The easy changes that add value to your investment property

July 12, 2021


Acknowledgement to Sue Williams, Domain,  June, 2021 (abridged)

The easy changes that add value to your investment property

Investors have flooded back into residential real estate nationally, pulling money out of equity markets to buy property at rock-bottom interest rates in the hope prices will continue to rise.

But the wise ones, says buyers’ agent Emma Bloom, are those choosing either houses or apartments that they know they can improve to provide some kind of value-add.

“That’s a sure way of making your money work harder for you,” says Bloom, director of agency Morrell and Koren.
“If you bought something that’s a finished product, then you’d have to be sure it’s in a very good growth location, so you can make money on it that way instead.

“A lot of people are now buying investment properties to improve, rent out now, and then maybe use later to give their children a toehold in the property market. And so they want to make the properties future-proof.”
There are many things they can do to achieve that.

Cosmetic changes, like cleaning and painting and renewing flooring, can cost little but may dramatically impact.

Interiors expert Andrew Loader from his eponymous design company in Sydney always recommends making spaces look larger, brighter and lighter by repainting in neutral colours.

“That can make even smaller spaces look much bigger than they are,” he says.
“Flooring is also very important. It needs to look good and be hard-wearing and durable at the same time. Carpets can need a lot of cleaning, but hard timber floors or tiled floors are always a good idea for investment properties.”
“Putting in storage can also make a home a lot more appealing to tenants. A lot of older houses and apartments often don’t have enough storage or they were built when free-standing wardrobes were in vogue.”

Dated window dressings, awnings and flyscreens can also age a property, and make it a lot darker than it should be, advises Sara Chamberlain, director of Melbourne’s The Real Estate Stylist.

And there’s no substitute for a thorough clean, and repairing any damage done to walls, floors and backyards by pets.
“There are so many little jobs that can be done by anyone with even the slightest clue about DIY,” says Chamberlain.
“Replacing grouting in bathrooms, updating taps, replacing simple fittings … these can all have a major effect on how a place looks.”

“It’s also always worth spending a bit of time in the front garden as first impressions are so important, and so many people might take a drive-by to have a look. You want to make sure the grass looks good, that the front gate doesn’t squeak and that the letterbox is smart.”

However, resist major work, like replacing the kitchen and bathrooms, since such a big expenditure will slash rental yields.

“If you buy an investment property, then do a major renovation, then realistically you should never have bought it,” says David Easterbrook, owner of Elite Buyer Agents.
“That’s the difference between what you do to an investment property, and what you do as an owner-occupier.”

Caloundra City Realty

Article by Caloundra City Realty

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