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Five ways to add value to your property

09 April 2024
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Although it’s just four short years since Covid struck, in many ways it feels like a distant memory. The Australian housing market in particular has defied all expectations, with the pandemic-induced downturn of 2022 now being described as “one of the sharpest but shortest in history.”

To illustrate the point, data group CoreLogic recorded 12 straight months of property value rises to January 2024, with no sign of things slowing down any time soon.

In a seller’s market, it pays to know how to maximise the value of your property. Of course, some home improvements cost more than others. But it’s not quite as simple as that. What really matters is what’ll give you the most bang for your buck.

Best ways to increase the value of your home

As we mentioned in the introduction, when it comes to home improvements, what you’re really looking for is the best possible return on investment. Fitting a new kitchen, for example, can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $45,000 or more. However, research has shown that doing so will only add approximately 75% of what you spent to the overall value of your home.

This won’t necessarily be an issue if you have no immediate plans to sell but may not make financial sense if you do. With this in mind, let’s take a look at five ways to add value to your property without leaving you out of pocket.

Improve your home’s kerb appeal

Science tells us that people make judgements about each other’s character within a tenth of a second of meeting. That’s literally the blink of an eye. While they might not be quite so quick to decide whether to buy a home, a study by the University of Texas found that what’s known as ‘kerb appeal’ (i.e., first impressions of a property’s exterior) can contribute to up to seven per cent of its selling price.

Here are some tips to improve your home’s kerb appeal:

  • Paint the exterior. If you can’t do the whole thing, focus on doors and windows.
  • Pretty up your front garden. This can be as simple as planting some flowers.
  • Power wash the driveway, especially if it’s discoloured.
  • Fix the roof. Broken or missing tiles isn’t a good look.
  • Clean the windows. This costs next to nothing if you do it yourself.
  • Replace your mailbox. It’s the nose on the face of your home’s exterior.
  • Install some tasteful exterior lighting. It’s amazing what a difference this can make, both in terms of aesthetics and as a desirable security feature.

Go green!

Investing in green home improvements such as a solar hot water system is a smart way to add value to your property (and reduce emissions). Even if you have no plans to sell, the reduction in your energy bills means you’ll save money over time. For example, although installing solar panels requires an initial outlay, research suggests the average system pays for itself within four to eight years.

Speaking of that initial outlay, a Great Southern Bank Green Loan is the ideal way to finance a major energy efficient purchase. Take the Unsecured Green Personal Loan as an example. Its personalised rates are lower than that of our standard Unsecured Personal Loan making home improvements even more affordable.

Divide your backyard into zones

Even if you only have a small backyard, dividing it into different zones can make it feel more spacious. Gardens tend to be particularly important for prospective buyers with children, so this can make all the difference. Zones can be marked out by different types of flooring or thoughtfully positioned plants, or more definitively with walls or hedges.

The ‘theme’ of your garden’s zones are up to you but here are some popular choices:

  • Dining zone – e.g., table and chairs, patio/decking, BBQ
  • Chill-out zone – e.g., relaxing chairs, cushions, hammock, shady trees
  • Kids’ zone – e.g. trampoline, sand pit, climbing frame
  • Tidy zone – e.g. garden shed, space for toys, tools, bikes etc.
  • Water zone – e.g. Pond, water feature

A fresh coat of paint goes a long way

We’ve already discussed painting the exterior of your property as a good way to boost kerb appeal. As you might imagine, a fresh coat of paint can make an equally big difference indoors. It can also be pretty cost-effective if you’re prepared do it yourself, although those with more flexible budgets may prefer to fork out for a professional.

Either way, opting for fresh, neutral colours will ensure your new-look home appeals to the widest possible selection of would-be buyers. With this in mind, if you’re not willing or able to repaint every room, then it makes sense to prioritise those with unusual or dated colour schemes. Don’t let your sickly green bathroom drag the price of your home down.

Prioritise wet areas

Speaking of bathrooms, a home’s ‘wet areas’, which also include the kitchen, are considered to be of paramount importance to potential buyers.

However, as we noted earlier, full-on kitchen renovations can be prohibitively expensive and unlikely to prove cost-effective when it comes to increasing the value of your property. If you’re looking for the best return on investment, consider upgrading instead.

Replacing cabinet doors, drawers, or even just handles can make a surprisingly big difference. As with paint colours, it’s wise to try to appeal to as many people as possible, which in this case means opting for classic materials such as chrome or brass.

When it comes to bathrooms, replacing an old toilet or sink can be almost as effective as renovating the entire space, as can adding a lick of paint to tiles and/or cabinet doors.

Find the right finance for your next home improvement project

If you’re thinking about doing up your property, whether to put it on the market or not, a Great Southern Bank Home Renovation Loan is a great way to finance it. There are no monthly account fees or penalties for early payout, and you can make fee-free extra repayments which can be redrawn at no extra cost if necessary.1

If you’d like to discuss your options with one of our team, feel free to give us a call on 133 282. Alternatively, you can always pop into your local branch for a chat.

Important Information

Great Southern Bank, a business name of Credit Union Australia Ltd ABN 44 087 650 959, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence Number 238317. Conditions, fees and charges apply. This is general information and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.  Consider the appropriateness of the information, including the Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) booklet, before acting on it. The Financial Claims Scheme may apply to this product; refer to the T&Cs for more information.

1A $200 minimum withdrawal amount applies for redraws conducted in-branch. Redraw facility is available for Great Southern Bank Personal Loan products on offer from 6 June 2017.

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