5 strategic tips: Add value to your home

ADDING VALUE: Make sure that the money you put in will be money you can get back out when it is time to sell.

ADDING VALUE: Make sure that the money you put in will be money you can get back out when it is time to sell.

Via Stuff.co.nz

Remember the children’s book Doghouse for Sale? Well in it, Freckles the dog fixes up his house in order to attract prospective buyers. But after adding a fresh coat of paint, putting in a nice new bed and making everything look attractive for a buyer, he has second thoughts and decides to keep it.

It’s an oldie, but a goodie, and is a good analogy for what a lot of homeowners do today – they decide to do renovations for selling purposes, and, just like Freckles, discover the house they have is in fact the one they wanted all along.

In fact, even if selling isn’t in your immediate future plans, it’s still good to think about the overall value to the property with any changes you do make. So if you are planning refurbishment for your house, Bruce Wiggins, a registered valuer and team leader for the QVV Northern Region, says the first thing homeowners should do is stand in someone else’s shoes.

“The best thing is to try and objectively take note of the good and bad points about your property, then identify what can be upgraded/fixed, and what will have to stay as it is. Consider present and future needs, and then ascertain whether the home in its current state meets those needs, or can be altered to meet those needs.”

Wiggins says that while you’re out on the street, it pays to look at the property in relation to that of the neighbours and other homes in the immediate area. Why? This will provide a natural picture of the locality. For example, if most houses are two level, with four bedrooms, then a one level two bedroom home has plenty of scope for enhancement. However, if the situation is reversed, it probably wouldn’t pay to think about adding more rooms.

Once the above has been done, engaging a valuer is a solid next step to ascertain the current value of your home and to provide a starting point. They will also give a breakdown of the site and building value, and if the buildings are of significantly less value than the land it sits on, there is probably scope to undertake the work that has been envisaged.

After the ideas have been flowing and a wishlist has been drawn up it’s time to decide ‘where to from here’. Wiggins suggests starting with the big stuff first.

“Work down from the large to the small. Whatever is required, it pays to work in a logical sequence by getting the big stuff done and progressing to the little things. A piecemeal approach is not recommended as it can make a property appear bitty. Some people get so far and then get stuck, and when this results in a half-finished property, there will be a negative impact. So be sure of your ability to complete whatever is planned to the level envisaged.”

It also pays to consider what kind of finishing you want when it comes to the fixtures and fittings. Some will argue that it is always better to go with quality, for both durability and better return on investment, but that can depend on the value of the property. It is important to remember that you should always start as you mean to go on.

Wiggins notes that high-end kitchens should definitely be matched with high-end bathrooms, because an imbalance between the two could affect value. And something else that needs cautious consideration is this: how much you spend isn’t always comparable to the amount of value you are adding to the property.

“Properties are initially constructed with fittings that are of a similar quality throughout, and while kitchens and bathrooms are the obvious places where money can be spent and add value, care is needed. A $50,000 kitchen or bathroom is not going to have the same result in a low-value property as in a higher-end property.

“This relates primarily to market conditions, but basically spending too much on a low(er) value property will possibly mean you don’t get all your money back – it’s known as overcapitalisation. Conversely, not spending enough on a high value property will have a similar effect, in that it may pull the overall value down.”

While there is no guarantee when it comes to adding value through renovations, sticking with the obvious is the safest bet, and if you feel like the ‘ugly duckling’ on your street, there is certainly no harm in looking at a few viable options.

“If the majority of properties in the area are four bedroom and yours is three, then adding a bedroom will most likely enhance value. Care must be taken however to ensure that the cost of the renovation does not exceed the value of the end result,” says Wiggins.

It might seem like an overwhelming task to update your abode, but just remember Freckles and his dog house – he was pretty chuffed with all his hard work in the end. So before you embark on any renovations, Wiggins’ advice is to plan, talk to friends and relatives about their experiences, and engage a valuer to establish the before and after renovation values based on the plans.

“I’d also recommend liaising with lenders, builders and architects to ensure that you’re getting what you want, and that you can afford to complete the job.”

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About Peter Griffioen

Peter Griffioen - or simply Griff to those who know him - has an established reputation as a high-producing Harcourts Canterbury salesperson. With a focused approach to customer service you can rest assured that you are in good hands, whether it be a relaxed chat about the state of the market or an in-depth discussion regarding your next property transaction. The key advantage of engaging Team Griff’s services is their local knowledge and experience. Currently in this post-seismic era, it is vital to have true professionals working on your behalf, ensuring that you are guided through the process professionally and with a caring approach. The advent of the ‘as is, where is’ market means specialised expertise are required and Team Griff has taken it on themselves to both understand and explain the pros and cons of this now accepted sale/purchase option. For over 26 years the Griff brand has become synonymous with achieving results. Griff now prides himself with his five member team and takes much satisfaction from empowering them to both achieve and reach their own goals. A team with a proven track record placed with the highest ranking Harcourts Million Dollar Club members, exceeding the $275m level. Such accomplishments highlight the team’s exceptional marketing and negotiating skills. Team Griff are recognised as industry leaders for their online presence and regular blog posts of current and relevant real estate information. E-marketing and readily available property specific detailed info means Team Griff’s clients have the edge when it comes to selling their homes, not forgetting purchasers who benefit first hand. A simple Google search says it all – the Griff brand ranking with the most frequent. Griff’s life focus extends beyond business, with quality time and fun being high priorities, while mountain biking, boating and fishing provide that vital time out. His Christian faith is his anchor for daily living, and his community is important to him. For a team approach to optimize the result for your next property transaction, be sure to talk to this award winning team - synonymous with hard work and results! Griff and his trusted team welcome your enquiry today.

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