Renovating Brisbane real estate – tips from the market
Happy New Year! Among the new year crystal ball gazing has been plenty of commentary about home renovation, with many “experts” predicting Australians will ramp up their reno plans during 2018. We’re fairly cynical about most forecasting but this is one trend that’s clear – staying put and extending, refreshing, re-designing and re-inventing is definitely going to happen more in Brisbane real estate this year.
So before you spend your next public holiday ripping out the old kitchen or setting out the new back deck, we thought we’d share some market insight from the “coalface”. Some tips from our team so when you’re looking for a tenant for that property, or the time comes to finally sell, these never-cheap renos give you the best chance to maximise your return.
1. Let there be light! Home buyers and tenants of all types crave natural light – even during Brisbane’s summer when you think we’d want to hide from the sun. Bees Nees Sales Manager Rebecca Herbst says many modern apartments have a second bedroom without a window to the outside and buyers are regularly turned off. “It’s not always possible to have light and air to every corner of a dwelling and while buyers do understand that, they will still gravitate to a property that is bright and fresh over one that is not. They’d love all bedrooms and even bathrooms to be bright and well-ventilated but at a minimum, a renovation should focus on anything that can get the home’s living spaces feeling more open and light.”
2. Don’t “over-customise”. We all want to design a home to our individual needs, but General Manager Clint Dowdell-Smith says it’s best if you have one eye on the needs of the next occupants. “We rented a large 5 bed house in a terrific city location that was close to great schools, but it didn’t have a backyard and the downstairs bedroom and rumpus only had access via external stairs. The owners’ substantial renovation had catered beautifully to their needs, but they then had a design that didn’t appeal to the large families that could have been the perfect market.” What’s the logical market for your property’s location and size? If you’re not sure, call us.
3. Remember the simple things…. Ever moved into your dream home and your fridge won’t fit?! Leasing and New Business Consultant Kate Hennessy says this happens to tenants regularly and a bit of planning in design could avoid it. “Keeping flexibility in kitchen layouts is important – a tight fitting fridge might look neater but sizes vary more than you’d think.” Kate also says more people are buying king size beds so be careful reducing room sizes. “People will put up with things that aren’t ideal in a home, but if their furniture won’t fit they’re unlikely to compromise.”
4. Character isn’t enough in a modern age. Queenslanders and older homes have huge market appeal and any renovation that enhances their charm will increase your demand. But please remember the modern comforts too! Bees Nees Leasing and New Business Consultant Bec Fiedler says airconditioning is a must have once the price reaches a certain point. “Ceiling fans are expected in Brisbane dwellings of all types and they can be retrofitted, even into apartments with concrete ceilings. And with all of the new dwellings offering airconditioning, it can also be hard to compete without this now.”
Renovating can be very rewarding and a great way to extend your home’s suitability as your needs change. Investors can drive stronger returns by changing their property’s market and appeal. And while there’ll be plenty of experts to assist with decor and design, we’d recommend you chat with a real estate agent to check their thoughts on your plans. Our team are always happy to provide some guidance and market feedback at no cost.
Property investors looking for more tips might like a free copy of the results from our 2017 tenant survey, where more than 400 inner-Brisbane tenants told us what features they look for in a rental home. Contact us on 07 3214 6888 or fill out the form for some great insight into your customers and their needs!