Renovating is daunting if you don’t have a plan. Many people get caught up in the glamour of a home renovation without seriously preparing or determining if the home renovation they want to do is even going to reach their goals. But when you break it down into a workable process and make a plan, it’s manageable, rewarding and even profitable.
So before you start a home renovation, answer the following three questions to avoid making costly mistakes. Then read about which renovations will likely add value to the home.
01 Are you doing a renovation for your forever home, a house you’re going to sell or a rental as an investment?
This is really important because the type of home renovation you choose to do should be a reflection of who will live in the home. This requires you to remove emotion from the renovation process (yikes – this can sometimes be hard to do).
If your intention is to sell or rent the house, pay very close attention to your budget. You don’t want to overcapitalize.
What do I mean by this? Overcapitalizing means that the added value post-renovation will not allow you to recover the money spent on the renovation. If you overspend on the renovation, it won’t add the same amount of value to the home, in the eyes of the buyer as it does to you – money down the drain!
So, to avoid overspending make sure you do lots of research during the renovation process. For example, paying for an electrician to install Smart light switches and extremely high-end light features is simply not a good idea in a low value area.
It is much better to do your research beforehand, but if in doubt, seek professional advice.
If you’re doing a renovation on your forever home….well… let those emotions flow and I would say – don’t buy it or do it unless you absolutely LOVE it! It’s your home and you should honor your tastes as you create your personal sanctuary from the world.
02 What’s your maximum budget?
Establish this before starting and remember to allow for contingencies. Life is not perfect and unexpected problems crop up, so be prepared, especially when undergoing a renovation.
03 What theme and feel are you going for?
Establish these in the beginning and then tweak as you go along.
- Create Pinterest boards with your renovation ideas.
- Carry your theme throughout to get a smooth flow in your home.
- Think outside the box from a typical renovation to create a spark of interest.
Choose elements that make people go “wow”, draw them in and instantly allow them to see themselves living in the space. This increases the emotion of desire which increases the perceived ‘worth’ or value. If you have the intention on selling your home post-renovation, then paying for beautiful staging should be factored in to your renovation budget as well.
These renovations upgrade the look and value of your home.
Let’s take a closer look at specific spaces within the home. Each of these spaces can be upgraded and transformed not only on a high-end, but also on a strict budget.
There is no doubt about this. Kitchens are a major selling point for a home and are highly valued spaces. Your renovation should get you asking ‘How can I improve and really pop this space?’
Bathrooms are another major attraction of any home. Ask yourself: ‘Is there room and budget to add another bathroom?’ If it’s not possible to add a bathroom, ask, ‘How can I make the current bathroom/s most appealing to my target market within my relevant budget?’
Example: Being a mum myself, a very high priority for me is a bath for my baby –it’s a deal breaker for me. So when I’m doing a renovation that I intend on selling or renting out and my target market is a young family, I prioritize getting a bath tub. It would be highly valued by many parents and children.
Open Plan Living
This is extremely appealing to modern day families and could be a simple fix by knocking down a wall. Remember to get your builder in to confirm that the wall is not structural first! Get other peoples opinions on this too. Some people are better than others at visualizing, so in my opinion, ask, ask, ask to get different ideas on how you could get a more open and flow in the home. You may just find yourself saying “Oh yeah, I didn’t think of that!”
A bonus in many homes is an additional bedroom. If there’s no space inside for another bedroom, always keep in mind the possibility of adding a sleepout. They can be full of character and could add value to any home.
Greenery and Flowers in the Garden
Let’s be honest, flowers make most people happy! When you’re happy you choose to see things in a positive light. That’s what you want to create in a home to increase desirability and add value. If you plan on renting/ selling, plant in pots so that you can take flowers with you if you’d like to. Get those green fingers planting!
Front Entry and Curb Appeal
You get one chance to make a first impression, so make it count!
- Tidy it up.
- Plant flowers.
- Replace the letterbox.
Make a statement with your front door. Don’t be afraid to use colour. A bright lick of paint can transform the entry and be warm and inviting!
Tips to Remember:
- Don’t underestimate the power of paint. It goes a very long way and can transform a space!
- Never be afraid to ask ‘silly’ questions. Join property groups on Facebook and ask those who have renovation experience.
- Ask multiple real estate agents in the local area what they think you could do to add value on your home.
- You can save money by DIYing (within reason of course!).
By doing it ourselves, I’ve recently saved:
- $2.5k by painting a ceiling and beams
- $2k on painting walls
- $1k on laying flooring ourselves
- a few hundred on bashing walls
That’s close to $6k we managed to save by doing it ourselves. But what is important here is knowing your limits. So if you have a hands-on 2 year-old like we do – be sure to touch up afterwards and get that finish looking sharp. Especially if you’re doing a renovation with intention to sell – finish is so important.
Renovate from a place of LOVE, and I promise you it will be felt, valued and reflected back to you.
About the Author
Renee has always enjoyed turning old into new; showering something neglected with love and watching it transform and blossom. Over the years she has been drawn into the wonderful world of property. She is passionate about upcycling and repurposing furniture, appliances and house fittings. Alongside her sister, she has launched Auckland Property Partners, where she flips, designs and renovates houses for others. By adding a sprinkle of love to what they do, Auckland Property Partners create spaces within houses that people love to come home to.