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Selling your Home

Major and Minor Investments to Help Increase the Value of Your Home

Regardless of your home’s size or age, there are always things you can do to increase its value – and it’s much easier than you think. Some investments might be a bit costly, while some might cost you nothing but your time. However, what you really should be looking for are the kinds of projects that will result in bigger ROI. So, if you’re planning on selling it in the near future, or you just want to improve it for other reasons, here are a few things you could do to get the most bang for your buck.

increasing the value of your home

Plan ahead

First, you need to plan your remodel. Now, you might be thinking, “what does this have to do with the value of the home?” The thing is, you’re more likely to make the right choices if you upgrade your home according to a premade plan than if you do it on impulse. Also, upgrading your home is a process, it won’t happen overnight, so there’s no reason to rush. Get to know your place, and list the things you want to change. Be realistic about the possible cost of everything on your list. After you organize everything by price, see what's the most important, and what you will do only if there’s money left after the more important upgrades. Finally, do some research or talk to a professional, and see which of those improvements can increase the value of your home the most.

investments to help increase the value of your home

The curb appeal

Installing a new steel door might not sound like the most important addition to your house, but research has shown that it is one of the financially best upgrades you could do. Moreover, it’s all about the first impression and if your exterior doesn’t look impressive, the potential buyers might assume that the interior won’t be much better either. Besides the doors, you should also replace your windows, do some landscaping, repaint the house, etc. In short, your curb appeal can really make or break your ROI, so you should make sure your home looks as great on the outside as it does on the inside.

Think about sustainability

Nowadays, more and more people are becoming environmentally conscious, so it might not be a bad idea to invest in eco-friendly upgrades. You can install double-flush toilets and low-flow faucets to preserve water. You can also try to get more details about low-flow toilets in the market that flush powerfully and thoroughly.

It may also be a good idea to add some LED lights, insulate your home properly so it doesn’t waste too much electricity on regulating the temperature, and you might even want to consider installing a solar power system. There are many innovative companies such as Australia’s leading solar energy installer Skylight Energy that can provide you with the best solar panels that are guaranteed to efficiently serve your home for a long time.

sustainable homes

Add more space

A research from 2005 has shown that every 1,000 square feet you add to your home is likely to boost its sale price by more than 30 percent. Nowadays, everybody needs an extra room, which they can turn into their home office, private movie theater, or something similar. So, if your budget allows it, consider enlarging your bathroom, building a nice patio or an outdoor kitchen, or perhaps a room or two extra for people’s hobbies. Just try not to add so much that your home’s price skyrockets way beyond your neighborhood’s average – you can be at the high end of your neighborhood’s price range, just try not to be the leading value.

increase property value

Clean your home

Another thing that only takes time – yet is extremely important – is your home’s cleanliness. A clean home will attract more buyers than a home that is obviously full of dust, mold, dirt, and whatnot. It’s not just about the appearance though – by cleaning your home from top to bottom, you might also notice some maintenance issues that need to be taken care of before they turn into bigger, more expensive problems. Mold, for example, can become a huge problem if it spreads, so it’s always best to catch it as early as possible. Also, cleaning includes decluttering, so don’t leave any boxes lying around – get rid of everything you don’t need, and move out of sight everything you do.

There are many different ways in which you can increase your home’s value, from cleaning and planning, which takes nothing but your time, to investing in your exterior and building extra rooms, which does require a thicker wallet. Therefore, plan wisely, don’t rush, and have no doubt that your home will be much more valuable after you’re finished.

8 Ways To Increase Your Property Value - From These 6 Property & Interior Design Professionals

Everyone wants to get the most out of their property, whether that be in terms of space, style or value. Here are ten ways you can increase your property value, from the expert advice from these ten professionals.

Sophie Kost | My Beautiful Abode

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Hire A Professional For A Consultation

“When my clients come to me ready to prepare their home for sale I have a series of tips that I always aim to the time we have finished the project, I often receive the cry of 'The house looks so good now, why didn't we do this earlier?' My best advice is to have a consultation with an interior decorator or stylist about how to make the house as a whole feel good from front door to back, you will then reap the benefits of an attractive (and higher valued) home.” Find out more about My Beautiful Abode by following them on Facebook and Instagram.

