Do not overinvest when improving a home
Although has always been an enthusiastic proponent of regular ongoing renovations and upgrades in a home – “They usually add far more than they cost to the home’s final value” – every upgrade should be tackled with an eye on the value of other homes in the area, says Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Properties.

“When people are fortunate to have enough money for almost any type of improvement,” said Greeff, “there is a danger that they will overspend and create a home which is so luxurious and comfortably fitted out that it exceeds the average value for the better homes in its area, not just by 20 or 30% but by far more.

“That is illogical and unlikely to be recouped because our experience shows that, although there will always be exceptions to the rule, buyers are exceptionally reluctant to buy above what they perceive to be the right price for the area.

“Their reaction will usually be that for that price, they could buy in this or that other suburb. We presently have such a home on the market and it makes our job exceptionally difficult.”

On the renovation work itself, said Greeff, there will be certain tasks which a competent DIY enthusiast can do himself – but specialist jobs should be left to experts.

“I have seen more than one home lose its value because cupboards and other doors were not hung properly, tiles were loose and the toilets leaked. If your aim is to raise the value of your home, employ people who have learned to work efficiently and neatly.”

In the garden, said Greeff, upgrading opportunities are often overlooked – and yet a well cared for garden will often add far more to the value of a home than new cupboards, lighting, tiling or kitchen equipment – and this work is easer to do on your own than the skilled artisan jobs.

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