Renos that de­crease value

Central Telegraph - - REAL ESTATE | INDUSTRY - By Erin De­lahunty

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.

‘In­vis­i­ble’ work

"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."

Swim­ming pool

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.

Dis­as­trous DIY

"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.

Im­mac­u­late land­scapes

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."

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