Emily Ayers |

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Upgrade Your Bathroom (Or Add A Bathroom)
“Bathrooms are one of the most fundamental rooms when it comes to selling your home. New bathrooms (or simply more bathrooms) will make your property a more attractive proposition. Upgrade your bathroom suites and refresh the décor ahead of a sale. A modern looking bathroom will do much more to attract the attention of buyers.” Find out more about by following them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

MyDeal Pro tip:
Just like the bathroom, your kitchen probably needs some love. Even if you’re Carrie Bradshaw in the flesh and you store your jumpers in your oven, it’s important that you upgrade your appliances, make sure your tiles are up to scratch and keep all fixtures such as kitchen taps in ship-shape. The kitchen is a real breadwinner for your home’s value, so keep it looking its best. At points, a new kitchen, or a kitchen upgrade can add up to $60k value on your home. How crazy is that?

Scott Pendlebury | Renovator Store

renovator store
Upgrade Your Fittings And Fixings

An easy way to add value to a property is to upgrade all the fittings and fixtures in the home. This can dramatically improve the appeal and styling of a house. Everything from floorboards, bathroom fixtures and tapware, the kitchen tap and sink, innovative storage systems such as pull-out pantries, and new lighting and door/cabinet handles can create a refreshed modern appeal to potential buyers. Upgrading to such architectural designer fixtures and surfaces can greatly enhance the luxury feel and value perception of the overall property. However, to profit from such an upgrade it is important that the cost of the new fixtures should be less than the expected increase in the value perception. Therefore concentrate what is within your control: (1) the quality and design of the new fixtures, and (2) the cost of these fixtures. When it comes to cost there is a high variance in the price of high-quality fixtures. Some of it is fair, and some of it is very overpriced. Some showrooms can be more than twice the cost of buying the same fixtures online - remember that when you buy from a showroom a lot of the price goes to paying for the showroom costs, the displays, the salespeople, and the retail margin they demand. You can profit a lot from sourcing smart online - but be sure to avoid the lower quality products and ensure you can return items that do not meet your expectations. Once you get used to shopping from your couch and saving lots of money you will be a happy smart renovator!” Find out more about Renovator Store by following them on Facebook and Twitter. Find out more about increasing your property value with Renovator Store’s free eBook, which you can download here.

Janette Baker | Wallstudio

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Paint Your Home

“Painting has to be the cheapest and most effective way to increase a property's value. It is one of the most popular DIY projects that homeowners take on. It takes very little skill, it's not too physically intense and the “bang for buck” factor you get from a fresh coat of paint is just so rewarding. When choosing paint colours, it's important to go for fresh, neutral, on-trend colours if you're wanting to increase the value of your property. Try and steer away from bright or bold accent walls, instead use different strengths of the one colour. It gives a continuity through the property and doesn't disrupt the visual flow of the house.” Find out more about Wallstudio by following them on Facebook and Instagram.

Josh Mammoliti | The Blue Space

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Upgrade Your Current Lighting

“Replace your lighting. Have you ever wondered why real estate agents turn every light on in a home during an inspection? Tired and inadequate lighting can really let your home down come selling time. Simply adding extra or brighter down lights, modern pendants or even floor lamps will give your space kitchen and bathroom warmth and make it feel more inviting.”
Find out more about The Blue Space by following them on Facebook and Instagram.

MyDeal Pro tip:
If you’re planning to sell your home, a great way to increase your property value is by avoiding a renovation that’s too trendy. Sure, you may think that millennial pink is the hottest thing right now (which it unfortunately is), but it doesn’t mean you should douse every room in the house that shade. If you would like to inject a certain trend into your home, why not stick to something simple? You can create a feature wall with a staple colour or a jewel toned rug for your living room. As an alternative to having a permanent addition to your home that is conclusive to a trend, it’s a better option to have something semi-permanent in your home that can be easily taken away.

