The Weekend Post - Real Estate


The housing boom makes it the perfect time for love it or list it to return


Australia’s unexpected property boom during the pandemic has meant many homeowners face the dilemma of staying or selling. House prices have risen about 15 per cent nationally this year and the amount spent on alteration­s and additions is at a 21-year high of $2.87bn – up 24.5 per cent year-on-year – thanks to low lending rates and more time spent at home.

That choice, between cashing in or creating a dream home, is addressed in Foxtel’s hit show Love It or List It Australia, which returns for a fourth season tonight after two years’ absence. The show helps couples decide whether to “love” their home by renovating, or “list it” and relocate elsewhere. Real estate guru Andrew Winter talks through the benefits of selling, while design guru Neale Whitaker oversees the makeovers.

Fortunatel­y, the two approaches are not always mutually exclusive. By taking a few steps the pair say it is possible for owners to both “love” their home and “list it” for the best price.


Renovation­s should appeal to a broad audience and be of a consistent standard throughout the house. The LIOLI hosts say renovation­s with a view to sell are different to doing it for yourself. “If you are renovating for yourself then do things that bring you pleasure as you can always worry about those things when you sell later,” Whitaker says.

He says good starting points are to maximise space and increase light. He adds kitchens and bathrooms should be especially presentabl­e because buyers value those rooms – and the rest must still be decent.


Cosmetic changes such as new flooring, a coat of paint, declutteri­ng, moving furniture and styling can breathe new life into a house without spending a lot of money.

“You can create a different flow and move energy around by simply putting the couch in a different spot,” Whitaker says. Other tasks that can be done for little cost include linking indoor and outdoor spaces, opening up the kitchen, and placing the front flyscreen door into storage for a new vibe.

“Sometimes small tweaks that don’t cost much can make a big difference to the sale price,” Winter says.


The location and current value of a property are big factors in how much to spend on a renovation as a $20,000 kitchen might look great in a lower-cost suburb, but could seem cheap and out of place in a $2.5m area, Winter says.

“This is why you have to put it in perspectiv­e to the value of the house,” he says. The former Gold Logie nominee warned a $100,000 renovation does not translate into the house being worth that much more if it is not spent correctly.

“If the whole house is styled and of a quality finish then you are more likely to get that $100,000 back – and maybe more – than if you just spent it on the kitchen,” Winter says.


Renovation funds should be spread evenly throughout the house and not on one room alone. “Contrary to what people think, kitchens do not sell homes on their own if there are other things wrong,” Winter says.

Avoid going over the top with all the latest bells and whistles as you won’t always get that money back.

“Install a butler’s pantry if you have a good size kitchen, but don’t cut a small kitchen in half to install one as it just makes it worse,” Whitaker says. “Most buyers just want a good kitchen where the family can sit around, not four ovens and a teppanyaki plate.”


Multipurpo­se rooms and layouts are now at the top of a buyer’s wish list – so make your home adaptable.

“There is a big premium on multipurpo­se rooms that can be an office during the day and a guest room at night,” Whitaker says.

“Remove the bed from the spare bedroom and put a sofa bed and desk in to show the room’s multiple uses.”


 ?? ?? Foxtel’s Love it or List It Australia hosts, Andrew Winter, left, and Neale Whitaker have the tips.
Foxtel’s Love it or List It Australia hosts, Andrew Winter, left, and Neale Whitaker have the tips.

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