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Budget friendly home improvement tips

By Shaye Williams

Thinking of selling your house? A well-presented home can be the difference between a good price and a great price but no one wants to spend money on big changes.

Luckily, there are some great ways to add value to your home without breaking the bank and Ray White Premium Property Specialist Christine Rudolph knows them all.

A fresh coat of paint

A good, budget-friendly thing to do is fixing and painting fences, one thing that really lifts a house is painting a wooden fence in a lovely neutral colour like Monument which is big at the moment.

Monument and also Baltica are both really nice dark colours and the benefit of dark colours is that they blend in and make the garden space look bigger. It creates a lovely picture frame for a beautiful garden and the green looks amazing against those darker colours.

You could also get some concrete paint for that area under the house that is bare or the driveway – that’s very cost effective and it’s about $70 for paint and brushes and will only take a day. It’s something that really lifts the whole front of the house.

Add some greenery

Another thing I would recommend is to take the time to do some hedging, especially if you have neighbours that are close. This is a great opportunity to start buying hedging like lilly pillies which are fast growing, evergreen Australian natives with glossy leaves that bush up nicely.

At the front of the house, it’s worth investing in some nice pots and putting some lovely green plants out there.

First impressions are really important so at the entrance of the house get some beautiful pavers and pave the front of the house and put in some garden beds.

Another thing people are emotional about when it comes to selling a house are vegetable patches, it’s a lovely way to spend this time, creating a veggie patch and putting in some fresh herbs. It smells good with some lovely fresh rosemary, thyme and mint. Really use this time to fall in love with your house and make it a beautiful and pleasurable place to live.

Fixture refresh

I have clients at the moment that are using this time to update their kitchen. They have a cottage that they own in Auchenflower and are ripping out the kitchen because they have the time. They are doing it themselves and have bought a flatpack Hampton style kitchen that matches the look of the cottage.

The other thing is to take time to do the bathroom. Simple things like doing a pretty makeover where you go and pick new floor tiles to update the bathroom and some lovely wall tiles so you can keep the bath there.

Get a new screen and new vanity as well and you can easily and cost effectively do a really pretty bathroom makeover that might add $10,000 to your sale price when you only paid $5,000 because people think they don’t have to do anything to it. You can do this with a lick of paint, pretty tiles, new lights, new vanity and taps and new shower screen.

Outdoor update

Repainting, sanding or re-oiling decks that’s a terrific thing to be doing. All those little jobs that have been on the backburner, this a great time to do them.

The other thing is putting in lovely outdoor entertaining areas that add value, people love outdoor kitchens and it’s a fantastic thing to have lovely outdoor entertainment space. And coming into winter they’re great because people want to take advantage of the winter sun, sitting out there and having a barbeque.

Renovation mistakes

People need to make a decision when they decide to go ahead with renovations about whether or not they are in the home for the next twenty to thirty years. If they are and they are doing a beautiful renovation for their own pleasure, over that time the outlay they put into the renovation will well and truly be returned to them because the home will continue to appreciate.

Where I see a lot of big mistakes is when people don’t do their research before renovating the property and over capitalising with the expectation that they can buy and do a renovation and then on-sell within twelve months to two years and make a big return on their investment.

I think you just have to get good advice from a trusted real agent before doing a big renovation to ask, ‘what would you recommend and if I do this, what is likely to be my return on investment if I sell in twelve months?’ because unfortunately many people are making mistakes on over capitalising and spending far more money than what the average sale price is for the suburb.


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