6 min readWhen you purchase an investment property, the whole ball game changes in terms of your renovation budget and strategy. You’re forced to pull back on putting your individual style into the home, and instead, implement changes with future renter’s and buyer’s needs and wants in mind. Your favourite colour isn’t always what someone else wants and what’s best for you design-wise, isn’t necessarily best for your target market.
From extensions to kitchen updates, to soft furnishings and impressive outdoor living spaces, you not only want your property to stand out, but you want to add value to your property.
While increasing the value of your investment property is the top priority, it is vital to keep within a strict budget. Remind yourself that it’s an investment property and not your home, where decisions should be made from a rational financial perspective, as opposed to getting emotionally invested. It’s also recommended to carefully consider who your target market is first and research other properties in the area before tackling the project.
Having your finger on the pulse when it comes to the property market is essential. Buyers want the latest trends and innovations, practicality and that extra wow-factor. While renters are on the lookout for new looking, functional and clean spaces with all the essential amenities. Smart fixtures and upgrades that won’t cost a fortune but can help seal the deal go a long way for attracting quality tenants and qualified buyers.
Here are a few value-adding opportunities worth considering for your investment property.
1. Create a feeling of space.
Extensions and remodelling can vastly improve the functionality of a floorplan, as well as boost its visual appeal. Adding an extra bedroom if space permits or a self-contained garden retreat can go a long way to upping your property’s value and potential rental income.
Open entryways, built-in shelving and storage, removing walls and finding a way to ‘link’ zones will all help maximise your use of space. Connect open plan spaces together through different textures, material choices and colour repetition.
Maximise natural light by using shiny reflective surfaces for decorating, fittings and fixtures to create the illusion of more space, as well as a luxurious look. Use materials such as metallics, glass or mirrors to achieve this.
2. First impressions count.
Ultimately, kerb appeal is what ‘sells’ your home – initially. Potential buyers and renters will quickly scroll past your home if it doesn’t offer any potential at a glance or entice them to want to see more. In today’s tech-driven world, where most house hunters use the internet to look at properties, how your home is presented on the outside matters – and the interior of the home needs to align well with the first impression too.
Attractive exteriors with well-maintained landscaping will draw interest and boost your chances of renting it out or selling quickly. The yard should be neatly manicured with established walkways and lush landscaping. Think trimmed shrubs, freshly mulched garden beds, trimmed lawns and pretty window boxes for a classic homely look. Use neutral colours, with a boldly coloured front door, trims and shutters to make a statement. Add a new doormat, house numbers, a porch swing and durable hardware for a simple but charming touch.
3. Boost natural light.
Plenty of natural light in a property is always a good selling point. Natural light makes any home feel brighter, more spacious and inviting.
Avoiding heavy window treatments will encourage more light to flow into your spaces, while light-coloured walls and floors and the use of mirrors will also create the illusion of more space. You can also enhance the sense of space by adding plenty of lighting, recessed lighting fixtures or skylights and reflective tiles in the kitchen and bathroom.
If you have the budget, knocking down walls and installing new windows and doors can transform the entire space and bring in additional natural light. A wall of bi-folding glass doors is the ultimate for upping natural light levels with a slick contemporary finish.
4. Build an outdoor space that wows.
Aussie living is synonymous with backyard entertaining, so building an outdoor space is paramount. A good outdoor space should act as an extension of the home’s living space and significantly boost its value. The area should be well-shaded and include features such as a deck or patio zone and adequate lighting. Landscaping choices are really important – a lawn for kids and pets, and trees for shade. Buyers and renters also desire privacy outdoors, so they can entertain and relax in peace.
The key to a well-designed outdoor space on a budget is functionality. There are countless cost-effective features you can implement to add value. Blur the lines between inside and out with wide glass doors and alfresco dining. Utilise outdoor rugs to soften the atmosphere and install a firepit and covered patio so the space can be used all year round.
A general rule of thumb when adding an outdoor space on a budget is to stimulate all senses by incorporating all four elements – earth, air, fire and water- into the design. Thus, greenery, water features (i.e. a pond or spa/swimming pool), a built-in firepit/fireplace or an outdoor kitchen and outdoor fan can tie the area together perfectly.
5. Freshen up with paint.
Never underestimate the value of a fresh coat of paint. If you’re selling and need to get buyers through the door, the property will almost always need some TLC when it comes to paint. It’s an investment not worth skimping on. This includes the home’s exterior too.
Neutral colours will not only make an area seem more spacious but will also enable buyers to better visualise their own tastes and personalities within the space. It’s also important, however, to brighten up the space with bold accessories or interesting focal points.
6. Go all out with the kitchen.
The kitchen is the showpiece of the home so buyers and renters want modern appliances, fixtures and fittings, and a space that’s fit for entertaining. You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a high-quality, great looking kitchen either. Kitchen renovations can be done for under $2,000 if you know what areas to focus on.
Use ‘green’ energy efficient appliances, embrace the power of paint, choose cost-effective flooring such as laminate floorboards and update the lights, fixtures and cabinets. If your kitchen cabinets are in good working order but look a little dated, you can transform them with just a lick of paint and new handles. Make sure there’s plenty of storage too.
The kitchen is the center point for dinner parties, cooking, entertaining and dining – so be sure to install a decent work surface. Invest in one big-ticket item to create a luxurious appeal; a chef’s gas cooktop or a waterfall-edge island kitchen bench will create impact.
Don’t forget to stick to the golden rule in kitchen design too – the three points of the triangle. That is arranging the sink, fridge and cooker within a work triangle, for easy access between the main kitchen zones while cooking.
Creating value-adding opportunities on a residential home doesn’t have to be a challenge or break the bank. With smart investments in a hot market, significant rental income and profit can be made when renting out or selling a well-designed investment property.