01 Oct 14
If you are planning to renovate your investment property, our first piece of advice is not to over-capitalise the property by spending more than you can recover if you need to sell. Often, all that is needed might be some general repairs, painting, cleaning up or a few new fittings rather than a full renovation. We recommend you develop a clear plan before you begin, which includes what you want to renovate, a timeframe, a budget and a realistic assessment of the increase in weekly rent your project will generate.
If you align your renovation with typical tenant criteria, you can usually increase your rent by an extra $20 or more per week without it costing the earth.
Imagine a tenant looking at your property for the first time – start from the front gate and work inwards. The garden should be weeded, lawns mowed and gates, fences and paths in good condition. Make sure paintwork and windows are clean. Other things that can create a bad first impression are sticking doors, broken flyscreens, damaged light-fittings and worn out floor coverings. Make sure your property is clean, including ceiling fans, light fittings and exhaust fans. Attending to these things before people start viewing the property to rent will help to make your property more appealing, so it will rent faster.
To achieve this, start from the floor and work upwards! Replacing old carpets with tiles or floorboards will make the property look fresher and these are more resilient too. If your property is older, removing a non-structural wall to make an open-plan living space can greatly enhance the flow of the property. If you have rooms with dark coloured paint, use a lighter colour to brighten up the place and make it look bigger – keep in mind neutral colours appeal to more people. Let in the sun - replace heavy curtains with new blinds or lighter fabric. Installing some additional lights to darker rooms and updating old fashionedlight fittings with inexpensive new ones will also increase appeal.
Many investors shudder at the thought of kitchen and bathroom renovations, but the truth is that cosmetic renovations can be simple and inexpensive. Replacing tiles or whitening the grouting, and re-coating baths can help smarten up the fixtures. Then installing some new fittings like taps, shower heads, toilet seat, a well-lit mirror, kitchen splashbacks and handles for drawers and cupboards will transform these rooms.
Extras that many tenants find desirable or consider “must-have” features when house hunting include built-in wardrobes, safety devices on windows, air conditioning or ceiling fans and a dishwasher. Select electrical appliances such as air conditioning units and dishwashers carefully as you will be responsible for any repairs.
If you would like to discuss your renovation plans, and ensure it will be a worthwhile project that puts money back in your pocket, one of our experienced property management team will be happy to help.