When the time comes to sell your home, it’s a good idea to freshen up the place a little. Some simple home renovations can improve the overall appeal of your property and ensure you get the best price when you sell.
The first thing to consider with any property is what kind of first impression it gives. Think about what improvements can be made at the front of the house to start with – the fencing, the garden, the entry - then move inside and make a list of what could be updated from room to room. Base your decisions on what you think will improve the emotional appeal of the property; this will become someone’s home after all, so the overall impact should be one of inspiration, that creates a desire to live there.
Home renovations are not just about building new rooms, but also about making general improvements. Even small, inexpensive changes can make a difference, so here are 5 renovation ideas for all budgets that can add value to your property and make sure that first impression counts.
1. On the Surface
There are plenty of small things you can do that will transform a space for very little cost. If the wall colours are ok, you can add some contrast by repainting skirting boards, window frames and door frames. Bathrooms often need attention, but a full-scale renovation is not always necessary. Replace small dark tiles with larger light coloured ones to open up the space and then change the shower heads and tap fittings to a more modern style.
If you have a little more room in the budget, changing the colour scheme of your home from dark colours to light colours, or even simply making everything one matching shade can make a huge difference - as can ripping up that old carpet and polishing the original floorboards underneath.
Modernising a 1970’s brick home is just a few tubs of render away – a simple DIY project that you and some friends could easily complete in a weekend (depending on the size of the house); and a freshly painted front fence and a little bit of landscaping can make the world of difference.
Many of these changes could be DIY, costing you little more than materials and time, but they will make a huge difference to the overall impact your property will make on potential buyers.
2. Home Comforts
The non-essential luxuries that improve our lifestyle have become a key factor in increasing selling prices for many inner city homes. A split heating/air conditioning system (which for many IS an essential) is a great addition to one or two rooms in the house, as are simple things like ceiling fans or heated towel rails.
Investing in new appliances and technology is often a great way to not only upgrade the property but to modernise a space such as the kitchen, without having to do a full renovation. Dishwashers, plasma TVs, video intercoms, washing machines, security systems, customised audio solutions from room to room – the list is endless. Choose high end brands to make the right impression, but keep your budget in check by looking for showroom display stock on sale, entry level models, or slightly damaged goods.
3. Outdoor Living
Creating an extra living area by renovating an outdoor space is a great way of adding value to your property, as well as improving its emotional appeal. Adding a timber deck off the back door, or even knocking out the kitchen wall and replacing it with French or bi-fold doors to the garden could be the first step. On a grander scale, the addition of a full outdoor kitchen is the Australian dream made real, with endless BBQs and time spent with friends and family to dream about.
4. Unique Opportunities
In a competitive market, sometimes the value can be created by offering something other properties similar to yours don’t have. Spare bedrooms aren’t always necessary so why not convert a spare room?
Work habits have changed considerably in recent decades, so to many home buyers a decent home office space is a necessity. If the room is positioned close to other living spaces, you could create an extra living space – a reading room or a comfortable sitting room that offers a TV free space for relaxing or enjoying time with friends. A formal dining space with wine storage or with a cocktail bar can be appealing for those who entertain a lot, or maybe a studio space for an artist or a musician to work from. Investing in some luxury recliners and a home cinema package can create a totally unique space that really sets your property apart from the rest. As can the addition of a few mirrors and some gym equipment for a home workout space.
5. Open Up
Lifestyles have changed and the open plan home has become a staple on the housing market in recent decades. Properties with separate kitchens or living spaces lock people away and have considerably less appeal so if you can open up any of the spaces in your property, consider making the investment, as the transformation will be well worth it.
Taking out a wall between a kitchen and a dining room to create an open plan family space will almost always improve the value or the house. It will also improve the spatial dynamics of the property as well as bring in more light and air. A small bathroom can take on day spa like vibes when opened up to combine with the separate toilet, or a large wardrobe space could be converted into an ensuite. Consider knocking down walls between two small bedrooms and adding a second bathroom, or a walk in closet or dressing room, to create a master suite or a parents’ retreat.
Remember, any changes you make should contribute to making a great impression and improving the emotional appeal of the property. The key thing to keep in mind is that the actual cost of the renovations creates a much higher perceived value than the budget you allocated. Make sure the choices you make regarding renovations will have a positive impact on your investment - you want bang for your buck, so that you can get the best price for your property.
Thinking of selling
The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.