A common piece of advice when it comes to buying a home is to look for a place where the kitchen and bathroom have already been done up.

On the other side of the equation, home owners are often urged to invest their renovation dollars in these areas first to attract more interest and a stronger sale price should they come to sell. But, when it comes down to it, do you really get the money back on your renovation investment?

Contrary to the old adage about kitchens and bathrooms generating strong payback, I don’t reckon this is always the case.

In fact, I think that to make money out of any home improvement when selling your home – be it kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or landscaping – some careful thought is required in advance.

With that in mind, here are my top tips for would-be renovators to consider before they take the plunge:

What’s your objective?
If you’re planning to stay in your home for the next 10 years or more, then go to town – you’ll get plenty of enjoyment from the results and, when you come to sell, the shift in market prices should more than make up for your capital outlay.

Is there a risk of over-capitalising?
If you’re contemplating a major reno, it’s well worth getting a professional opinion about how much value the work will add to your property. If the market value of the house is unlikely to beat the capital outlay, it may be time to scale back on your grand plans.

Who would you sell to?
If you’re planning on selling your house, think about who is most likely to buy your property and what features will appeal to them. For example, if your home is likely to be bought by an investor and used as a rental, it’s probably not worth investing in granite benchtops for the kitchen. On the flipside, if your home is likely to attract the interest of young families, it’s a good idea to splash out (no pun intended) on a bath for the littlies.

Whose tastes are you catering to?
Similarly to the above point on features, if you’re thinking of selling your home post-reno then consider your target market’s likely tastes. While feature walls in your favourite shades of purple might be highly appealing to you, they may be highly off-putting to potential buyers. A safer approach is to keep walls, curtains, carpets and fittings contemporary and neutral, and bring your tastes in with accessories such as furniture, art and soft furnishings.

Go for quality.
Be mindful of overcapitalising, but don’t be cheap! Choose quality brands – this way you, and prospective buyers, can be confident that the chattels in your home will last. For example, while your kitchen appliances needn’t necessarily have every bell and whistle, they should be made by reputable manufacturers who offer good warranties.

Keep these basic principles in mind, and I don’t reckon you can go too far wrong.
If you’re thinking of renovating and want to know how your plans will affect your home’s market value, feel free to contact us for a no obligation appraisal – we’d love to help!

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