Be happy in your home

Posted by Paul Ryan • 16 October 2013 • Tags:

Buying and selling to upgrade or identifying what work needs to be completed to enhance the value of your existing property is a subject keenly explored by Home Owners in Spring and the New Year.

It’s an interesting topic to consider; if you ask for a builder’s opinion they will readily make comment that renovations are the best way to go ‘because why would you want to pay stamp duty on buying and selling again’. If you consult a real estate agent they tend to steer you away from the renovation idea, highlighting the ‘hidden costs’ that ‘always pop up’ when you renovate. As the saying goes, ‘there is nothing like self interest’ and, how does this advice really help you? Their suggestions don’t necessarily consider your unique situation and should only be used as a guide and point of discussion.

Your decision to buy, sell or renovate should be based on your own set of criteria. Consider some of the following:

  • What work needs to be done to your existing home?
  • Does your land size and council regulations allow you to complete the renovations you desire?
  • Is there an option to knock down and rebuild?
  • Do you like the location of your existing home?
  • Will the renovations you complete add short term value if you decide to sell up in the medium term?

When it comes to the decision of selling up and buying again you should evaluate if you can be sure of achieving a better outcome for your lifestyle, location and happiness. A bigger mortgage may very well enhance location and the size of your home, but if doing so delivers financial pressure the honeymoon period may only last a couple of months and may start to dilute your lifestyle and happiness.

So, if you are happy with the location of your current home and you decide there’s room and the budget for some improvements here are some ideas that may help you enhance your lifestyle and property value:

  • Create a sense of space and increase light: Can you remove a wall to create an open space? Can you achieve the perception of a bigger room by painting it a lighter colour? Simply changing window furnishing to allow natural light to shine through a window or two will always drive value in a property.
  • Landscaping: Australians love the outdoors. An open space leading directly to the outdoors can bring a huge boost to the family lifestyle. Early morning coffees and space for the kids to roam in and out is enjoyable for everyone.
  • Entertaining: Something as simple as a small BBQ area/Out-Door dining deck can essentially add an extra ‘room’ to your home. If you have the budget consider contacting an outdoor entertaining expert as you might just be delighted with what they can come up with.
  • Kitchen and Bathroom: It goes without saying that a new kitchen and/or bathroom are always a winner for increasing value and lifestyle.
  • First impressions: Street appeal is not only for selling houses! Think about what you can do to the front of your home. A lick of paint and some structural shrubs may make all the difference and bring a smile to your face every time you return home.

All of these ideas can fall within varying degrees of a budget depending on the condition of your home and the plans you make. You may not have the funds right now, but by researching the options and understanding the costs you can work towards a savings plan to achieve your goals.

Exercising your options in the current climate is a good idea as interest rates are favourable.  You may already be on a savings plan, getting building quotes or in the market for a new home. Whichever way you lean, it’s always great to see a family happy and enjoying their own home.