Making Your House Renovation Financially Viable
Many house holders think that renovating their bathroom or kitchen will add considerable value to their home. However, not very few homeowners realise that any increase is going to be dependent upon the amount of renovating and the amount that you spend. The same applies to any aspect of house renovation or home improvements.
A key phrase to keep in mind is that cost does not always equal the same value. “Not every renovation will pay off when you come to sell the home,” according to a professional house-valuer in America, Richard Powers, MAI, SRA, President of the Appraisal Institute. He goes on to offer a few pointers on home improvement projects that may help people sell their homes for a higher price or in a shorter space of time. This site has some broad cost ranges for common house renovations in Auckland.
Don’t over-improve or over-capitalise. Instead of deciding to add another bedroom, look for what is standard in the other houses in your neighbourhood. Adding a deck might seem like a good idea but if no one else in the area has one, you may not see a return on investment.
Do invest in basic upgrades. Fresh paint (stick to neutral colors), new fixtures, flooring and lighting in kitchens and bathrooms can pay dividends. This is especially true with the front door. Remember, first impressions count and the first thing people see up close is your front door. If the window panes are cracked or the paint is peeling, the do not get a good impression.
Do consider adding an extra bathroom. Homeowners can often recoup the extra cost of a bathroom when they put their home on the market because of the appeal that extra bathrooms have for homebuyers. However, do not go overboard and add a marble-tiled 20 square meter bathroom just because you like it. Again, look at other houses in your locality and see what size those second bathrooms are.
Forego the swimming pool. While pools look good in the movies, generally they turn off more people than they attract because of the perceived upkeep and maintenance costs. Also you will need to have space to install protective fencing around the pool.
Enjoy your renovation. Why wait until you are ready to move to have that new kitchen? Generally, a new kitchen will hold its value for one or two years. However, if you are thinking of a larger renovation such as adding new rooms or knocking one or more rooms into a single big living area, then you might want to review the financing of the project. You could save some extra cash or you might want to take out an extra mortgage.
On all these projects, those that add square footage to bring a house up to-but not beyond-community norms generally pay off the most. Clearly some Auckland suburbs do well with major house renovations especially inner city ones like Grey Lynn, Ponsonby and Parnell. There are many fantastic old villas that have been renovated and extended to create magnificent homes. But this does not apply across the board in all suburbs.
One of the best and easiest ways to get some advice if you are thinking about a significant house renovation is to ask a local real estate agent what they think. They will be able to give some thoughts on the viability of adding extra rooms or not. This will not be advice you can take to a mortgage lender but it will give you some pointers as to whether your plan has merit or will provide any financial return or if it will be over-capitalised.
If the real estate agent’s informal suggestions are positive, you can take it to the next step and get some ball-park estimates from home renovations companies and then ask a certified valuer for their formal opinion.
Finally, short-list two or three potential renovators and get fixed-price quotations including time schedules. Ask for details of previous satisfied customers so you can get some verification about this builder’s standard of work and their adherence to budget. It might be worth accepting a higher bid if that particular builder sticks to the agreed price rather than finding there are lots of additional expenses down the track.