Newly-weds’ ex­pe­ri­ence shows how sim­ple, cost-ef­fec­tive ren­o­va­tions add value

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

BUY­ERS need to look be­yond the ob­vi­ous when view­ing prop­er­ties, says Se­eff City Bowl con­sul­tant Brid­get Shif­fer.

“Don’t just see what is wrong with a house or an apart­ment, imag­ine what it could be if you in­vest a lit­tle time and money. Would a lit­tle work trans­form this into a dream home, or would a small in­vest­ment en­sure greater re­turns when you are ready to sell?”

She be­lieves buy­ers need to vi­su­alise the po­ten­tial of or­di­nary flats af­ter some­thing as sim­ple as a fresh coat of paint, new han­dles on the cupboards, new floors and even light­ing, has been done.

“A good ex­am­ple is a loft apart­ment in Sut­ton Place in Gar­dens that I re­cently sold to newly-weds.

“It was a very or­di­nary, but some­what dark apart­ment. The only re­deem­ing fea­tures were that the flat was con­ve­niently lo­cated on the top floor of a well-main­tained and pop­u­lar block, had a pleas­ant leafy out­look and is within walk­ing dis­tance of the Gar­dens Cen­tre.”

The buy­ers had been search­ing for a one-bed­room flat in the city for over a year and were hop­ing to find one for less than R850 000. At the end of last year, they put in an of­fer of R840 000 on the 45m Sut­ton Place loft, which was listed at R875 000, and their of­fer was ac­cepted.

She said the buy­ers saw the po­ten­tial in the flat. By do­ing some sim­ple and cost-ef­fec­tive ren­o­va­tions, they cre­ated a clean, mod­ern space that is ideal for them. And, their R60 000 makeover prob­a­bly in­creased the value of their prop­erty by about R300 000.

“When we bought the flat, we knew there were some draw­backs. There was very lit- tle nat­u­ral light, poor ven­ti­la­tion and, gen­er­ally, the fin­ishes were dreary, dated and dark.

“The mez­za­nine bed­room could barely ac­com­mo­date a dou­ble bed and the bed­room and kitchen had too lit­tle cup­board space,” say the new own­ers.

Shif­fer says the most im­por­tant and ef­fec­tive al­ter­ation was the in­stal­la­tion of sky­lights, which al­lowed the nat­u­ral light to stream through and in­creased the feel­ing of space.

The sec­ond most ef­fec­tive change was the floor which was laid down­stairs. It is a white screed, which cre­ates a feel­ing of more light and space.

Other ren­o­va­tions in­cluded a kitchen makeover, ex­tend­ing the mez­za­nine to pro­vide more space in the bed­room and al­low for more cupboards, the re­moval of the car­pet from the stairs and sand­ing and seal­ing the pine un­der­neath.

For the new res­i­dents, the aim was to cre­ate a neu­tral and light space with­out spend­ing too much. To achieve this, they chose cost-ef­fec­tive and neu­tral fin­ishes.

“We saw that with some cre­ative think­ing and some paint, we would be able to con­sider- ably im­prove the in­te­rior of the flat, so as soon as we had ap­proval from the body cor­po­rate and trans­fer had taken place, we got started.”

They ex­tended the mez­za­nine, built a dry­wall to house new cupboards and in­stalled a new ceil­ing over the kitchen area. They then added a new sus­pended pine floor and two loft win­dows.

“The sky­lights com­pletely trans­formed the qual­ity of light in the flat. They changed the flat from gloomy to gleam­ing. Paint­ing the char­coal balustrades white, the walls neu­tral and in­stalling the light-colour floor also added to the light­ness and flow of the space. We did all the paint­work our­selves.”

T h e k i t ch e n m a ke ove r in­cluded new tiles and floor­ing and re­vamped cupboards. To save money, they kept the car­casses of the ex­ist­ing bot­tom kitchen cupboards and only added new doors and tops. The brushed steel han­dles are also mo r e mo d e r n t h a n t h e o l d mock-tim­ber ones.

Shif­fer cau­tions that buy­ers also need to be­ware of the risk of over-cap­i­tal­is­ing.

“Take into ac­count the con- di­tion and lo­ca­tion of the block, and the state of the rest of the flats in the block. Don’t ren­o­vate some­thing into a mag­nif­i­cent flat in a scruffy block or a bad area, al­though this is un­likely in the city bowl as most of the blocks are in good shape.

“Make sure the price plus the cost of ren­o­va­tions and some profit are equal to the mar­ket-re­lated value of the prop­erty – es­pe­cially if you plan to sell right away.

“Some­times, buy­ers need to wait a year or two so that the newly ren­o­vated prop­erty can grow into the higher price.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.