It’s true, Aussies love a good reno and research from the Housing Industry Association backs this up, tipping renovation investment will exceed $30 billion by 2016-17.
If you’re inspired by Do It Yourself television shows like Channel 9’s The Block and Channel 7’s House Rules, before you start planning your master renovation and smashing down walls, it’s worth investing in projects that will not only improve your property’s functionality but add value when it comes time to sell.
Here are 5 top DIY renovations that home reno experts say add value.
1. Make the entry epic
You know the saying – a first impression lasts forever. Revamping your property’s curb appeal doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. It could be as simple as giving your front door a fresh lick of paint or adding some new planters or flower beds.
In fact, according to the Cost vs Value report by leading US reno mag Remodeling, a new front door gives you the best bang for your buck.
2. Add an extra bedroom
Potential buyers and renters typically hunt for a property through online platforms – Domain, property.com.au and realestate.com.au – entering specific searches like room numbers.
One of the easiest ways to quickly add value to a property is by finding an extra bedroom under the existing roofline. An additional room could place you in a higher returns bracket for both selling and leasing out as a landlord. If you have a dusty old attic that doesn’t get used, consider converting it into an extra family room or parent’s retreat by adding insulation and installing windows.
3. Refresh worn out fixtures and fittings
Small changes can go along way in rejigging the look of your property and thankfully are easily done over time without causing a major disruption to your everyday life.
Selling Houses Australia advises there’s no need to blow money on expensive finishes if nobody else in the street has them, especially when the cheaper alternative still looks the part. Home improvements such as a fresh coat of paint or replacing grubby windows, door handles and skirtings will add value to your home without hurting your hip pocket (too much).
4. Remodel your kitchen
While the kitchen is the heart of the home, expensive upgrades aren’t always necessary, especially if the value of your property is only a couple of hundred thousand or you’re looking to sell in the next few years.
Better Homes and Gardens says the kitchen deserves “special” attention and if everything is still in a good condition, it’s easy to give it a modern edge simply by painting the cupboards in a bright colour and adding character pieces. Other ways to transform your kitchen include replacing the cabinet doors, sink or splashback. A kitchen update is especially important at the time of resale, as buyers-to-be can easily be turned off by a dodgy old fashioned kitchen.
5. Learn to landscape
Uncluttered open spaces with an eclectic range of plant life will lift the appearance of your outdoor living space and increase the property’s appeal to potential buyers and renters. Property Investment Magazine suggests basic landscaping is the way to go with low maintenance plants and easy care gardens. Whether you’re planting shrubs, flowers or even trees, make sure you plan ahead to ensure the landscaping has a coherent or zen like feel.
How to fund your reno
Now that you’ve got some great renovation ideas, it’s time to think about how you’ll fund this awesome operation if you haven’t got the cash saved up. Of course, it will depend on your timeframe, budget and appetite for renovation chaos.
Here are 4 ways to go about it:
1. 0% purchase rate credit card. This option is good for the super disciplined money manager. You can renovate your home interest free but make sure at the end of the intro period you’ve got the money at hand to pay off the whole balance before interest starts accruing.
Great for: small projects like replacing your front door and revamping fixtures around the house.
0% purchase rate deals:
Westpac Low Rate – 0% purchase rate for 12 months, reverts to 13.49% after the introductory period and has a $45 annual fee.
NAB Low Rate Card – 0% purchase rate for 12 months, reverts to 13.99% after the introductory period and has a $59 annual fee.
Commonwealth Bank Low Rate Gold Credit Card – 0% purchase rate for 10 months, reverts to 13.49% after the introductory period and has a $120 annual fee ($90 if CBA customer when applying).
2. Home loan redraw or line of credit. If you’ve built up a surplus in your home loan by making extra or lump sum repayments, you could use a redraw facility to dip into the extra cash or get a line of credit to cover the costs of the renos. If your current home loan doesn’t have these features, consider switching to a home loan that does.
3. Home equity. If you’ve paid off a considerable amount of your home loan and built up equity, think about topping up your mortgage or changing home loans to pay for your renovations. Keep in mind, there is usually a one off home loan top up fee of around $300-$500.
Great for: larger projects that you’re looking to do in one go like kitchen remodelling or adding an extra bedroom.
Home loan deals:
loans.com.au Dream Home Loan Variable – 4.54% interest rate and $520 upfront fee. Free offset redraw facility tied to a Visa debit card.
CUA Fresh Start Variable Home Loan – 4.65% interest rate, $195 upfront fee and no ongoing service fee. Free redraw facility.
State Custodians Line of Credit – 4.69% interest rate and 0.25% loyalty rate drop after 5 years, $682 upfront fee and $299 service fee. Free line of credit.
4. Personal loan. If you want to give yourself a set budget and renovation schedule look at getting a low rate personal loan that you can pay off in a 1-5 year timeframe.
Great for: small to medium projects like repainting your home or landscaping your backyard.
Check out these low rate loans:
IMB Secured Personal Loan – 7.99% fixed interest rate and $175 upfront fee.
Newcastle Permanent Unsecured Personal Loan – 8.99% fixed interest rate and $195 upfront fee.
St.George Secured Personal Loan – 9.99% fixed interest rate and $195 upfront fee.
What exciting renovations are you planning in the near future? Tell us below!