Tania Bell | Green Room Interiors

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It's All About Presentation

“Presentation is everything when it comes to giving your home the best chance of gaining the best possible sale price. The obvious things like neatening up the garden, making sure all repairs are carried out, projects finished off and bringing in rented furniture can be stated here. However, there is so much more that buyers are expecting these days. You need to appeal not only to the sense of sight but all the other senses. It is proven that any kind of citrus smell in a home gives the impression of increased value. So burn some citrus scented soy candles just before or even during open for inspections. It gives the feeling of cleanliness and freshness.
Additionally, play soft, easy listening music throughout your home, people will be entertained and want to linger longer in this home that seems so comfortable and can imagine living there.” Find out more about Green Room Interiors by following them on Facebook and Instagram.

Upgrading your home doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune or changing the entire face of your home. It means upgrading the important things; which can often be the smallest, things you don’t even realise can make a huge difference.

Eco-Friendly Home Renovations for 2017 and Beyond

When renovating a home, owners are faced with quite a number of decisions they have to make. Making good decisions that will pay off in the long term, whether you choose to sell the house or keep living in it, can seem a bit challenging and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. All you need is some planning and thinking ahead.

Unfortunately, not many think about a green and eco-friendly approach when refurbishing their homes. It may be due to the lack of awareness or simply because they want everything to be finished as quickly as possible, but what most people don’t know is that you can save a lot of money going green. You can help the environment and really make a difference.

We’ve scoured the web and we’ve collected some great eco-friendly renovating tips that you can think about when you start your home renovations. These tips are basically simple guidelines meant for helping you understand how to save money through some green refurbishing ideas. So without further ado, let’s dive in.

Eco-Friendly Home Renovations

Use Smart Flooring

One of the things you should definitely consider when you embark on the renovating adventure is changing the flooring of your house. For example, bamboo is an amazing material for bathroom flooring. It’s quite durable, grows without pesticides, and grows back faster than wood, and most importantly – it’s water resistant.

Keep in mind that vinyl flooring is one of the most harmful plastic materials in production, so if you have a choice always choose linoleum. Look for reclaimed wood or cork, as they don’t have any volatile organic compounds and they regrow quickly. The production of these materials is also more energy efficient, so there’s another reason why use them.

Become Water Wise

Nowadays it seems that water is becoming somewhat of a luxury. The prices are constantly rising, and with the climate change, people are wondering how to address this water issue. How can you save money on water when you need it so much? Well, there are some things you can consider, first of all – installing a low-flow toilet. Low-flow toilets use significantly less water, which helps you preserve it.

If there’s a possibility for such project, you can include a rainwater tank and connect it with the toilets. You can even use rainwater for gardening or for washing your car, and it would save you quite a penny. Make sure your water taps are efficient. Put the high-flow taps in the bathtub and near the appliances to make sure their water supply is regulated properly, and put low-flow taps at the sink, as you won’t need such a strong water pressure there.

Fix Your Appliances to Make Them Energy-efficient

You would be amazed how much money you can save by becoming more energy-efficient. Let’s not talk about how big of an impact it would make on the environment, but strictly from a financial point – going green is extremely good for your wallet.

When it comes to energy efficiency, most of us think about solar panels and LED lights. These are just some of the great things you can think about implementing when you decide to renovate. Having a solar panel generate some of the energy reflects significantly on your bills, while LED lighting can both be more affordable and more interesting to use than regular lighting. But there are other things you can think about.

Make sure your appliances are functioning properly and check them up regularly. Fixing old appliances may seem irrelevant, but the Total Appliance Repair Centre experts from Sydney have stated that quite a lot of old appliances spend more energy than they should. Refrigerators use more electricity, ovens are overheating, and with just some basic repairs, you can save quite a lot of money.

increase your property value

Increase Your Property Value

Planning a renovation isn’t that difficult. It calls for some time and thinking ahead, but it’s something that can be done easily once the plan is completed. Eco-friendly renovations can help you elevate the value of your property, and it can pay off in the long-term if you decide to stay, so basically, thinking about green renovations is a win-win situation. There are quite a lot of different eco-friendly solutions that can help you out like changing windows, or insulate the place with green materials, so it’s all up to you. Think what you want to achieve and start planning today.

