views
- Open plan living areas
- Updated kitchen with good cupboards, countertops and windows out to the garden
- Updated bathrooms with contemporary tiling and bathroom accessories
- Home office space
- Second living room/family room
Things to avoid will include:
- Over-capitalising. Do your research and understand the market value in your area. Plan your renovations and budget so that you don’t over capitalise.
- Make sure that any extensions to the home are in character with the original architecture and finish of the home.
- Putting in really expensive fittings and fixtures such as taps, tiles, door handles can blow your budget and may not be to a potential buyer’s taste.
- No usable outdoor space - the trend today is for outdoor living – create a patio, playground, barbecue area
- Removing established trees. A large attractive tree could add $10 000 to $ 15 000 to the resale value of a home in some areas.
- Illegal building. The cost of making an illegal extension comply with regulations could be as much as $30 000, and a savvy potential buyer will discount the value of your property accordingly.
- Using unlicenced tradespeople. Builders, tilers, plasterers, architects, designers, plumbers and electricians hired should be licenced and registered, ensuring that you will be legally and financially covered should there be a problem with the job. You can check trade licences and registration with your local government authority.
Keeping the above in mind will assist you to add real value to your home, and ensure that you are able to move up the property ladder successfully and cost-effectively.