With COVID-19 forcing people to spend more time at home, renovations have never been more popular.

One survey carried out by Architecture & Design Magazine revealed no less than one-in-three Australians planned to renovate their home over 2021, with an average spend of $26,000. This means that our economy could receive a $52 billion renovation injection over the next 12 months.

I’ve sold more property in Darling Point than any other agent and my experience has shown me that, in our local area, there are certain things you need to do if you want to add value to your property. There are also certain things you need to do to avoid overcapitalising.

With that in mind, here are my top five renovation tips.

1. Think about who’s likely to buy your property

I’ve sold many original properties to buyers who’ve renovated them to make a good profit. But most buyers don’t renovate their homes to sell; they renovate them to make their own lives more pleasant. Even if that’s the case for your renovation, you should still keep the property market and potential buyers in mind.

After all, your property will only ever be worth what people are willing to pay for it. So, if you’re hoping that your renovation will add value to your home, it needs to be in line with what potential buyers want and also what they value in a home.

This is especially true if you’re doing major renovation work. For instance, in our experience downsizers buying into Darling Point want level access, low maintenance and anything that lets them live a lock-up and leave lifestyle. Growing families may pay more for an extra bedroom and bathroom, a parents retreat or a rumpus room.

If you can give potential buyers what they want, it will create competition and increase the value of your home.

2. Consider the property itself

While buyers looking at $10 million to $20 million family homes might expect a designer kitchen with high-end appliances, buyers of a regular one-bedroom starter flat won’t. Putting these in your home probably won’t add much value at all. A luxury apartment with harbour views may be a different story.

Similarly, if you have an expensive home and renovate with a budget fit out, you’re probably just pouring money down the drain. Any buyer will want to redo the home themselves and will factor that in – or subtract it – from what they’re prepared to pay.

The rule here is to always make sure the value of your renovations is appropriate for the value of your home.

Thinking of selling?
Just researching the market?

That said, Darling Point is a premium area and buyers will often pay for quality. It’s just that there’s sometimes a fine line between quality and indulgence. If you engage in the latter, you may not always recoup your money.

3. Use professionals

Home renovation shows can leave you feeling that designing and carrying out your own renovation is simple. Anyone who’s actually gone through the process will tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.

That’s why we always advise people to use proper, licensed professionals to do any work. This is particularly true when your home is an apartment, and you need to be super careful of adhering to strata requirements, so your renovation doesn’t adversely impact the building or neighbours.

We also recommend using an interior designer and architect for any substantial renovations. People will often seek out and pay more for architect-designed homes and, while DIY may save you some money upfront, it will likely cost you a lot more in the long term.

4. Spend on what does matter

There are things that do matter in any renovation. For instance, creating a stylish and functional kitchen and bathrooms. Extra cupboards and built-in storage are always coveted.

Since the pandemic, we have seen a huge demand for study spaces, office nooks, or any type of space that can be used to work from home. We are also increasingly seeing many buyers attracted to homes with green credentials – from recycled rainwater in the garden, to double glazing, solar panels, passive solar design, and more.

5. Ask an agent

Darling Point is predominantly units, which often restricts the type of renovation you can undertake – it’s much harder to add bedrooms for example. But one of the biggest trends we’ve seen in recent years is people thinking big, and merging two units or apartments into one. Or reconfiguring a unit altogether, in a complete transformation.

A good real estate agent can use their local knowledge to help you understand what your home is worth now and what it’s likely to be worth post-renovation. By having your home appraised and letting you know what other homes in the area are selling for, they’ll be able to help you gauge how much to spend.

Get in touch with me today if you’d like to discuss your renovation.