What Renovations Make Sense for you?

If you’ve visited the Renovator Store before, you’re probably pretty familiar with our love of smart and savvy renovations. What you probably didn’t know, is that today we’re partnering up with Australian Heritage Homes, a company that echoes our appreciation of a dollar saved and a home well-designed. But sometimes renovations can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start. Lucky for you, we’re here to be your partners in crime, and detail- what renovations make sense for you?

There are a couple of things to keep in mind- budget, timeline, time you plan to live in the home, and long-term value. Let’s dive in!

renovation budget


Ah, the lovely four-letter type word. The one that we shy away from discussing in budget, and sometimes, aren’t even honest about with ourselves. This is the biggest mistake you can make, especially in this day and age. We’re only getting more and more creative with the ways that we can stretch a dollar—by exploring new materials or new processes. The only thing we recommend is that you’re honest with yourself. If you can only afford to update one area of the home, then go for it! Just make sure that you don’t overstretch yourself or your wallet. Side effects include major stress, and potentially skipped meals.



This one is a surprise to some of our readers, but it’s just as valuable to think about. Let’s say you’ve got young ones, dozens of them, running in and out of your house every day. It’s a set-up that you can’t workaround. You probably don’t want to engage in a long-term remodel then, that renders the social areas of your space totally useless for the little ones. Again, this is an area where we can get creative, but be upfront with your contractor or designer about how quickly you need to turn a job around. They may push back, and that’s to be expected. They need to cover their behinds too. But if you’re honest from the get-go, then you can ensure that the conversations you have will be fruitful.

renovation timeline

Time you plan to live in your home

Another shocker to many of our readers and valued customers. But if you think about it, it makes total sense. Do you plan on leaving your home in the next year or two? Probably not a good investment to spend thousands of dollars on a remodel then. However, if you’re purchasing a home that you plan to be in for five plus years, then we encourage you to explore potential remodels. They can then lead directly into our last topic…


Long-term value!

The beauty of renovations? They can potentially add hundreds of thousands of dollars to the curbside appeal and intrinsic value of your home. You just need to be strategic about the way you think them through. Is your renovation going to appeal to the masses, or are you catering to a niche personal need? There is no harm and no foul with the latter, you’ll just want to be aware.

Questions? Comments? Give us a shout! We would love to hear from our readers. And make sure to check out Australian Heritage Homes site for more information.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Renovating for Profit

Renovating for profit isn't just about painting a wall or fixing the fence: its all about adding real value to your property over the long haul. If done correctly it can be a fantastic way to secure returns. Although, you've got to be wary as there are numerous places where you can potentially fall into trouble. Keep reading to discover the 5 mistakes to avoid when renovating for profit and how to evade them!

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Mistake #1: Paying Too Much for the Property

Paying more for a property than what it's worth is a mistake in any situation, but especially if you're only renovating for profit. The more you pay for a property, the more money you need to sell it for in order to gain profits. Therefore you're going to need to spend more on renovations in order to increase the value of the property. Overall it's just easier to purchase properties at prices you can afford.

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In order to avoid paying too much you:

  • cannot let the auction bidding process run away from you

  • cannot let yourself get emotionally involved in the property

  • must be confident in your negotiation skills.


Mistake #2: Leading with Your Heart, Not Your Head

Possibly the most important thing to remember when renovating for profit is that it's not about you! You need to leave your own tastes and opinions at the door. Therefore stray away from bold design choices and opt for more neutral ones.

[caption id="attachment_7523" align="aligncenter" width="427"]neutral_living Neutrally designed home[/caption]

In order to learn what improvements will add the most value to your particular style of home, in your specific suburb, in your current housing market you need to get studying! Comprehensive research will help you avoid common mistakes, approximate your costs, understand your target market and overall maximise your profits.


Mistake #3: Not Sticking to Your Budget

When renovating it can be easy to let money get away from you. Not sticking to your budget can create serious cash flow issues and unhappy suppliers. It'll also stress you out, and kill your motivation. Other people will also be less likely less inclined to work with you if they don't believe you're managing everything successfully.


