5 value-boosting home repairs and refurbs
By Alex Brooks
There's no such thing as price guarantees in a property market that isn't rising as quickly as we would like. But there are ways to immediately improve the value of your home without spending a whole heap of cash. Try these on for size:
1. Adding space - or at least a sense of it
Everyone wants more than they pay for, and flowing open plan spaces really impress people when they walk into a home. The lust for open plan living may go out of fashion one day - will people realise that separate rooms are quieter, easier and more pleasant in multi-people households? - but for now, adding space adds value.
Is there are non-structural wall you can easily remove and re-gyprock to open two rooms into one? Could the kitchen be opened into the adjoining dining area and an island bench installed? Is there a living area that deserves the installation of French doors or bifolds to open it to the outdoors and literally double the size of the living area?
2. Landscape with love
OK, this isn't so easy to do if you own an apartment, but home owners should de-tangle, prune, weed and love their gardens. Unkempt gardens can obscure views, darken interiors, promote mould, and block a good look at the house. A well-loved garden can instantly add dollar value to a home that's on the market. Oh, and gardening is pleasurable once you get into it! Set up a garden that you can easily maintain and enjoy. Keep large trees in check - broken branches can damage a house and large natives need to be inspected for termites every so often to make sure they remain safe.
3. Lighting up, naturally
Increasing natural light creates a feeling of more space inside a home - and space adds value. So adding a $500 skylight to a dim hallway or manky old bathroom can be a real value-add improvement. It's worth paying attention to how much a skylight will add extra heat to a room, too - you don't want to install one and then have to crank up the air-conditioner to deal with the heat gain. It can be wise to pay a little extra for a well-insulated skylight if it's going on a north or west-facing roof section. Quality electrical lighting will also pay back. Make sure you have dimmers on the switches for living areas - they create extra mood and are great to turn on for a night-time open inspection if your house is on the market. High wattage bulbs make small spaces feel larger, and soft lighting brings warmth to empty spaces.
4. Don't let drips and cracks get you
Proper maintenance and repairs of all the little bits and pieces are just as important as the big things. Investing in maintenance and repairs is not only moneywise; could be crucial to a future sale. Real estate agents from across the country say the houses that get attention in this buyers market are in tip-top shape. That means no dripping taps, no plumbing leaks, no rusted gutters, no flaking paint, no busted windows or stuck doors. It helps to do your own quick inspection to assess what needs to be done in your own home - start at the front gate with a pad and paper and write down everything you see that needs to be attended to.
5. Bath and kitchen clean-ups
These two rooms hold the key to the emotional value a buyer will place on your home - so keep them in tip top shape. In the bathroom, clean the grout, fixed cracked tiles, update any doorknobs or tapware. Even buying a new toilet seat can make all the difference for a relatively low cost. In the kitchen, reseal the gaps between the splashback and benchtop, clean everything thoroughly with a dose of sugar soap and a nail brush and work out any cheap fixes to improve the look - can you add new drawer handles or a new range over teh stove to give the room a fresh new look without splashing out a lot of money?For more articles click here to go to the database.