There are two main benefits to renovating your property – firstly, you can make it more comfortable and compatible for your lifestyle; and secondly, you can increase the value of your home. The challenge is to find the right balance between these two benefits – if you invest too much into renovations, you risk reducing the amount of profit you would make when you sell.
So how do you strike the balance and turn your renovation into profit?
The 10% rule
One handy rule of thumb is to ensure your renovation doesn’t cost more than 10% of the property’s value. If you are planning an extensive renovation, do your research to make sure you are not over-capitalizing. If you are building a substantial extension on a family home, for example, you should regain the value through creating a home that suits your family’s needs for a considerable period of time.
Keep it simple and contained
The renovations that increase the value of a home are generally in the kitchen and bathroom. A future buyer wants to know that these rooms are up-to-date with relatively new fixtures and fittings. The garden is another selling point as potential buyers will be attracted to a healthy, well maintained garden.
Take your renovations slowly, step by step, finishing one room before starting on another. This way, you can keep track of costs and also ensure that your house remains “liveable” rather than turning into a chaotic mess that will be finished one day!
Check for council approval
Before you dive into any renovations, make sure you have council approval. As part of the process, ask your neighbours to check over your plans before you start work. You don’t want the neighbours complaining that your renovation reduces the value or comfort of their home. Sometimes it just means repositioning a window that overlooks the neighbour’s yard, in order to keep everyone happy.
Consider your financing
Depending on your financial position, you could use your equity to finance the renovations, a combination of equity and savings, or you could take out a construction loan. In order to access the equity on your home loan, you need to ensure that the loan includes features such as redraw, line of credit and an offset account (this of course varies based on individual circumstances and needs).
A construction loan is written against the renovated valuation of the property, and the lender interacts directly with the builder, making regular milestone payments and monitoring a schedule. Basically, your lender has a vested interest in ensuring your renovation increases the value of your home.