Top five home renovating tips
Three interest rate rises in a year and a jump in housing
prices of 6.2 percent in the September 2006 quarter (10 percent if you
live in Darwin). It's not looking like an ideal time to move house by
anyone's standards, which is not to say that you can't live somewhere
new it's just a matter of improving your current address until
it feels like a different house.
Of course, there are good renovations, there are bad renovations and there is just plain over-capitalisation (putting way too much cash into the wrong kind of 'improvements' on a property that just won't net you any return).
But how do you tell the difference?
We asked Rose-Marie Hillier, Interior Design Editor of House & Garden magazine, and Alex May, author of Planning Your Perfect Home Renovation (Allen & Unwin, $26.95) for their expert advice.
First up, the best places to put your money.
Are kitchen and bathroom renovations still top of the list for adding value to your home?
Alex May: "No! While it's true that potential buyers judge the quality of a house by the kitchen and bathroom, it doesn't necessarily mean you will renovate those rooms and see a return. Plenty of buyers will pay the same amount of money for a house with no renovations to the kitchen and bathroom with the idea of renovating to their own tastes."
Rose-Marie Hillier: "I think people look at bathrooms more than kitchens these days. It's important to do it properly, however. Don't make them too cutting-edge or gimmicky. Substituting inferior finishes is also a mistake."
Okay then, if it's not automatically the kitchen and bathroom, what should I be looking at renovating to impress buyers?
RH: "It's important to look at trends in home use and plan accordingly. For me, a quality renovated home now would have a flexible space a room that will complement any potential owner's lifestyle. For instance, a media room, home office, guest room, teenager's retreat, a deck, a parents' retreat, an indoor/outdoor connection and a quality kitchen and bathroom.
AM: "Property markets are highly segmented according to suburb, city and the style of property. The trick is to research which renovations work well in your local area. In leafy garden suburbs, an open-plan family room with bi-fold doors to a deck will be in demand. In the inner city, it might be off-street parking. In general, light, airy renovations work. Don't slavishly follow new trends plenty of agents are reporting that the minimalist, warehouse white kitchens that were so big five years ago have lost their appeal in the market."
What can I do to improve a place quickly?
AM: "Paint, paint and more paint. But only bother if you prepare well. And wash the exterior of the house it makes it look like new."
RH: "Reorganising the furniture and changing the light fittings can make a huge difference."
Top five tips for improving your home
Let there be light
Keep it simple
Call in the experts
Do it right
Plan twice, renovate once
Article by: Allison Tait - http://money.ninemsn.com.au