20 Feb

Buyer’s considerations – What you can live with, what you can change

Beadles Feb 21

Anyone in the market for a house will attest, finding the perfect one is a rare miracle. Often, the almost-one needs a few tweaks. Whether those tweaks are cost effective and worthwhile, however, is a common concern.

If paint colour is your only concern, that’s the cheapest and easiest fix you’re likely to be able to make. Seeing past that maroon feature wall is normally not too difficult.

From there, floor coverings can be relatively inexpensive. Work from a starting budget of around $3000 to change the carpet and vinyl in a three bedroom home. If tiling needs doing, you’re likely to be able to do that yourselves, with the provision you have professional waterproofing done first.

A lot of home buyers are now choosing to keep features like an old bathroom’s travertine floors. 1950s bathrooms had great fittings for their era and features you would never find again. Be prepared to think creatively about how you can work with things – as long as you have some vision you can likely make a few affordable updates once you’ve moved in.

In the kitchen, often you can change just a segment rather than redo the entire room. For example you can reconfigure a section of joinery or replace some cabinets quite quickly. Even new handles in a kitchen make quite a difference as well.

In the bathroom, old towel rails can be updated quite inexpensively and it’s amazing what difference can be seen with the addition of a few accessories.

Be careful not to over-capitalise. This can happen in the details, where people will install caesarstone benchtops in the kitchen where laminate would have been a perfectly reasonable solution. In fact in a 1950s/60s home caesarstone would likely even look out of place. And Laminates have come along way than what they used to be.

Calculate how much the property is worth and how much it will cost to bring it up to standard. For example if the house is worth $500,000 and will cost $30,000 to make the changes you want, it’s better to find a house that worth $520,000 that you really like.

While you have to consider saleable value at any stage of renovating your home, you also have to be comfortable in your surrounds. Striking that balance is the key.