Improve your home’s sale chances with regular improvements

In any neighbourhood it is likely that two, three, four or more homes may have been built at the same time, on roughly the same size erven and offering similar accommodation.

Nevertheless, if these properties were put on the market simultaneously today their market related value could differ by as much as 30 percent, says Wayne Albutt, the Rawson Property Group’s regional sales manager for the Western Cape.

This depends on the care and thoroughness with which the homes have been maintained and looked after.

“Although some people will pay out large sums on life, vehicle and health insurance, they neglect to insure themselves against the day when their home has to be sold – and statistics show that on average middle class homes in South Africa are resold in under 10 years. Death, divorce, occupational transfers, promotions, job losses, lifestyle changes, family circumstances and many other factors make it very unlikely that people will occupy only one home throughout their adult lives.”

This being the case, Albutt says home owners should budget to ensure that their homes gain value well ahead of the national average – and this can be assured by regular and committed ongoing improvements and maintenance.

Repainting, waterproofing, improving the lighting, flooring, security systems as well as adding on extra facilities such as braai rooms, laundries and garages, replanting and upgrading of the garden will always add roughly double the cost of the original outlay to the value of the home. This is obviously always subject to working within reason on quality of finishes while bearing in mind the maximum potential of the neighbourhood.

Furniture, too, says Albutt, should be replaced and improved regularly. When the home is sold, one that is tastefully and appropriately furnished will attract far higher offers, or quicker offers, than vacant or poorly furnished homes.

“Just 1 percent of the market value of your property invested each year on home improvements should guarantee one of the best returns around. The biggest benefit of owning your own home is the lifestyle investment element and not necessarily the financial aspect. Constantly adding value to your property a little bit at a time, most importantly, makes your home a much more pleasant environment to live in, a place called home, where experiences are shared and memories are created,” says Albutt.

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