Top ren­o­va­tion tips for your home

Whitsunday Times - - REAL ESTATE - Con­sumer tips pro­vided by REIQ

AS IN­TER­EST in prop­erty grows, the ob­ses­sion with ren­o­va­tion fol­lows. Tele­vi­sion shows such as The Block and House Rules cap­ture hun­dreds of thou­sands of Aus­tralian view­ers, and US shows such as Masters of Flip and Flip or Flop con­vince us that ma­jor ren­o­va­tions are a sim­ple mat­ter of knock­ing out a wall and ap­ply­ing some fresh paint.

And there are a slew of glossy mag­a­zines that also fea­ture beau­ti­ful and suc­cess­ful home ren­o­va­tion sto­ries. It looks tan­ta­lis­ingly easy – right? But when it comes to ac­tu­ally ren­o­vat­ing from scratch, is it as sim­ple as it seems?

Here are some tips for suc­cess­ful ren­o­va­tions and mak­ing sure you don’t fall into any of the ma­jor traps wait­ing for you when you em­bark on your first ren­o­va­tion!

1. Buy in the right sub­urb

Some sub­urbs are more suited to ren­o­va­tions than oth­ers. Look for sub­urbs next to those that have al­ready boomed or sub­urbs with high price vari­ance.

2. Buy the right prop­erty

En­sure that the prop­erty you pur­chase will ben­e­fit from a ren­o­va­tion over­haul and won’t lose you money in the long run.

3. Buy for the right price

Re­search other prop­er­ties in the area and plan out how much the ren­o­va­tions will cost be­fore pur­chas­ing to en­sure that money isn’t lost in the long run.

4. Crunch the num­bers

Un­der­stand how much you should in­vest in a ren­o­va­tion pro­ject be­fore be­gin­ning. As a gen­eral rule, your bud­get for cos­metic ren­o­va­tions should be around 10% of the prop­erty value, with­out in­clud­ing stamp du­ties, le­gal costs, re­sale costs and fi­nance costs.

5. Know your renos’

There is no point do­ing cos­metic ren­o­va­tions on a prop­erty that re­quires struc­tural work. Given that 95% of Aus­tralians em­bark on cos­metic ren­o­va­tions, it’s im­per­a­tive to un­der­stand what will add value and what won’t.

6. Un­der­stand value

In­ter­nal walls, up­dat­ing kitchens and bath­rooms and chang­ing floor­ing will add more value to prospec­tive buy­ers than in­su­lat­ing ceil­ings or tiling a bath­room. Ren­o­vate your home with po­ten­tial buy­ers in mind.

7. In­vest in good trades­peo­ple

De­lays in the ren­o­va­tion will cost you time and money. Ask around for good trades­peo­ple and treat them well.

8. Ed­u­cate your­self

As dis­ap­point­ing as it may be, watch­ing ev­ery episode of The Block won’t make you an ex­pert. Read books and web­sites, at­tend prop­erty sem­i­nars and talk to those in the in­dus­try to gain as much knowl­edge as pos­si­ble.

For more in­for­ma­tion about prop­erty pur­chas­ing or find­ing an agent, visit

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