In order to avoid overspending enlist the help of a professional valuer. They come up with a value which they think your property has the potential to sell at, and then assist you in estimation of costs and development of a highly disciplined budget. Select a locally based valuer as they'll have a good understanding of your target market and hence where your spending will be most successful in increasing value.

As a basic rule for every dollar spent you should get two dollars in added value. Another top tip is to add between 20% to 30% contingency for unforeseen expenses. That way you’ll stay on top of your finances, no matter what disaster strikes.


Mistake #4: Choosing to DIY

Unless you're a professional, it's usually not worth the risk of DIY when you intend to sell for profit. Yes, the cost effectiveness is of DIY tempting, but you'll find in the long run that things'll start falling apart and you'll just end up spending more!

timber flooring installation


Professionals actually know what they're doing, can completely the task much faster and of course leave you with a much classier finish. Do your research and be willing to spend a little extra to ensure you're hiring competent individuals who can give you what you want.


Mistake #5: Ignoring Your Audience

Beyond simply leading with your head rather than your heart you must also completely understand your target market in order to make profits. Failing to do this is probably the biggest mistake you can make whilst renovating for profit.

Selling House tip to make sure buyers understand the property

Think who is most likely to purchase the property - families, students, young couples, the elderly - and then tailor to them. It is important NOT to make assumptions here or go with what you think is right. Instead actually seek people out and understand their real tastes and needs. If you're still unsure contact an agent who can chat to a network of prospective buyers.

Home Building Contracts 101

In order to protect your investments and ensure your home renovation goes smoothly you're going to need a well drawn up contract. In order to save you some time and effort here is a lesson in home building contracts from what to include when writing one up, back down to what to check before signing...


Information from this article has been sourced from 'NSW Government Home Building Contracts' Page


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Contract essentials

By you must provide a written contract if:

  • If the contract price is over $5000

  • If the price of the contract is unknown, but the cost of provision of labour and materials by contractor should be over $5000


Small Jobs Contracts

A 'small jobs' contract is required for any jobs costing between $5,000 to $20,000. It must include:

  • Name of both parties

  • Contractors license number

  • A brief description of the work

  • Contract price if known

  • A quality of construction clause that states the work done will comply with

    1. The Building Code of Australia

    2. All other relevant codes, standards and specifications

    3. The conditions of any relevant development consent or complying development certificate

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Contracts for Large Jobs

When a building job costs over $20,000 a more extensive written contract must be drawn up. It must include:

  • Signatures of both parties and dates signed

  • Names of both parties

  • Contractors license number

  • A detailed description of the work to be carried out with attached plans and specifications

  • Relevant warranties

  • The contract price (displayed on first page)

  • A clause stating that any agreement to vary the contract or plans

    1. Are taken to form part of the contract

    2. Must be in writing and signed by both parties

  • A progress payment schedule for

    1. Fixed payments made following completion of specific stages of work

    2. Payments made as work is performed and costs are incurred at intervals fixed by contract

  • A termination clause

  • A check list of 14 items prescribed in Home building regulation 2014

[caption id="attachment_11655" align="aligncenter" width="571"]Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 1.03.43 PM The checklist mentioned in the 2014 Home Building Regulation[/caption]

  • Caution about signing contract if home owner cannot complete aforementioned checklist

  • Note about home owner's entitlement to copy of contract within 5 days of signing

  • Note about contractor's obligation to give an insurance certificate under the Home Building Compensation Fund

  • Statement setting out five business day cooling-off period within which home owner may cancel contract

  • Statement provided by home owner claiming they have

    1. Read and understood Consumer building guide

    2. Completed aforementioned checklist

  • Quality of construction clause (see above for details)

  • Clause that states contract may limit liability of contractor for failure to comply with contract if failure relates to design or specification

    1. Prepared on behalf of home owner

    2. Required by home owner if the contractor has advised the home owner in writing that they go against the 'work compliance clause'.


