Renovating a house can present a real quandary for some homeowners. The decisions about which parts of the house to renovate and which to avoid in order to give you the best longevity and future buyer interest can be hard ones to make, particularly if you plan on selling the property at some point in the short to medium-term. But here are some basic guidelines that will ensure your renovated property retains its appeal for years to come and continues to strike a chord with buyers.
Kitchens and bathrooms
The most common renovations – and among the easiest to add value with – are upgrades to your kitchens and bathrooms.
Nelson Alexander Carlton North agent Charlie Barham says bathrooms and kitchens can be improved relatively cheaply, without needing to overhaul the entire space. “If you’re looking to sell and make changes, you can very inexpensively update kitchens and bathrooms just by changing cabinetry and tapware,” he says.“Kitchens and bathrooms are the two that definitely add value and can make an unrenovated house look renovated.”
A lick of paint goes a long way
Some may not call it a renovation, but painting the interior (and potentially the exterior) of a property is one of the most inexpensive ways to immediately add significant value to your property, and keep it that way.
Barham says a coat of paint – usually in neutral colours – can give a home a ‘renovated’ look that will maintain its appeal for years to come. “From a sales point of view, painting a house can change a house dramatically. It’s amazing what painting can do,” he says.
Go for timeless
Barham’s agency last year sold a Carlton terrace that was renovated some years ago. But the careful selection of fittings, colours and features that appealed to most potential buyers meant it stood the test of time and retained its allure as a renovation. The property fetched more than $1 million above its reserve price, selling for $5.46 million at auction.
Barham says the key is to avoid ultra-modern statements that will polarise buyers or might be out of fashion in quick time. “Keep it timeless and don’t do anything that’s going to date, or doesn’t suit the style of the home,” he says. “A lot of people are buying black handles and black taps at the moment, which I wonder whether they’ll still be in fashion in a few months’ time. You can appropriately modernise while staying away from that on-trend style.” “I wouldn’t be watching The Block or going on Instagram and finding the hottest, latest kitchens or ideas that this time in six months will look old and tacky. It’s keeping it timeless and keeping it appropriate to the style of the home.
Nail the floorplan
Most renovations don’t involve alterations to the layout, but if you’re undertaking a full renovation or adding another storey to the home, getting the floorplan right is critical. Barham says it’s important to appeal to the broadest market possible, as well as catering for the cashed-up downsizer market. Most renovations don’t involve alterations to the layout, but if you’re undertaking a full renovation or adding another storey to the home, getting the floorplan right is critical. Barham says it’s important to appeal to the broadest market possible, as well as catering for the cashed-up downsizer market.
“Homes that have got a second-storey extension that have a master bedroom downstairs are very popular with downsizers,” Barham says. “They can essentially lock away the top half of the house and keep that for family and friends, and live downstairs. So having a well thought-out floorplan, particularly in areas that are becoming more downsizer-driven, will have better returns in the long run.”
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