Add kerb appeal
Create a great first impression with a refreshed entrance, says Cherie Barber of Renovating for Profit. “Trimming trees and shrubs covering the house can instantly improve the facade and allow more light in,” she suggests. “Fill out garden beds and top with woodchip or decorative pebbles, and paint old pathways with a paint like White Knight Ultra Pave.”
Finishing touches like a new letterbox, numerals and outdoor light can also make a big difference. “I call these the bling of the property as they really help bring the facade together,” says Cherie.
Refresh with paint
A paint update is one of the most transformative things you can do, explains interior designer Hayley Richardson of Living Space Interiors.. “A fresh neutral colour inside and out can instantly modernise your home. White interior walls are timeless, but if you’re unsure which external colours are best, enlist a colour consultant,” she says.
If you have ugly carpet, rip it out. “In older homes you may be lucky enough to discover beautiful timber floors underneath, which will add value to your home and look beautiful with a simple clean and wax,” says Hayley. Over an exposed concrete slab, timber-look laminate is a good economical option, or if the budget allows, Hayley suggests large honed travertine tiles or engineered oak.
Revamp kitchens and bathrooms
“The old saying, ‘Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes,’ still rings true,” says Hayley, who suggests spending most of your energy enhancing these zones.
If your kitchen is dated but still in good condition, Cherie recommends simple cosmetic updates. “Products like White Knight laminate paint and tile paint, and White Knight benchtop protective coating, allow you to easily change your old cabinetry colour,” she says.
Another option is getting a new benchtop cut to measure and/or replacing the cabinetry fronts. If your budget won’t stretch to a bathroom refit, make small but significant changes.
“Swap old tapware and towel rails for sleek chrome or matt black versions; install a large vanity mirror to boost natural light; and if you’ve got a coloured shower screen, change it to clear glass, which will make the room feel far more spacious,” says Cherie.
Connect your living area to the outdoors
Everyone loves an open-plan layout and seamless connection to the outdoors so, if possible, look to create both. Seek advice from a builder about which internal walls are non-structural and can be removed, and whether it’s an option to convert a window or narrow external door into large glass sliders or bifolds, which can open onto a deck or paved area. While this can be a costly alteration, it may dramatically enhance your home’s appeal and saleability.
Don’t make changes that may polarise buyers. For decor, stick to crowd-pleasing neutrals, don’t overspend on custom additions and don’t personalise spaces with excessive embellishment. Adding a pool might not pay off, either. “It’s a huge expense that may actually deter buyers concerned about safety and maintenance,” says Cherie.
How much to spend
“To avoid over-capitalising, don’t spend more than 10 per cent of your home’s current value on a complete cosmetic upgrade,” says Cherie. Look at similar homes for sale in the area to gauge buyers’ expectations and what changes will result in the biggest return. “If you’ve got the space and budget, one of the best changes is adding another bedroom, which can push your property into the next price bracket, provided higher resale values exist in your suburb,” adds Cherie.
Photo credit: Renovating for Profit.