The reno rev­o­lu­tion

Herald Sun - Property - - COVER STORY - BENN DOR­RING­TON

HOME ren­o­va­tions are soar­ing across pock­ets of Mel­bourne, as home­own­ers opt for makeovers over mov­ing.

Our love af­fair with re­vamp­ing real es­tate, sig­nalled by the pop­u­lar­ity of renowar­rior tele­vi­sion shows like

grew strong­est in the mid­dle and outer sub­urbs.

Pas­coe Vale was the state’s ren­o­va­tion hotspot, ac­cord­ing to build­ing web­site Hipages, which com­pared ren­o­va­tion works in the first three months of 2016 with the same pe­riod last year.

The num­ber of ren­o­va­tion jobs nearly tripled d in the north­ern sub­urb, grow­ing by 182 per cent.

Mul­grave, Frankston South, Bal­wyn and Clay­ton fol­lowed, more than dou­bling the num­ber of ren­o­va­tion jobs in 12 months.

Langwarrin, Tru­gan­ina, Hal­lam and Mel­ton South also topped the list, with Gee­long’s Highton the only sub­urb out of Mel­bourne to make the top 10.

Wardrobes, wa­ter­proof­ing and plumb­ing were the most pop­u­lar ren­o­va­tions.

Hipages founder Roby Sharon-Zip­ster said af­ford­abil­ity was a key driver en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to ren­o­vate.

“If you sell, where do you move to? But if you’re will­ing to spend a few thou­sand dol­lars you may be able to get the bet­ter home you want,” he said.

Mr Sharon-Zip­ster said the av­er­age ren­o­va­tion spend was $3000 to $4000, while some buy­ers had lashed out and spent as much as $400,000 on ma­jor struc­tural changes.

True Blue Homes chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Dar­ryn Bass, pic­tured above, said the most pop­u­lar re­quests were kitchens, bath­rooms and laun­dries.

He said adding a sec­ond storey to homes was also highly sought-af­ter, pro­vid­ing more space, bed­rooms and bath­rooms.

Ex­pec­ta­tions were an im­por­tant is­sue for home­own­ers con­sid­er­ing ren­o­vat­ing, Mr Bass said.

“Peo­ple should be com­fort­able with a builder and get some real feed­back to what things will cost,” Mr Bass said.

He said many ren­o­va­tors had un­re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions about the costs and time needed for projects, in part due to ren­o­va­tion re­al­ity tele­vi­sion shows.

He said TV con­tes­tants might com­plete an en­tire kitchen for rel­a­tively lit­tle money be­cause the shows were spon­sored, but in the real world cus­tom kitchen p projects of­ten cost $35,000 to $50,000.

Buyer’s ad­vo­cate Robert Di Vita, of Na­tional Prop­erty Buy­ers, said the vast ma­jor­ity of Mel­bourne home­buy­ers were look­ing for a ren­o­vated pe­riod home, re­tain­ing tra­di­tional fea­tures and mod­ernising the kitchen and bath­rooms.

Mr Di Vita said buy­ers should get build­ing and pest in­spec­tions to make sure there were no hid­den sur­prises in the sub­floor and roof cav­ity.

He said ren­o­va­tors should spend no more than 10 per cent of the value of the prop­erty on the en­tire project, aim­ing for a profit mar­gin of 15 per cent to avoid over-cap­i­tal­is­ing.

Realestate.com.au data shows nearly a quar­ter of buy­ers search­ing the prop­erty por­tal used key­words to find both ren­o­vated and un­ren­o­vated projects.

The term “ren­o­vated” was the most pop­u­lar in Mel­bourne.

The re­search found the kitchen would be the first room home ren­o­va­tors would tackle.

BENN.DOR­RING­TON@NEWS.COM.AU

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