The investor’s guide to renovations

Is renovating your investment worth it?

With careful planning and putting your money where it matters, upgrading your investment could increase the short and long term value of your home. Find out everything you need to know to make it happen.

Investing in the property market is a great way to secure your future, and capitalise in the long term. You just want to make sure you’re getting the most value out of your property. This is especially true when you’re considering renovations. 

It’s important to think about all of the pros and cons before making your decision:

  • Pro: undertaking renovations is a great way to add value to your home and make it more appealing to the rental market. 
  • Con: your investment will be off the market while you’re renovating. Depending on the scale of your renovations, the length of time you’re not earning rental income could be quite long. 

Consider your options thoroughly. If you do decide to go ahead, there are a few things you can do to get the most out of your renovation time and budget.

Get approvals ASAP

Even if you’re at the early stages of planning your renovations, it’s important to seek out any required approvals from owner’s corporations as soon as possible. You may not actually go through with your plans, but it’s good to get the process started to avoid long wait times for approvals. 

Prioritise your renovations

When you’re planning your renovations, put some thought into where you would like to spend your money. Make a list of everything you would like to upgrade, and prioritise the most important things first.

Generally speaking, the kitchen and the bathrooms should be at the top of your list. These are the two areas of any home that tenants will look at first. As a rule of thumb, many experts recommend investing approximately 3 to 4% of the total value of your property on the kitchen and 1 to 2% on the bathroom to ensure a space that appeals to the market and will remain functional with minimal upkeep.  

Make the most of your space

One of the best ways to get a good long term payoff out of any renovation is by utilising your property’s space effectively to add another bedroom or bathroom. While this may not always be possible, if you do have the chance, it’s well worth some serious consideration. It will add resale value to your property and appeal to tenants. 

If you’re not able to get another bedroom or bathroom into your floorplan, don’t worry. There are other ways to utilise your space more effectively to add value. This can include:

  • adding at least one bathtub 
  • creating a great landscaped garden
  • adding an outdoor entertaining area
  • boosting storage options
  • building a carport or garage.

Think long term and less personal 

When it comes to interior elements of your renovations, you’ll want to pick hard wearing materials that will last as long as possible. Choose timeless fixtures that won’t date quickly, and invest your money in low maintenance finishes that won’t easily scratch or stain.

Aesthetically speaking, it may be tempting to spend your budget on fixtures and finishes that appeal to your own personal style, keep in mind that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Your investment property should appeal to the largest pool of tenants. 

You want to create a versatile space that’s easy to dress up with personal effects. Neutral tones are best as they look fresh, go with anything and won’t be dated in a year’s time. 

Save money the smart way 

As with any renovation, you’ll want to get the most bang for your buck when revamping an investment property. There are a few ways to do this, including DIY solutions. If you’re handy around the home and feel up to taking on a new project, it’s worth doing any simple repairs or painting yourself.

In all your efforts to save, it’s important not to go too far. The goal is to create a quality home that will stand the test of time. Sub-par renovations could end up costing you more if they need to be fixed in a year or two. Shop around for quality tradies that can do the job within your budget. And always make sure you ask for certifications, so you know you’re working with qualified professionals.