Ten Tips to Avoid Trashing Your Home’s Value

By Peter Sarmas on 9 Jan 2014
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As home renovation shows continue to dominate our screens, more and more people are undertaking their own renovations in an attempt to add value to their property.

Unfortunately, a regrettable number of DIY renovators do not realise that far from adding value to their property, particular house renovations can in fact cause their property to drop in value.

Keep reading for our list of 10 top tips on how to add value to your home when renovating.

1. Know Your Area

One of the biggest mistakes renovators make is going overboard for the area.

If you are attempting to renovate for profit and to add value to your home, it is crucial that you know the area well.

For example, if you live in a more affordable outer suburb and over renovated, your house would stick out well above other houses in the area. If people are looking to buy in that particular area, chances are they are not looking for that sort of property.

“Always consider whether this will add value to your home or decrease the value of your home.”

While this isn’t likely to decrease the value of your property per se, it is unlikely you will receive the full return off the outlay you spend in order to complete the renovations.

It would be more favourable to renovate your house to a nice, modern, neutral state that would appeal to a wide market of buyers.

Know the area

Make sure your house fits in with the neighbourhood
Photo: The Homepage

2. Inconsistency of Upgrades

Similar to not knowing the importance of renovating your home in accordance with the type of area it is located in, an inconsistency of upgrades throughout the house can really put off buyers.

People who complete DIY home renovations prior to selling will commonly go all out renovating one particular room – say a kitchen or bathroom – and leave the rest of the house outdated.

“Even small touch ups like a fresh coat… will add value to your home.”

Again, while this particular trend won’t cause your property to lose value, you aren’t likely to see the return you want.

The best way to maximise your return when you renovate your home is to spend less effort concentrating on one particular area, and use the time and money you would have spent bringing the whole house up to a fresher more modern standard.

Even small touch ups like a fresh coat of paint or fresh flooring and fixtures will add value to your home.

3. Too Personalised

Personalising your property too much certainly could bring down the value of your home.

These sorts of renovations usually occur when people are renovating their own home for personal use – with little regard for the future consequences of the value of their home.

Because of this, in most cases adding value to their property will not be high on their list of priorities.

Financially speaking, this is far from ideal because realistically, you aren’t likely to live in your house forever and too much personalisation can really narrow down your market and ultimately cause you to lose money when you eventually want to sell your home.

When undertaking renovations, always consider whether this will add value to your home or decrease the value of your home.

Too Personalised

Take care when personalising your home
Photo: The Homepage

4. Changes to the Floorplan

Making changes to the floorplan can be a big risk, because if you aren’t careful you can potentially damage the functional integrity of the house – and you may not realise it until your renovations are complete.

Tacking on extra bedrooms or living spaces can seem like a great idea to add space and add value to your home, but most appraisers would classify these spaces as “functional obsolescence”.

In fact, these changes can even go so far as to cause your property to lose value, because some appraisers will want you to add in the cost of demolishing the space you have built – especially if you did not obtain an official permit before beginning your construction.

“Making changes to the floorplan can be a big risk…”

Following on, converting garages to living space can have a similar effect and cause your property to lose value as a lot of home buyers would prefer to have the option of undercover parking.

If you are certain that you want to add an extension to your property, it would be wise to invest in the services of a trained architect who can plan a sensible extension of your home and maintain the function integrity of the floorplan.

5. Above Ground Pools

This one is simple – they’re an eyesore.

An above ground pool in your backyard is not likely to add value to your home because many people simply do not find them very appealing, and will only see it as a lot of extra upkeep.

If you are renovating your home and do not use it, consider having it removed. If you have one and enjoy it, of course keep it, but when the time comes to sell your house, say goodbye to the above ground pool.

6. Overfilling Spaces

Another common mistake people make when renovating for profit is overfilling in spaces during remodelling.

Inexperienced renovators tend to select new furniture and appliances that are too big for the space – as if people think if they have the space, they ought to fill it.

The result is that spaces end up feeling crowded and cramped, and this can be a big deterrent for buyers and does no favours for the overall selling value of your home.

7. Too Trendy

There’s just something about that word, isn’t there? “Trendy”. When something is described as “trendy”, you automatically assume it isn’t, or won’t be for much longer.

The same goes when the word is used to describe home décor. Whatever you do with your renovations, don’t let your home become too trendy, because in the blink of an eye what was once trendy will become dated.

“When renovating for profit, it is important that you dissociate yourself from your home.”

When you are renovating your home to sell, you ideally want to go for neutral colours and stainless steel appliances that appeal to all kinds of buyers.

The wider your market is, the higher price you can expect for your property.

8. Old Fixtures

Holding on to old fittings and fixtures could be bringing down the value of your property more than you realise.

Old taps and door handles don’t go unnoticed by potential buyers. They look dated and can really age your property.

Even if you don’t plan to undertake serious house renovations, changing your old fixtures for new ones is a quick and easy way to freshen up your property and add value to your home before you sell.

9. Too Much Colour

Trying to sell a house with an assortment of over the top wall colours is a common mistake made by many.

If you are renovating your home for yourself to continue living in, of course do as you wish, but consider the future.

Painting your walls a deep red or a navy blue may seem like a great idea now, but down the track when you want to sell your home, light, neutral colours will greatly add value to your home and ultimately bring you the best price – and obtaining a colour such as this on top of one of the aforementioned colours will be an absolute nightmare.

Could your time and money be better spent sourcing some removable artwork that you can take with you when you decide you want to sell your home?

10. Ignoring Flaws

When renovating for profit, it is important that you dissociate yourself from your home.

While this can be a hard thing to do, you need to remember that it is important that you look at your home from the fresh perspective and see what potential buyers will see.

When putting your home on the market you want to add as much value to your home as possible.

It is always a good idea to have a building inspection done (especially if your house is more than 10 years old) to see if there is any major work that needs to be done in order to stop it from bringing down the value of your property.

If you are thinking of buying selling or investing and would like a FREE 5 minute chat
with Street News Director Peter Sarmas, please contact him on 0418 740 606
or via email at [email protected]

About the Author

Peter Sarmas is a Certified Property Investment Advisor (PIAA) and Vendor/Buyer Advocate. Before becoming the founder of Street News, Peter completed a Degree in Applied Science (Chemistry) and a Graduate Diploma in Property Valuations (Hons). Peter believes property investing is a major and potentially risky undertaking. In his view, everyone should have an independent person acting on their behalf when seeking property investment advice.

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