The idea to renovate your home is to make it more desirable to live in but also to add value when it comes time to sell.
It’s not always a simple case of the more you spend on a home renovation the more it will increase the property’s value.
It’s important to be aware of how much you are going to spend and on what.
One golden rule with home renovations is that properties at the lower, entry level of the market are less like to return costs associated with anything more excessive than basic home improvements.
Properties in the higher end, more prestigious markets often give better returns on home renovations.
While it is rare that spending on home renovations actually decrease the value of your property, it can happen, and below are some of the ways it might.
1. Poor landscaping
Landscaping and garden work have to match the character and design of the house or they can detract from the property and be a waste of money. A typical Victorian house on a Melbourne street might look a bit odd with a brand new heavy tropical garden for example, when an old style hedge would suit much more.
Also, removing trees or natural gardens can not only be expensive, but can take away a lovely natural aesthetic of the house so it pays to be careful before removing them.
2. Blocking light
Renovation work that blocks natural light from entering your home will usually devalue it. Renovations should try to maximise the amount of light that flow into living areas.
3. Poorly matched additions
If you add a new room to a house and it has completely different exterior materials and features can make a house feel disjointed, put buyers off and reduce the value of a house.
If for example, the structure of a renovation doesn’t match the existing building it can cause cracks between buildings and holes in your bank account.
4. Custom building
Building home renovations that are purpose-built for you might make your life better and your home, in your eyes, perfect. But when it comes to sell, potential buyers might not be so keen on the cricket net structure you’ve built in the backyard even though it made you and your kids’ perfect home.
If renovations don’t appeal to the wider market it can drag down the appeal and in turn the price of your house.
5. Suit the market
In a similar vein to custom builds, making sure home renovations would suit the type of buyer that will be interested in your property down the track is important.
If you live in a lower income area for example, it might be an expensive waste of money installing imported Norwegian teak door handles all through your house.
6. Breaking the law
If you have an illegally built extension it can keep prospective buyers away in their droves. It can cost up to $40,000 to make illegal building work comply with regulations and it’s hard to hide as most buyers will use a professional property inspector if they’re serious about buying.