Major renovations and add-ons are unlikely to give you the returns you might expect when it comes time to sell your home, according to Marlies Kappers, head of marketing at financial services provider, DirectAxis. She advises that estate agents generally agree there is a ceiling on prices in most neighbourhoods, so over-spending on improvements is unlikely to drastically increase your value. Instead, consider smaller cosmetic changes.
Lindsay Beck, Pam Golding branch manager for the southern suburbs, has some helpful tips on cost-conscious
Keep it simple
Find small ways to improve that make a big difference. For instance, a fresh lick of paint can bring an old room up to date and create a sense of style and elegance – and it’s a lot cheaper than remodelling. Other cost-saving tricks include sanding and revarnishing wooden floors instead of laying new ones, and fitting perspex or stainless-steel splashbacks in the kitchen, avoiding custom-made features.
Cultivate ‘kerb appeal’
Kerb appeal is a term coined by estate agents, and refers to what would make someone decide to stop and view a
show home, instead of driving past it.
Giving your home kerb appeal is more about putting in some work than spending a fortune. Things to work on include a neatly painted exterior, clean windows and a neat garden. Give yourself ideas by driving around the neighbourhood and considering which homes you’d like to view, and what it is that makes them more appealing than other, similar homes.
Have an eye for details
Kitchens and bathrooms often show signs of wear and tear, which can create a scruffy, unhygienic appearance.
Keep your tiles, grouting and showers sparkling clean, as these are details prospective buyers will notice. Check your ceilings and walls for any signs of mould, too.
Repair before renovating
Maintaining your home and repairing small issues that could become expensive later is just as important as renovations. Staying on top of home maintenance and spotting potential problems before they become expensive
is important. ‘A shiny new kitchen may not be enough to offset broken gutters and a green swimming pool,’ says
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Put together a realistic plan with goals you can meet. Take on one problem at a time to keep it manageable and
affordable. Taking on too much could result in running out of funds and having to sell your home with unfinished rooms.
Having your home inspected for issues like electrical compliance, rising damp and dry rot before you sell may seem
counterintuitive, but it’s better to know about any problems before the contract is on the table. Leaving the inspection
until later could mean losing money on the sale, or losing the buyers altogether. It’ll also give you time to address
problems on your own terms, instead of having to deal with them under pressure, which may add costs.
‘When it comes to adding to the value of your house, less is more. Have a plan, do a bit at a time and think about the things that will add the most appeal at the least cost. Remember that upgrading is better than overhauling,’ says Lindsay.
COMPILED BY CAITLIN GENG PHOTOS: FOTOLIA.COM