Reap the rewards of renovating your house

18th Feb 2015By: Greville Pabst

A renovation is often a strategic way to add value to a property. However, before a renovation can be deemed worthwhile, there are many things to consider, such as – how do sales of renovated properties in the local market compare with original condition properties? Is the block large enough to accommodate an extension or an additional dwelling? Are there any council restrictions regarding zoning, permits, or heritage overlays. And what features are important to buyers looking to take residence in the area?

Should sellers choose to renovate, the answers to these questions are important in selecting the types of renovation to undertake, and how much to spend on the project. There are numerous types of renovations that can add value to a property, some include:

  • Larger, modern kitchens – the large walk-in pantry is back
  • German appliances attract a premium
  • Large bathrooms – including ensuite, with a separate bath and shower and a frameless glass shower recess
  • Large, separate laundries. Concealed ironing boards, bench space and chutes can also improve this space
  • Restoration of a home’s period features
  • Modernising updates to a non-period or limited-appeal home
  • Refurbished floors – exposed timber, American Oak, ironbark and recycled attract a premium; large granite or porcelain floor tiles are also popular
  • Outdoor entertainment areas, including outdoor rooms and pergolas, outdoor strip heaters, and artificial, maintenance-free timber decking and lawns
  • Additional bedrooms
  • Additional living spaces, such as rumpus rooms, home theatre rooms, terraces and balconies
  • Vehicle accommodation – especially in inner-city areas. Basement car spaces attract a premium
  • Floorplan and layout changes, to increase functionality and flexibility and to capitalise on natural light.
  • Keyless entry, security systems, and high-end home theatre systems
  • Green features, such as underground water tanks, solar panels, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and low-maintenance gardens.

Kitchen and bathroom renovations are among the most common, as these rooms have a tendency to date quickly. A modern kitchen can be a desirable selling point of a home, and the number of bathrooms will often have a considerable influence on a property’s value.

Increasing a property’s physical floor space can also add considerably to its value, but often at significant cost. As such, buyers should ensure they research and plan well to avoid overcapitalising. Naturally, the cost of a renovation should not exceed the value added to the property.

When deciding to renovate, it is important to consider where the property is located, the type of property – i.e. house or apartment, whether it is likely to be a rental property or owner-occupied, and potential buyers or renter profiles. Put simply, sellers should renovate to their target market.

With real estate market activity heating up for the year, a well-researched and targeted renovation will maximise buyer interest, and assist sellers to achieve a fair price.