Many home owners enjoy keeping their homes in tune with the times, whether it’s the husband’s braai-room and garage or the wife’s kitchen and office. It keeps the home fresh and clean and brings a new feeling into the family, or, we hope it increases the sale value for selling.
Deep down in our pockets though, we all know that renovations to a home is a dauntingly expensive exercise. So while home improvement projects can add value and appeal to your home, whether for personal or for selling, some projects will add more value than others. Just because you spend R100,000 on a project or more, doesn’t mean your home value is automatically worth R100,000 more.
So many factors affect the home sale value. Such as the area you live in, what amenities are nearby and how soon you sell after renovating (things deteriorate and break). With that said, and based on personal experience, the best looking or fanciest house on the block might not sell for the best price or bring the best profits. You need to check the market value of houses in your area and consider getting a property valuation report. Chat to your real estate agent for assistance. Even if you renovate for personal interest, looking at long term affects to your pocket and property value as an investment over time is the wisest.
We owned an old Cape Town property which needed more “TLC” than the economy currently, but over 6 years and steady ongoing improvement projects that fit the pocket, we more than doubled the value of our home. Making for a better living environment, and a great investment.
Here are the improvements which paid off the best in terms of money spent and value increased.
Food brings people together, and as such, the kitchen is at the centre. It is highly recommended to renovate the kitchen in easy to clean materials that add a shine and sheen, not only does this add a flare of fancy for the visitors, but, assuming its somewhat trend and colour neutral, will make up the cost of the renovation if you intend to sell (at least very close to it). Make sure your built-in appliances are energy efficient to, a stainless steel gas stove has massive appeal in the current energy crisis
Something a basic DIYer can dive into, which is great if you are on a budget pinch. We renovated (me), renovated our entire bathroom, from floor to ceiling for under R10,000, the bath was in great condition, I kept it, as it was old school. Everything else was replaced, sanded and repainted with a high quality mold resistant paint. Special attention was paid to corners and grooves as mold can develop very quickly, make sure to clean very well with the right chemicals, and after, cover or paint with the right mold resistant sealants and paint. Ask your local hardware store for assistance and they are all to happy to help. Keep everything as spacious and functional as possible, even if it means a single basin instead of a double basin set-up (which is very popular)
Referring to my point above, this one actually needs a point on its own. Space. If you are selling, this is very important, it gives the buyer more room in their imagination to visualize how they will live in the home you are selling. Very very few buyers will appreciate clutter, albeit in fixtures, furniture or home layout.
The little details
This goes without saying, however, on house hunting I was really put off a house if the basic plumbing, fittings and fixtures had problems or were even missing. It gives the buyer, and maybe friends, the idea that the house has been neglected and leaves a thought in the back of the mind of “what else is there?”. I can’t say it added value to my home when I made sure all these little details were taken care of, but I am certain it helped close the deal.
Garden and grass
Keep the grass clean and cut and any display areas or hedges trimmed and tidy to. The appearance of a low maintenance garden (and the upgrade to low maintenance thereof) goes a very long way in convincing a buyer and recouping your own sanity. Maybe in the 1950’s we all could have maintained a stunning garden, but in this day and age, Im not so sure. Definitely a must on my list.
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