What to Check before Signing

  • Ensure payments listed on the contract are for work actually done, not time spent

  • Ensure costs proposed for each stage of work are realistic

  • Be clear on the duration of warranties

  • Discuss anything you're unclear on with the builder

  • If you're unhappy request changes to the contract

  • Get legal advice before you make a change to a standard contract

  • Don't sign any contract if it doesn't meet all the previously discussed criteria

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Making Variations to the Contract

A variation is a change or adjustment to what has already been agreed in the contract. Either you as a home owner might decide you want something different, or the builder may need to change due to council requirements or unforeseen circumstances. If the reason for variation is the builders fault you DO NOT need to pay extra.

Variations must be made in writing and signed by both parties. In almost all cases variations will impact the contract price. Therefore documents authorising variations must also contain a statement explaining cost implications of variation.


Ending the Contract

The contract should contain provisions about ending the contract, and these must be followed. It is important to remember that ending a contract should only be undertaken as a last resort. Before deciding to terminate the contract there should be:

  • Careful consideration

  • Reasonable negotiation between parties

  • Legal advice obtained

Smart Apartment Renovation Tips

Apartment renovation can be something truly outstanding, but only if you do it right. There are so many options to choose from and decisions to make it can sometimes seem a little overwhelming. Therefore, here are some smart apartment renovation tips that can help you achieve successfully attain the home of your dreams!

Use the 5 year rule 


What is the five year rule you say? It’s actually quite simple – any items that you haven't made use of for at least five years should be donated or recycled. This is to minimise clutter and make your home feel new again. Trust me, its a simple, yet very effective!

Begin with inexpensive fixes


Clean windows, a new coat of paint and some new door knobs can do wonders to a tired old home. Painting is especially effective as it can completely transform the mood of a room, at a relatively low cost.


Check your appliances


Its always important to check out your appliances and other home machinery semi-regularly. This includes washers, dryers, central air conditioning, heated bathroom floors and dish washers. You might find that A: they're become faulty and potentially dangerous, or B: that they're a little outdated. Opting for newer, high tech appliances can not only make your life easier, but also increase the value of the property if you are wishing to sell.


Redo the bathroom? 

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Bathrooms are said to be the most financially beneficial room to renovate in the house. Why is that? For starters its one of the most used rooms in the home. Secondly, reinstalling the older plumbing reduces the chance of disasters such as burst pipes, which can be even more costly in the long run. So update your room with fixtures such as new tiles, modern tap ware and rain shower heads.


Kitchen renovations


A kitchen renovation is another wonderful idea for any home renovator. You spend so much time in this room of the house, so its really worthwhile to play around with the layout of the space, and spending effort to make it as simple and helpful as possible. Replacing cabinetry is another costly, but very rewarding decision to make. Finally finish with some simple tasks such as cleaning out the oven, cleaning the floor and investing in new kitchen gadgets to vamp up the space.

5 Renovation Shortcuts Before Selling Your Home

When it’s time to sell your home, you’ll suddenly become painfully aware of all those little flaws and nagging home improvement projects that you’ve been keeping on the backburner. Renovations are expensive and time-consuming, so it’s not uncommon to put them off.

Man in Front of the Old House before the Closed Door

But those pet peeves that you ‘learned to live with’ might turn off potential buyers. Before trying to sell your home, improve its appearance and bump up its value with these five quick-fix shortcuts.

  1. If You Must Remodel, Focus on Kitchen & Bathroom

Kitchen in remodeled condominium unit mahogany cabinetry

When selling, you should generally avoid any major remodelling projects – they are typically costly and there are no short cuts. But if you do have enough time and money on your hands to give any part of the house a total facelift, focus on the kitchen and bathrooms.

According to realtors, these are the most important rooms in the house to potential buyers. A beautiful kitchen and bathroom can often mean the difference between a quick sale and a home that lingers on the market. And, unlike other rooms, most of the cost of renovating a kitchen or bathroom can be recouped in the sale price.

  1. Fashion Before Function

Even though you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, all homebuyers do exactly that. The cosmetic appearance of your home will register with homebuyers on a subliminal level. First impressions are not negotiable – and they are lasting.

