New Zealanders love doing DIY or renovating, but what factors increase your property value for resale?
Bathrooms and kitchens or more bedrooms are often noted as key selling points for buyers.
"However, the number one area that is often overlooked is outdoor living,” says Mike Voyle, from Voyle & Co Realty. “It’s the most heavily underutilised area I’ve seen in my years in real estate. Dollars spent in this area should get you good returns. A well thought out and kept garden, with defined spaces can really resonate with people.”
With this in mind, we’ve put outdoor living top of this list of home improvement ideas.
Maximise your outdoor space
Consider defined spaces that people can relate to like an entertainment area or a quiet space to retreat. Think beyond a simple lawn.
Street appeal and maintenance
As you walk up to a house you form a picture in your mind. Good street appeal is about giving people confidence. Make sure the basics are right, and your house is well maintained. Tidy up your garden, prune trees, mow the lawn, put in some nice planters and paint your front door or fence.
A simple update can be effective, particularly as some buyers prefer to create their own kitchen. It may be more cost effective to give your kitchen a facelift by replacing the benchtop, cupboard handles, taps and splashback.
You don’t need to do an expensive upgrade. Doing the best job possible for the lowest cost e.g. spending $10,000 on decent fittings and fixtures should mean you get a return on investment. Adding a second bathroom or toilet will also be popular with buyers.
These add to the quality feel of your house. Consider a fresh coat of paint on the walls, light fittings, new curtains and carpet (if looking a bit tired).
People want a warm, dry home so heating does add value. However, you may not get the return on investment immediately if installing a more expensive system like central heating.
“When thinking about home improvements consider first where you live as your spend needs to be relative to the average house price so you don’t overcapitalise,” says Craig, of Pope and Co. Mortgages. For example, if house prices are modest in your area you don’t want to spend $40,000 on a new kitchen.
What about larger renovations? Major renovations can be expensive but can add value to your home over time (as long as you don’t overcapitalise).
“For example, you could spend a bit more e.g. $100,000 adding $80,000 value in the short term. But as long as you don’t over do it, the return will happen over time. If in doubt, you could ask a valuer to give you a report (cost $600-700) that will provide you with an ‘as is’ and ‘on completion’ figure from the proposed renovations." says Craig.