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Hi, everyone! I’m Naomi Findlay, back to share some more rapid renovation tips with you.
Did you know I have a renovation course? You can check it out here!
Are you looking at adding a new kitchen to a property but not sure what kind of design will really wow your buyers?
Is the property just ripe for an extension but you can’t decide where to draw the line between overdoing it and under-delivering?
When a renovation is done right, potential buyers will walk in and be blown away. The upgrades will scream “buy me!”. And that will meet sweet profits for you.
But how do you make sure that you find that sweet point between over-splurging and underwhelming?
don’t have time to watch now? listen on-the-go here!
1. Do you have your strategy panned out and ready to go?
If you’re renovating to increase equity or to improve rental income, the level of upgrades you will put in will be different from a normal house flip. This will have a big impact on the style of upgrade and also the property you end up choosing to renovate.
If you come across a property and can’t quite decide whether you want to keep it to rent or sell it, this is a question you can ask yourself: will your potential buyers pay more to buy or rent a renovated property in this area?
Knowing who the general demographic is in the area will help with answering that question. If you’re not sure about the demographic, have a look at my blog post on working out who your buyers will be.
The second question you should be asking is this:
2. What features do your potential buyers expect to see?
If the area is one where most of the surrounding properties have ducted air conditioning and Ceasarstone benchtops, are your potential buyers going to be impressed with laminate benchtops and a BYO fan? Probably not.
Likewise, if you’re looking at a more budget-friendly area in the city’s fringe suburbs, then you probably don’t need to add backlit marble feature walls – unless of course you’re certain that that particular upgrade us something your target market is looking for, and is willing to pay for.
Remember to keep the layout of the property in mind too.
These days more and more people expect to see open plan living. These days buyers want to see homes with open plan living areas, large rooms and high ceilings – these are the ones that will perform well at auction day once renovated.
But changing a closed-off layout to an open-plan one can get very expensive. And if you haven’t accounted for the costs properly it will eat into your budget and your final profit.
If the property is screaming for a layout change and your budget doesn’t allow for that, don’t just skip past it and go straight to painting the walls.
It’s best to leave that property alone entirely and look for another that better suits your budget – or you will risk falling flat on auction day. No amount of fresh paint and new carpets will take away from the fact that the actual layout of the house is dingy and terrible and the bedrooms are tiny.
There’s a certain level of expectation that different areas bring. Where laminate benchtops can work well in one area, they may be a huge let down in another. This is where all that research you have been doing comes in handy.
And this leads me to my third question:
3. Will adding the bells and whistles make your property stand out?
Okay, so just because your potential buyers aren’t expecting a water feature in the living area, doesn’t mean you should scrap the idea and stick to their expectations.
If there are plenty of other property options on the market for buyers, you want to differentiate your project from the rest of the bunch.
You want people to walk in and be all, “wow, I was NOT expecting this!”. It is ideal for buyers to get emotionally attached to your home. Wouldn’t it be amazing for them to walk into the next property inspection in the neighbourhood and come running back to your property with your profit in their hands.
These “optional extras” that you add to your renovation can mean the difference between getting the median price in an area to getting above and beyond that price.
Just remember to not let your decision to add these bells and whistles be an emotional one. These can’t just be perks that you throw in in the hopes of attracting more buyers, or design styles that you love.
There’s no point in spending extra money on rose gold taps and mixers just because you love that trend right now. Or adding iPad controlled roller blinds just because you love using your iPad for everything.
Not only will that put you in risk of forking out more than you should, your potential buyers might hate the idea of pink taps. And they may be Samsung fans that want nothing to do with Apple products.
Unless, of course, you have already done your research and you KNOW that your potential buyers are actually rose gold lovers and they love everything tech and Apple.
In that case, adding these extras will have you cheering on auction day.
The last question you should be asking is this:
4. What level of finish does the property need to make you the most profit?
When I say “level of finish”, I don’t mean “did you paint the walls but skip the ceilings?”.
I also don’t mean, “how level are your floorboards?”, although of course that’s important.
This question is similar to the second one I asked. That’s because it relies on knowing your potential buyers and their expectations. Beyond the open plan layout, the five bedrooms, the lock-up garage and the big kitchen that your buyers may want to see, what should the quality be like?
For example, a basic level would obviously be a budget friendly option that would work in areas that a budget-conscious buyer would be looking at. It would generally be a smaller house, and the renovations themselves wouldn’t usually be as complicated or extensive, and not to mention expensive, as a higher end level of renovation would be.
These might be the houses in your fringe suburbs that have a more entry-level price point, perfect for a small renovation budget.
But just because these renovations are on the lower end of the scale, it doesn’t mean you can cut corners or do a poor effort at sprucing up the place.
Budge conscious buyers are still buyers looking for something nice – and any crappy renovations will be noticed straight away.
The same goes with the premium end of the scale. Premium level finishes are expected in large houses on the water that overlook the CBD. Ironically, you can’t afford to skimp on the level of renovation you provide here, as the buyers will generally hold much higher expectations.
A Ceasarstone French provincial kitchen might not be wow enough to attract the sort of buyers that will give you the right return for your effort. Especially if everyone in the neighbourhood has the same one.
In this case, buyers will compare you like five star hotels – they all have five stars, but that doesn’t make them equal. Some five stars are definitely more appealing than others, and you want to be the most memorable one.
So always keep your potential buyers and their expectations in mind when renovating a property. And don’t forget to keep your budget under check too, and you will see some great returns.
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