If you want to boost the appeal of your home in a short time with a limited budget, focus more on how the house ‘looks’ than how it ‘works’. It's better to put that $1000 towards fresh paint, a new doormat, mood lighting or a manicured lawn, rather than upgrade your plumbing. As long as the existing plumbing is functional, keep it. New plumbing will not impress buyers.

  1. Fresh Paint For Tired Walls

Paint roller in white paint ready for use.

Some women never leave the house without a full face of makeup – it makes them feel fresh, attractive and complete. A new coat of paint can have a similar effect on the way people view your home.

New paint, especially well-chosen and contemporary shades, will transform a house and boost its curb appeal. Be careful of deep tones.

If you don’t have time to paint the house yourself, call in the professionals. Of all trades, painting is one of the more affordable. House painters charge a significantly lower rate than the hourly rates charged by most other service providers, like plumbers and electricians.

  1. Don’t Replace When You Can Refurbish

Worker polishing old parquet floor with grinding machine

When a property is for sale, stained carpets, damaged floorboards, or broken tiles make a bad first impression. But don’t rush out and spend thousands on all-new flooring unless it’s absolutely necessary. Let the new owner make those big decisions in their own time.

Your main priority should be ensuring that the floors don’t look too shabby. Superficial repairs or maintenance should be enough to improve the look of your flooring. Try steam-cleaning the carpets; re-sanding and polishing the wood floors; or eliminating a squeaky floorboard with a few nails. Fresh floors will give your space a new lease on life.

Apply the same logic to other items in disrepair. Do you need a brand new water heater? Or can you get away with a simple repair of your existing one? Why replace the front door altogether when you can sand and paint the one you have?

  1. Clean The Windows

Window cleaner using a squeegee to wash a window

Before you dive headfirst into repair mode and start fixing and replacing things, don’t underestimate the value of a good, old-fashioned cleanup - starting with your windows.

This simple step is often overlooked but it makes an enormous difference to the overall appearance of your home – both inside and out. If your house has lots of windows, consider hiring a professional window cleaner. They will have the equipment and know how to get the job done quickly and effectively.

Author Bio:
Katie is a blogger, digital marketing specialist and community manager for Airtasker, a community based marketplace. People post and receive offers for handyman services from Airtasker in Australia. Katie is a great cook and also enjoys interior design, especially DIY. Living next to the beach, she's always there (on weekends) swimming, catching up with friends or volunteering as a lifesaver.

Property Investment in Australia: Navigating a Tough Market

There is so much conflicting commentary in the media about Australian property.  Are we experiencing a huge property bubble about to burst, or are high prices here to stay given we are a wealthy country with an under-supply of property?

The fact is:  in a market where there is such high property price volatility and uncertainty the winners will be those equipped with the tools and knowledge to take advantage of the opportunities and the uninformed.   If you are considering Australian property as an investment, this article could be your first positive step towards taking control of profiting from it - in a big way . . .

House and gold coins on the scale

Whilst I do not have a crystal ball, I know Australian property is very tradable and is one of the few asset classes where the local investor can take control of the investment terms, the investment appreciation, and the investment exit.    Learn how to take that control and it could be the best lesson you ever take.

If you invest in listed stocks or bonds, or managed funds that invest in these, all you can do is sit back and watch the value of them go up and down based on the markets and management performance that you had to speculate on upfront.  For most it feels like a complete gamble.  If you (or your fund manager) guess better than the market on these factors then you should profit, otherwise you may see your invested funds decline.  Either way, you probably never had much control during the investment.

Property does have its undeniable market risks.  But as an investor or owner you can usually seriously influence its improvement, presentation, and exit value.  Owning shares in BHP will not let you influence its investment performance.  And importantly, unlike shares and commodity markets, selling an investment property can seek to benefit from emotional purchasers - and emotion can yield the seller a sizeable profit!  Learning to understand property investment, property improvement and presentation, and appealing to the emotions of future suitors of your asset makes it a very different investment class to listed equites or bonds.

Happy Couple Hugging in Front of Sold Real Estate Sign and House.

