Think be­fore you ren­o­vate

Pilbara News - - Pilbara Property - Sa­man­tha Jones Sa­man­tha Jones is a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of Western Aus­tralia.

Ren­o­vat­ing a house is not for the faint-hearted. It can be time-con­sum­ing, ef­fort-in­ten­sive and of­ten ex­pen­sive.

Be­fore start­ing a ren­o­va­tion project, make sure you have ad­dressed these ques­tions.

What ex­actly do you plan to ren­o­vate?

This ques­tion sounds easy enough, but you might be sur­prised at the rip­ple ef­fect ren­o­vat­ing one room can have on the home.

You want any im­prove­ments you make to be seam­less and fit in with the de­sign of the orig­i­nal home.

You will also need to de­ter­mine how in­volved the ren­o­va­tions will be. Are you plan­ning a small up­grade to one or two rooms, or some­thing more ex­ten­sive, such as an ex­ten­sion?

You will need to es­tab­lish a rough time­line of how long the project will take and whether you can live in the home for the du­ra­tion. If not, you will need to fig­ure out where you will stay dur­ing this time.

What is your bud­get for this project?

Es­tab­lish­ing a bud­get from the out­set and work­ing to it is key.

How much money are you will­ing (and able) to spend on this ren­o­va­tion?

Does this money cover your wish list or do you need to read­just your ex­pec­ta­tions?

Over-ex­ert­ing your­self fi­nan­cially is risky. Be re­al­is­tic and work to your bud­get.

You can al­ways stag­ger the project and get to some less cru­cial items down the track.

Will your ren­o­va­tions add value?

Im­prov­ing a prop­erty’s cap­i­tal value is of­ten a driv­ing fac­tor be­hind the de­ci­sion to ren­o­vate.

If your plan is to ren­o­vate so you can sell your house at a bet­ter price, then you need to be strate­gic about what fea­tures and ad­di­tions you choose.

A REIWA buyer’s agent can help you iden­tify what ren­o­va­tions should be car­ried out. They will carry out due dili­gence on your be­half so you don’t over­cap­i­talise and help en­sure your ren­o­va­tions fit in well with the neigh­bour­hood, street and orig­i­nal de­sign of the home.

As well as be­ing able to de­ter­mine the end value and re­search sought-after fea­tures in your area, they will also con­tact your lo­cal coun­cil on your be­half to make sure your ren­o­va­tions ad­here to lo­cal reg­u­la­tions.

On the flip­side, if you plan to live in the home long-term and your pri­mary mo­ti­va­tion is to im­prove your per­sonal liv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, then you have more free­dom to make changes that suit your unique pref­er­ences.

Will you en­gage a pro­fes­sional or is this a DIY project?

Whether you en­gage a pro­fes­sional de­signer and builder to over­see this project is likely to de­pend on the size and scale of the ren­o­va­tion.

If it is a big job it is prob­a­bly smarter to use a pro­fes­sional such as a buyer's agent to en­sure the best peo­ple are on the job.

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