Wednesday, May 15, 2013

DIY - Does it really add value to your home?

There are so many reality TV shows on DIY home renovations at the moment, and with the latest one House Rules kicking off this week, home renovations have never been more topical.

I have recently bought a house, and nearly everything in the property needs’s hard to know where to start! What do I make the priority? What renovations can I tackle myself and what renovations do I need a professional for?

These renovation shows make it look so easy…but what is realistically going to add value without over capitalising? 

There are a number of factors to consider before undertaking a home renovation project. The primary one – why do you want to renovate?   From our experience there are three main reasons why people renovate: 

Lifestyle. If you see yourself in the property long-term, then start by identifying what will add value for you. The most popular renovations are bathrooms, kitchens and outdoor living. These are also likely to add the most value to your property in the long run, because they are the first features buyers look at.

For Sale. If you are renovating purely to sell, then it’s vital you keep in mind designs that are compatible with all tastes so that you don’t limit your buyer pool. In this market, personally, I’d be wary of renovating just to sell. At Toop&Toop we have seen an increase in buyers looking for properties that they can do up themselves to “make their mark”. As a result we are seeing a trend of these properties going for a premium price.

To rent it out. For investors wanting to make a property appealing to potential tenants, what “adds value” is very different to the Lifestyle and For Sale renos. We suggest improvements such as a new coat of paint, new flooring, dishwasher, air-conditioning, etc. You will be surprised that it’s these small enhancements that are more likely to increase your rent potential than a lavish bathroom or kitchen!

Next -  analyse the costs of your DIY renovation. This is not just the renovation itself; it’s all the extra costs -  council fees, levies, insurance and the cost to of equipment, as well as materials you need to do the job. Unless you are an experienced handy man, it may be cheaper in the long run to bring in the professionals. 

And just before you pick up the shovel, it might be worth considering the option of selling your ‘renovator’s delight’ and buying something that is already finished. Sometimes this can be a more viable option…

So when it comes to DIY it’s important to know why you’re renovating, plan your budget and consider your limitations and don’t forget to have FUN with it - I know I can’t wait to get started!

Genevieve Toop

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