Basically, PROPERTY OWNERSHIP = (opportunity for) INVESTMENT CONTROL.  It sounds simple, but it is amazing how many investors simply compare historical returns from property ownership to investment returns from passive securities investment.  If equities have yielded higher than property in the last year then let's invest in equities!  Property ownership gives you the ability to make decisions to seek to transform value.

An analogy would be:

The PROPERTY INVESTOR is the surfer who patiently waits just beyond the surging tide all morning to pick his ultimate wave, then rides it as best he can, and exits it spectacularly to avoid getting dumped into the turbulent white mass;

The passive SECURITIES INVESTOR takes a skippered boat out into the ocean and gets regular reports on its direction and tidal influence, and hopes to return to port on safe terms but must rely on the judgement and actions of the Captain and the crew.

There are so many considerations for someone seriously contemplating "Australian Property Investment": purchasing, financing, developing, building, renovating, improvement, timing, marketing, presentation, and sale.  When it comes to property, I feel textbooks are far less useful than real practical advice and learnings from experienced experts, winners and losers.  I have been a property winner (several times) and a property loser, and now believe I can offer some expertise from experience and observation.  But the real way to get informed and take control is to take practicable advice from a wide field of experts.  You cannot learn it all from one expert.  The good news is IT IS REALLY DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND PROPERTY INVESTMENT.  But if you take the time and do the research then you can be a winner too.



10 Easy Ways to Add Curb Appeal to Your Home

Sprucing up the outside of your home is a great way to add curb appeal and attract buyers. These ideas don’t cost a lot but will pay off in bringing in potential buyers.

curb appeal

Photo credit: Flickr

Get a New Perspective

What does a buyer see when they first approach your home? Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and take note of the way your home looks to others. What is the first thing you notice? You may have gotten used to the overgrown bushes or fading paint, but a buyer will not overlook these details when they come to see your home.

Install a New Front Door

Your front door is a focal point of your home and one of the first things a buyer will see before they even step foot inside. A fresh coat of paint and new hardware will add polish. A contrasting color from the rest of your home will make your front door stand out and remain fresh in the buyer’s mind. If your budget allows, a new door with a unique design will set your home apart from the rest.

Freshen Up Your Home’s Exterior

Is the paint peeling off your shutters? Are there cobwebs around the eves? Buyers will immediately notice your home’s exterior. Something as simple as a power wash to clean the siding or a small paint job to touch up the shutters can make a big difference in the eyes of the buyer.

Clean Your Gutters and Roof

Don’t forget about the roof and gutters—they are a crucial part to the appearance of your home. A roof covered in moss or lichen can ruin the appearance of your home and detract from its market value. In order to prevent this from happening roof restoration and cleaning is a must. This is an affordable way for adding further curb appeal to your home.

Consider Outdoor Lighting

Rusted outdoor light fixtures or lampposts missing light bulbs will be noticed by potential buyers. If someone is driving by your home at night, it still needs to look its best. Replace all burned out light bulbs and consider replacing light fixtures that are old or outdated.

Manicure Your Yard

A neatly kept yard is an easy way to instantly spruce up the appearance of your home. Cut the lawn, trim any overgrown bushes, and pay attention to the edging. Adding fresh mulch to the flowerbeds or fresh gravel to areas that have thinned out will make a huge difference. A fresh, new appearance in your landscaping will make your home look more desirable to buyers.

Add Pops of Color with Flower Beds

Planting flowers will add color and provide a welcoming feel to your home. Even something as simple as a planter or flower box can add a touch of warmth.

Maintain a Welcoming Front Walk

Buyers will notice your front walk as soon as they approach your home. Adding edging with stone or brick pavers will provide a nice contrast and extra touch. Low-lighting along the path can provide a nice warmth and ambience at night.

Makeover Your Mailbox

If your mailbox has peeling paint and dents in the side, it is time to upgrade to a new one. Simply apply a fresh coat of paint to a mailbox that needs a touch-up or purchase a new one to keep it looking fresh.

Accessorize Your Home

Pay attention to the little things. A new doormat to replace one that is worn, a fresh flowerpot verses one that is chipped, or even a new address plaque will add interest and curb appeal to your home.