Maximise your capital value the right way

Maximise your capital value the right way

In between hitting the beach and finishing off the Christmas ham, there’s no better time than the long summer holidays to tackle some jobs around the house. Short of a major renovation, ensuring your property is well maintained and looking great with some cosmetic enhancements is one of the best ways to maximise the capital value of your home (and makes it a much more pleasant place to live in the meantime).
renovation, kitchen, gardening

If you are planning to sell or get a valuation for a loan in the year ahead, here’s what you can do to improve things around the house:

  1. First impressions count, so make the outside look great. Update the façade by repainting in a more modern colour or rendering – this makes a massive difference and can catapult an old property into the 21st century. Products such as Rockcote eliminate the need for painting, reducing your expenses.
  2. Summer is a great time to get reacquainted with your garden. Tidy up any messy areas, trim plants and trees, and get rid of any burgeoning jungles. Mulch the garden beds, plant colourful foliage to complement your home’s colour scheme, fertilise plants and treat the lawns for weeds. Installing a reticulated water system if you are handy enough will ensure your plants don’t die if you forget to water them. Hire a high-pressure water cleaner to give the house, driveway and pathways a thorough clean. Install some garden lighting to create a lovely atmosphere in the evening.
  3. The kitchen is very important if you are considering selling. If it’s in good condition but is outdated, a cosmetic refresh is a big value-add: paint the bench tops, cupboards and splashback; consider upgrading dated-looking ovens and stoves. If the kitchen is too dilapidated to save, it’s worth spending money on major works, but don’t overcapitalise by spending more than two per cent of the property’s value.
  4. Updating a tired or out-of-date bathroom should also improve the value of your home. Paint tiles and walls if they are in good condition. Dated shower screens such as frosted or coloured glass can make a bathroom look smaller and old-fashioned so replace these with clear, modern shower screens. Modernise old-style tapware, towel rails and lights. If required, a more major renovation in the bathroom shouldn’t cost more than around 1.5 per cent of the property’s value.
  5. Catch up on small maintenance jobs such as fixing cupboard doors, window sashes, leaks, lights, fans and cracking paint, and re-grouting tiles. Outside, check the gutters, painting, fences, gates and roofing and make any repairs if required. Small problems can become big ones if left too long and cost a lot more to fix down the track.
  6. Painting can completely transform the interior too. Warm, earthy colours like coffee, beige or stone are welcoming and comfortable. Choosing the wrong colours can devalue your property so steer clear of white, which looks cheap and sterile, and avoid bold feature walls or fancy paint finishes such as “suede effects”.
  7. Pulling up carpet and polishing the underlying floorboards, or laying laminate floorboards, can give the illusion that the property is bigger, which boosts its value.

Major structural renovations can be worthwhile in some circumstances – removing part of a wall, for example, can create more open space and make the property look bigger. However, major works usually require formal planning approval, which comes with high fees, and houses in some suburbs just don’t lend themselves to structural works as they become overcapitalised.

One common mistake is taking on jobs that are best left to experts. Most structural renovations, as well as roof painting, tiling and floor sanding, require special skills. Tackling them yourself can end up costing you in repairs or leave you with an unprofessional finish that devalues your property. Just do what you can handle, what you have time for and what you enjoy most. A bit of DIY can be hugely satisfying and is an easy way to add value to your home.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Smartline recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Smartline recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.