- The most valuable aspects of a home
Renovating for a profit looks easy enough on television but in real life, it’s a science that takes research and practice to perfect.
Buyers agent Patrick Bright of EPS Property Search says renovators looking to make a profit should aim to achieve an average of $2 return on every dollar spent over the course of a home reno. The big question is ‘how?’
Here are some expert tips on renovating to add value in 2016 and beyond.
Open plan v privacy
Open-plan living is a feature demanded by most buyers. However, Bright says, “there is such a thing as being too open and having no definition”.
“I’ve seen some renovations where they’ve just ripped out a second lounge room and opened it right up with the rest of the house. It’s not really the wisest thing to do, as you’re reducing your total living space.”
Bright advises home-owners with multiple interior living spaces to combine two areas as an open-plan area and strategically renovate additional spaces as a separate, private retreat.
Following this simple renovation rule of thumb, Rhoni Whitelaw and her partner recently renovated their 140-year-old, three-bedroom Glebe property purchased in late 2012.
The couple swapped the bathroom and kitchen on the ground floor and opened up the dining areas to create a multipurpose eating area filled with light.
Upstairs, the renovators had the same option of creating open-plan living, but instead opted to “keep the lounge room-sitting area to provide a private space in the house”.
“We are part of a bigger family, so we wanted to create spaces where you could enjoy family time and have private space,” says Whitelaw.
Recreating the outdoors
The Sydney-based couple also renovated to connect their outdoor space to their new interior eating area on the ground floor, by installing bifold doors opening from their kitchen out onto their small backyard. An awning was installed to provide shelter outside.
Melinda Woodford, stylist at online homewares retailer TheHome.com.au says all things being equal, this move should add value to the property as buyers demand courtyards that are “an extension of the home”.
Another way to boost the value to an outdoor space is to add shrubbery.
“If you don’t have green fingers, some lush plants in colourful pots will go a long way in making the outdoor space inviting,” Woodford says.
Adding shrubs or trees at the front of a house, and even a pathway to the property, will also add extra value if done well, as first impressions count.
Renovators with large outdoor areas are encouraged to “re-define” smaller parts of the space to boost the purchase price of the property.
“If you have one big paved or grass area, break it up and put a pergola over one part of it so that it is a defined entertaining area,” says Bright. “And if you’ve got room to do it, whack in a built-in barbecue, so that the space becomes a ‘barbecue entertainment area’.”
Other outdoor amenities to increase the value of your home:
- A small pool plunge pool that is part of the outdoor living room.
- A carport.
- Super-tidy garage spaces, with painted floors for your car and built-in storage space.
- An outdoor kitchen.
- A remote controlled garage.
- An automated louvre roof instead of a pergola.
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