Renovating Your Property, Worth it?
As we move towards spring, homeowners come out of winter hibernation and engage in spring cleaning chores and other home improvement activities. Historically, the months of August and September have been a popular time zone for carrying out general maintenance and home improvements. This activity may be driven by a homeowners desire to prepare their property for sale as the weather improves, or it could merely be for personal satisfaction and to improve their living conditions or the ambience of their property.
Most Kiwis are adept at basic home improvement work, gaining pleasure from seeing the rewards of their endeavours. Many will tackle some fairly ambitious projects, but just a word of warning! A commitment to upgrade a property can be costly and time consuming but this is offset by a job well done. To gain maximum satisfaction, any home improvements need to be completed to a good standard, so if you happen to be one of those people who have two left hands, perhaps you need to consider seeking professional help. This particularly applies if the proposed project is beyond the scope of your personal skill set. Don’t spend a lot of time, effort and money on improvements that don’t achieve the desired result of enhancing the value of your property.
Improving Your Home Decor for Potential Home Buyers
As an example, there is a perception that anyone can apply paint and paper to improve the décor of a property. We believe that this is a fallacy and that both the choice of colour scheme and the application of the decorating materials require careful consideration and application. If you do tackle this type of home improvement and particularly if you are preparing the property for sale, cater for middle-of-the-road tastes and stay reasonably neutral. Decorations that reflect the eccentricities of the owner may not necessarily gel with potential home buyers. The works need to enhance the property’s general ambience and not look like a ‘pre-sale touch up’.
If you are in fact preparing your property for sale, care needs to be exercised before undertaking major alterations to ensure that the costs are recoverable on sale. Determine that what you are spending does not put the property into a price bracket that exceeds other homes of similar style and size in the area. Home buyers will generally pay a top price for a product that enhances their lifestyle but they may be unwilling to pay for something that they may or may not use such as a swimming pool, spa pool or a basement games room. Additional bedroom space is usually a safe bet providing the costs of construction are not excessively high.
A significant variety of home improvements such as elementary landscaping, painting the fence or a front door can be carried out successfully by the average home handy person and can help to create a favourable first impression. New or professionally cleaned carpets may be another option to consider. Rearranging your furniture and de-cluttering your home will also give the impression of more space and may enhance the property’s appeal to prospective purchasers.
Concrete work is also another task that ‘do-it-yourselfers’ will often have a go at but here again; there can be a huge variation in the standard of workmanship between an amateur and a professional job. The addition of a deck can be a decided asset provided access to it is relatively easy. Extensions can add value provided they blend with the existing footprint of the house and are functional. Basement rumpus rooms were all the rage thirty or forty years ago but are not in such demand these days. Spa pools have their supporters but most homeowners go through life without one so they are an item that seldom appears on the wish list of potential buyers. Outdoor swimming pools are not in great demand in the Wellington area; perhaps this has something to do with the weather we endure?
In summary, any improvements that enhance first impressions are worthwhile but pause before over-spending on major home improvement works unless they are for your own long-term enjoyment. Ensure any permits and code compliance requirements are in place as these formalities are essential in any sale now or in the future.