When deciding which renovations to do prior to sale or a valuation (to release equity from your home), the most important thing to be aware of is which improvements will add the most “perceived value” to the property with the least expense. These are the improvements that are immediately noticeable, as well as highly valued by your potential buyers, but can be done at a relatively low cost.
After speaking to some renovation experts, here are their top 10 quick and affordable improvements that can be made to add instant value to your home or investment property:
- Whiten grout between tiles in bathrooms and resurface the bath: There are a number of cheap DIY products available that you can use to whiten the grout in your bathrooms – it will make a noticeable difference. It’s just colouring in with a white pen. Also, consider having the bath resurfaced rather than buying a new one.
- Fresh curtains and blinds: Blinds and curtains can be relatively inexpensive and can be an easy DIY job. To add extra warmth and style, use shutters or timber venetians, and then there are curtains to add luxury.
- Replace old yellowing electrical covers: While you’re at the hardware store, pick up some fresh, bright new covers for your light switch and power point covers – throw out the old yellowing ones covered in the kids’ fingerprints. Again quick and easy.
- Replace outdated fixtures: With one quick trip you can cheaply replace handles and knobs on doors, drawers and cupboards around the house, giving them a quick and easy facelift.
- Refresh or replace all doors: In particular, pay attention to the front door. Make an impressive entrance to the house. Repaint and add a new door handle.
- Replace light fixtures and add feature lighting: Replace dated light fittings with modern alternatives for an immediate update. Install new down lights. Also, feature lighting in the kitchen (over the island bench), in the hallway or in the bedroom can have a real impact.
- Add more light: Improving the lighting makes rooms look bigger and gives a cleaner, fresher look. Add a sunlight wherever possible, particularly in attic type areas or hallways.
- Refresh with Paint: Painting the interior can lift the mood of your house and it’s inexpensive if you’re willing to do the work. If within your budget, do the walls yourself and get professionals in to do the ceilings, can be hard going
- Rethink window treatments: Sometimes, you don’t realise how grubby a window is until it’s obvious. In the meantime, the dirt is building up and affecting the quality of light. Get the glass sparkling, check latches are working correctly and contact a glazier if any panes are cracked or need replacing. Window treatments aren’t something we change often in the lifetime of the house, so make sure you wait and save for the best quality you can afford.
- Landscaping improvements:
- Tidy up the front fence by weeding and cutting back any overgrowth.
- Trim the garden and remove all excess foliage and get rid of weeds.
- Consider removing any large trees out the front which obscure the house. Be sure to leave any good trees providing shade over play areas.
- Cutting edges around the plant beds can really improve the look of the garden with little effort.
Remember every dollar spent comes out of your final profit, so keep improvements to a minimum and only those that will add the most value.