Renos that decrease value
NOT all renovations are created equal; some will send a property’s value sky-rocketing, while others can actually slash it.
That means one of the secrets to ensuring a property flip doesn’t flop is knowing which renovation will add value – and importantly, which won’t.
Renovation guru, Renovating for Profit’s Cherie Barber, explains which renos rarely add value or can even lower a property’s value.
"When you’re renovating for profit, it’s essential you focus on highly visible changes," Barber says.
"If a buyer can’t see the work that has been done, then it’s not going to add the same value as say a freshly-renovated bathroom or kitchen," she says.
Barber recommends focusing on ‘work you can see’, like paint, which is one of the cheapest ways to make a radical difference.
"Rather than putting in a new driveway, I’d advise using paving paint to spruce up an old concrete driveway. You can tint it to any colour, spending $100 a tin versus a few $1000 for a new driveway," she says.
"For an old bathroom, you may get away with painting the tiles, bath and vanity using White Knight specialty paints. If you go splashing around money on things like a new roof, rewiring the whole place or needlessly moving around plumbing when you’re renovating a bathroom …these are costs you are unlikely to see any real return for."
While a sparkling pool may look pretty in a listing and appeal to some buyers, Barber says they’re seen as "just a whole lot of up-keep", so splash the cash elsewhere.
Fancy fittings and fixtures
"You don’t need to spend on things like fancy tapware, light fittings and window dressings. These are all items you can buy cheaply and they’ll look great," Barber advises.
"Sloppy workmanship can definitely devalue a place, especially when it’s really visible, like a bad paint job, tiling or a poorly-installed kitchen," Barber says.
"Think twice before trying to save money with a bit of misguided DIY," she says.
Barber says expensive landscaping is unnecessary when renovating for profit. "Just aim for ‘neat and tidy," she says.
So, what does add value?
Barber says there are three renovations which almost always add value to property.
"Bathroom and kitchen renos are virtually guaranteed to give you a great return. Any more than two bedrooms and buyers these days expect two bathrooms, ie a main bathroom and an ensuite," she says.
"Getting rid of a boxy layout and creating open plan is always a winner.
And establishing a connection with the outside is really important too, whether it’s building a deck or creating a beautiful courtyard or patio," Barber says.
"You want it to feel like an extension of the inside. “To keep costs down, you can go for simple French or sliding doors, rather than stacking glass doors."