Australia’s housing market might be on a bit of a downward trajectory, but that doesn’t mean the value of your home can’t buck the trend. Here are five ways you can increase the value of your property, without necessarily increasing your monthly mortgage repayments.
You’ve probably seen a whole bunch of doom and gloom about the property market being in a slump and house prices declining.
First off, rest assured that it’s not the end of the world.
In fact, national dwelling values have simply returned to September 2016 levels, according to recent CoreLogic figures.
The good news is that with a bit of elbow grease and hard yakka you may be able to make that back up.
Here are five affordable suggestions for doing so.
1. Gardening and landscaping
It’s time to get those hands dirty.
One of the fastest ways to instantly increase the ‘wow’ factor of your property is to give it a good manicure.
Trim any overgrown bushes, mow the yard, apply grass seeds where there are bare dirt patches, plant some new flowers and plants in the garden bed, and ensure the fence is looking top notch.
If you don’t have the tools for the job, or you’re simply more of an indoors person, consider hiring a landscaper to help out.
You can opt for a well known local professional out of the Yellow Pages, or save some coin by taking a punt on a young person looking to grow their reputation through Airtasker.
2. Indoor plants and artwork
One of the best ways to make the interior of your house feel fresher and more lively is to decorate each room with a bit of greenery.
Pot plants are fantastic because they’re low maintenance, make your place look great, and are great for your health.
Here’s the real kicker though: rather than leave them behind, like most other things on this list, you can take them with you when you sell your property.
The same goes for artwork. It too can make your place stand out by giving it a bit of character, and it’s not like you have to fork out thousands for an original Rembrandt or anything of the like.
There are thousands of talented local artists selling art at affordable prices – and remember, it’s all subjective. Back yourself to pick out a good artist who appeals to you!
3. New carpet or floor polish
Nothing looks as dated as stained carpet, scuffed floorboards, or old and chipped tiles.
Having a fresh platform for a prospective buyer to stand upon can make a big difference when it comes to their mindset.
If the floor they’re standing on is dirty and dated, they’re very likely to wonder what’s wrong with the aspects of the house that they can’t see.
If it’s within your budget, definitely consider giving this part of your property a makeover before inviting potential buyers inside.
4. Bathroom bonanza
The bathroom will attract about as much scrutiny from a prospective buyer as any other room in the house.
The last thing you want is for some grime, leakage or mould turning off someone who’s happy with every other aspect of your property.
If your bathrooms are moderately new and not too dated, pay some professional cleaners to come in and get the place sparkling.
You don’t need to rip the whole thing out and spend $15,000 on a complete retrofit either. A simple paint job is sometimes enough.
However if your bathroom is looking pretty dated – and your budget allows for it – consider installing just some of the essentials: perhaps install new tapware, sinks, updated countertops and cabinets. You can also have a professional paint over your outdated tiles or scratched bathtub.
Also, ensure the taps and shower head are shiny and not leaking, and the toilet is modern and not flushing money down the drain (indoors, the shower is typically the biggest contributer to water bills at 34%, followed by the toilet at 26%).
5. Your Kitchen Rules
Just as important as the bathroom in terms of scrutiny is the kitchen.
Once again, there’s no need to rip out the whole kitchen and fork out an arm and a leg.
Look at ways you can revitalise it on the cheap: you could replace old cupboards and pantry doors, upgrade the bench tops, and make sure the taps and electrical fittings are in tip top shape.
And don’t forget that the kitchen appliances you have out in the open are also acting as decorations.
If they’re old and outdated, they could bring the rest of the kitchen sagging down with them. Once again, if you have to buy new appliances, at least you can take them with you!
Remember that property improvement shouldn’t cost you more than the value you’re hoping it will add.
It also helps to think of some of the above ideas as adding to your investment – not an expense.
If you’re unsure where to start, or would like some extra tips, there are many property renovation shows on tv that will give you great ideas and instructions on small changes you can make yourself. You should also get in touch with your local real estate agent who can give you some input into changes you can make that will increase your property appeal and value.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.