When deciding which renovations to tackle prior to sale or a valuation (to release equity from your home), the most important thing to be aware of is which improvements will add the most “perceived value” to the property with the least expense. These are the improvements that are immediately noticeable, as well as highly valued by your potential buyers, but can be done at a relatively low cost.
Here are the top 10 quick and affordable improvements that can be made to add instant value to your home or investment property:
- High pressure clean: Clean the driveway/outdoor paved or concreted areas with a high pressure hose. These can be hired, or better still ask around and see if a friend has one. While you’ve got it, clean down the front of the house. Often, after a quick clean, there’s no need to repaint. However, always check on a small patch first to ensure the pressure hose doesn’t remove the paint.
- Add more light: Improving the lighting makes rooms look bigger and gives a cleaner, fresher look. Add a sunlight wherever possible, particularly in attic type areas or hallways.
- Replace light fixtures and add feature lighting: Replace dated light fittings with modern alternatives for an immediate update. Install new down lights. Also, feature lighting in the kitchen (over the island bench), in the hallway or in the bedroom can have a real impact.
- Refresh or replace all doors: In particular, pay attention to the front door. Make an impressive entrance to the house. Repaint and add a new door handle.
- Replace outdated fixtures: With one quick trip you can cheaply replace handles and knobs on doors, drawers and cupboards around the house, giving them a quick and easy facelift.
- Replace old yellowing electrical covers: While you’re at the hardware store, pick up some fresh, bright new covers for your light switch and power point covers – throw out the old yellowing ones covered in the kids’ fingerprints. Again quick and easy.
- Fresh curtains and blinds: Blinds and curtains can be relatively inexpensive and can be an easy DIY job.
- Whiten grout between tiles in bathrooms and resurface the bath: There are a number of cheap DIY products available that you can use to whiten the grout in your bathrooms – it will make a noticeable difference. It’s just colouring in with a white pen. Also, consider having the bath resurfaced rather than buying a new one.
- Update the letterbox: Replace your tired old letterbox with a new, modern one with street number – it’s is one of the first things potential buyers see when they pull up to your house.
- Landscaping improvements:
- Tidy up the front fence by weeding and cutting back any overgrowth.
- Trim the garden and remove all excess foliage and get rid of weeds.
- Consider removing any large trees out the front which obscure the house. Be sure to leave any good trees providing shade over play areas.
- Cutting edges around the plant beds can really improve the look of the garden with little effort.
- If the lawn is patchy, spread some seed (of the same type as your current turf), add fertiliser and water regularly. It will only take a few weeks to see the improvement.
- Plant a row of trees/shrubs to screen any concrete walls or unattractive fencing. This can work wonders. To really add value, spend more for more established plants.
- Remove the backyard clothesline and concrete path. Add one down the side of the house, preferably near the laundry.
- Engage a landscape designer to provide a plan. Tell him what you are trying to achieve – long term growth or quick sale. His plans will also include recommended plants for each area. It will be money well spent. He will provide the plan, but you can still do the dirty work (so to speak.)
Remember every dollar spent comes out of your final profit, so keep improvements to a minimum and only those that will add the most value.Share