Home Renovations that Make You Money

As the costs of building soars more and more South Africans are opting to purchase existing properties – which is good news for home owners looking to sell. The latest residential building statistics from ABSA indicate that the average cost of building new housing increased by 7.4% year on year to an average of R6 415 per square meter in the first seven months of 2016, up from R6009 during the previous year.  While this isn’t good news for residential construction as such, it is good news for home owners looking to sell.
When thinking of alterations to a home it’s always good to keep the eventual resale value of the property in mind. “These days agents are reporting that home owners are even doing renovations, not only for their own comfort, but with the specific aim of increasing their sales prices”, says Bruce Swain, MD of Leapfrog Property Group.
Where to spend, if you want to sell
Naturally a well-maintained home will always get a better price, when compared to similar, but shabbier properties. That being said, there are a few areas to concentrate renovations on (especially if the budget is limited):
The kitchen
“If you’ve got a limited budget spend it on the kitchen – they’re expensive to renovate and will carry weight with a buyer. It’s not necessarily a case of refitting the entire kitchen, even painting the walls and cupboards can make a big difference”, believes Swain.
The bathroom
Another area Swain recommends working on is the bathroom – ensure that at least one bathroom has a shower with good water pressure, ensure that mould and rust have been removed and that everything looks clean and in good condition. “People are visual, especially when looking to make a significant financial investment like buying a property. A well maintained bathroom will do much to instil confidence that the rest of the property has been taken care of”, Swain explains. 
The garden

According to Swain maintaining the garden is also a sure sign of good upkeep and will do much to assure buyers that all is as it seems.
Add a garage
“If at all possible, add a garage to the property – safety and parking space is at a premium and a secure garage can definitely bump up the asking price on a property. Especially as people are generally still so dependent on private transport in South Africa” believes Swain.
“A final trick is to apply for planning permission; a buyer will definitely appreciate knowing that they will be able to extend the property if need be”.
At the end of the day the value of a property is determined by many factors – the seller’s preference, location, price, size and more. Taking care of these key areas will definitely boost the resale value of the property – as well as making the current home owners more comfortable while they live there as well.  “My final advice would be to guard against over-capitalising a home; before starting renovations get a valuation from an estate agent as to the real value of the property and the added worth the renovations will bring, and then decide whether the renovations are worth the expense”, says Swain.

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