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When time is short and money is limited – as it is for most people – you need to prioritise your home renovation projects.
So which improvements are most likely to deliver the biggest returns on the time and money once you come to sell?
According to Jeremy Wyn-Harris, co-founder of Builderscrack.co.nz, here are the upgrades – from easy and cheap, to difficult and expensive – that will make a real difference.
Clean and simple gardening: This tops Wyn-Harris’ list of easy upgrades. “Just keep what you’ve got neat and tidy,” he says. That means the beds are weeded, the lawn is mowed and the hedges are trimmed. “The edging is really important. It takes relatively little time to do, but it makes a great impression.”
Replacing door handles, light sockets and switch-plates: “You’d be surprised how faded and dingy these get over time.” Buying new ones will give every room an instant lift.
Paint the architraves a glossy white: Wash the walls (you’ll be surprised how grimy they are!) and repaint the trim. This is significantly less time-consuming and expensive than painting the rooms, but it gives the impression of a freshly-painted interior.
Expose the timber: “This is on the difficult side of easy,” Wyn-Harris admits, “but if you’ve got good timber in your home, it’s worth doing.”
A full exterior or interior re-paint: This tops the list of “medium” tasks. While it will set you back a few thousand dollars – and a fair bit of time, if you choose to tackle the job yourself – you’ll recoup the cost when you sell the property.
New benchtops: It’s significantly cheaper than a new kitchen, but has a real impact on the space. With a variety of options to choose from, in terms of colour and cost, this can give your kitchen a whole new vibe. And “kitchens sell houses” says Wyn-Harris.
Decking and pergolas: “This is always a winner,” according to Wyn-Harris. The Kiwi love of indoor-outdoor living is something homebuyers respond to during an open home, and will spend money to enjoy.
Bigger landscaping projects: More than working with what you’ve got, this means levelling a sloping lawn, ripping out overgrown hedges that are long past their prime, or calling in an expert for a re-do of the garden.
So what are the big projects? These are upgrades that will cost significant money and time, but unquestionably make a big impact on potential buyers.
“That’s simple,” says Wyn-Harris. “The kitchen and the bathroom.”
“A decent bathroom remodel will start around $20,000, and a kitchen will start twice that. But they really do a sell a house.”
Other upgrades that can make a big impression on buyers are those that make a difference to a home’s energy consumption or eco-friendliness.
“Anything that makes the home less reliant on traditional power goes over very well. Replacing the hot water cylinder with an on-demand system is something I’d certainly encourage,” says Wyn-Harris. “Especially in an earthquake-prone zone.”
Removing the hot water cylinder often has the added benefit of freeing up space in a closet, or in the corner of a utility room. And, with the plumbing already present, you could easily turn the former utility closet into a powder room – and an extra seat-and-sink is a real asset.
Other eco-friendly improvements include installing LED lighting, double-glazed windows and underfloor heating or insulation, and replacing the Pink Batts.
“Some of these eco-upgrades don’t have a lot of ‘wow-factor’,” admits Wyn-Harris. “In fact, they might be something you want to do just for your own comfort, or to save money on the power bill. But they’re still improvements you should mention when you’re selling the home.”
Continue reading this article at the original source from Stuff.co.nz
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