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11 Home renovation ideas to boost your property's value

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Renovating your property can significantly increase its value, even if you only make small changes. Here are some renovation ideas that will actually add value and can potentially earn you thousands of dollars as capital gains when you decide to sell your home:

Related: What increases the value of your home? See the property features Aussies buyers want most

Related:Renovating vs Buying a new home?

Related: Renovation checklist

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1. Adding an outdoor entertaining deck

Australians love to spend time outdoors, and they love to entertain. Why not combine both of those things into a functional, high quality outdoor entertaining deck? Bonus points if it’s partly or completely covered to keep the sun and rain off you and your guests.

You could even opt to add a small gazebo that will give your backyard a resort-like quality. Or, if you’d like to save, think about what you can do with your existing space.

If you have a courtyard, you can tidy it up, add a stylish outdoor setting, a barbeque, nice lighting and some plants, and you’ve got yourself an attractive entertaining area. If and when the time comes to sell, buyers are able to envision themselves living and entertaining there.

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2. Change the layout of your home

Sometimes, the original layout of your home doesn’t make sense for you and your family anymore. Older houses in particular are often entirely sectioned off into many walled rooms with doors.

It’s hard to deny that open-plan living is in trend. Having your kitchen, dining room and living room all in one big space can make your home seem larger and brighter.

When you’re entertaining, you can be cooking in the kitchen and not feel left out of the fun and conversation with your guests. In general, it’s a lot easier to socialise and spend time with your family in an open-plan home.

Sometimes, it’s as simple as knocking a wall out to create a larger, less confining space. Unless you are particularly handy, it is recommended to hire a builder to do the work. They’ll also be able to make sure the walls etc. requiring change are not of a lot of structural significance.

While prices vary depending on the size and material of the wall (as well as the builder), they typically start at around $300. If it is a load-bearing wall, you should expect to pay at least $1000.

3. Remodel the kitchen

outdoor-kitchen One of the best and most common ways to increase your home’s value is by remodelling the kitchen. For many people, the kitchen is the centre of the home and a gathering place for the family. It’s definitely something you want to prioritise if you’re thinking of selling.

It can also be a good idea to opt for fairly classic styles that would appeal to a wide group. You might love an ultra-modern look, but future buyers might not want to feel like they’re in a spaceship.

While most kitchens can be repainted, save the hassle by choosing neutral and popular tones. Whites, greys, natural timber and variations on blue are typically well-received.

Kitchens often lack sufficient storage, so don’t neglect this aspect. A substantial-sized pantry (even a butler’s pantry) is a nice way to optimise storage.

And don’t forget about the appliances! While you usually take your fridge, microwave and kettle with you when you sell your house, other appliances including the oven and dishwasher are likely to remain in the kitchen. So, consider high quality appliances from reputable companies.

In some cases, a full re-do is not necessary and may be too expensive. Other inexpensive ways to improve your kitchen can be to replace countertops, handles & knobs and repainting the cabinets.

You could also add or change a backsplash, an island, add some new appliances and other fittings such as a new tap or sink.

By adding an island, you can increase counter space and make the kitchen much more functional. While it is great to have an inbuilt one, you can also purchase portable islands that will be cheaper and just as practical.

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4. Update the bathroom

Like the kitchen, a bathroom is somewhere we all spend a lot of time. Older bathrooms can be a little unpleasant if they appear a little unclean. For example, dirty grouting between otherwise clean tiles can give this kind of impression.

If you don’t want to do a complete bathroom overhaul, but would still like to spruce it up, there are a few things you can do.

To counter the example above, you can re-tile your bathroom. Tiles are also a nice way to add some personality into your home and there are countless options to choose from.

You could also update fixtures like the tap and sink, toilet, showerhead, lighting and mirror. Even putting in a couple of plants can add colour to the space.

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5. Make a good first impression

What is the first thing potential buyers will see when they arrive for a viewing of your property? The front, of course.

Boost your curb appeal by tidying up the garden and the face of your house. You can add a fresh coat of paint (where appropriate) or even just paint the door a fun colour.

If you have the space for it, consider adding some basic outdoor furniture and decor such as a bench, bird bath and some potted plants.

Unfortunately for apartment-owners, there’s not as much you can do, but if the building’s exterior and garden is looking shabby, you may be able to contact building management to do some maintenance.

6. Simple landscaping

australian-home A grand, intricate garden is absolutely beautiful. However, for the average person, it may be too complex and time-consuming to maintain.

If your garden needs some work, consider simple changes and additions. Adding some grass, shrubberies and easily to maintain plants can aesthetically enhance a property and increase its value.

Just to note, if you take a keen interest in gardening, don’t shy away from pursuing your hobby. A complex garden is very unlikely to reduce property value. But, for those who are paying someone to re-do the garden, a simple garden is more than good enough.

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7. Rethink your lighting

Another affordable change you can make to boost your property’s value is to reconsider your lighting.

An interior designer can help you optimise your lighting, but you can also do it yourself. Consider adding dimmers to as many overhead lights as you can and be considerate of the brightness and colour of the light.

A stark white, ultra-bright light is unappealing, unflattering and definitely something to avoid in rooms with mirrors. No one wants to feel bad about themselves when they’re brushing their teeth!

8. Change or add windows

window-seat At the other end of the lighting spectrum, natural light is heavily sought after and big windows always look good.

A lot of houses in Australia (often older ones), have very small, or very few windows. Refresh and modernise a space by installing some larger ones.

In small spaces, a large window can create the impression of a larger, more open space. No one wants to feel claustrophobic in their new home.

Another option to consider when getting new windows is double-glazing. While these types of windows are commonly associated with cooler climates, they can actually keep out the heat and cold.

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9. An extra bedroom or a granny flat

If you have the space on your property for it, a home extension or separate building can add a lot of value.

Research says that an extra bedroom can increase a property’s value by somewhere between around $95,000 and $150,000. Sometimes, you may even be able to rework space and your home’s layout to add in an extra bedroom with the help of an architect.

A granny flat is an attractive option as it can serve as guest accommodation for when family comes to visit, a space for adult children or as a rental property. Leasing your granny flat can introduce an additional income.

10. Add warmth with a fireplace

living-room-with-fireplace A fireplace may not be a top priority for every homeowner, but just about everyone likes them.

Not only do they add literal warmth, but they also serve as a space for family time and can be an alternative centre of the home.

If you choose to add a fireplace, you have so many options. You could choose something classic and traditional, with a decorative mantel-piece. Or you could choose something modern and cool that could become a design feature of the house.

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11. Don’t forget about storage!

Most buyers will be looking for a lot of inbuilt storage in a new home. It is very practical and much better than having an oversupply of free-standing wardrobes and cupboards.

Think about adding built-in wardrobes to the bedrooms and maybe even a walk-in wardrobe for the master bedroom. It’s a good idea to have a linen cupboard as it can be hard to find space for excess bed linen, towels and blankets.

Storage in the laundry room or cupboard is also a valuable and attractive addition for buyers with families.

Home renovations are a great way to add value to your home. Consider investing a little time and money to improve your home and you will likely earn it all back (and more) if you decide to sell.

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The information in this post is general in nature and should not be considered personal or financial advice. You should always seek professional advice or assistance before making any financial decisions.

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