Architecture and Renovation

DIY renos under $5,000 that’ll add immediate value to your property

Taken a trip to Bunnings lately?! While the tradies’ hardware suppliers are slowing right back, many of us are getting bold with our DIY reno and landscaping, painting and tinkering at rapid pace. Even without the sausages out front Bunnings is flat out. Apparently we have extra time on our hands right now (no, we’re not going to mention what’s happening – we’re sick of reading about it and you must be too!) but sometimes inspiration is tough.

So we’ve asked our team for their value-packed tips – the ones that you can do with a handful of dollars and some sweat, and will return the best outcome if you’re looking to sell or rent in the near future.

Aussies love our renos and new data from the ABS shows we spent $2.23b spent on alterations and additions (jobs over $10k) to Australia’s residential buildings in the December quarter. But with our hands firmly off our wallets and fewer home owners prepared to borrow, those bigger jobs like kitchen and bathroom overhauls are being put on ice.

One of the simplest and least expensive jobs is running fresh silicon in bathrooms and kitchens. Our Sales Manager Rebecca says she’s often surprised how few homes have this done before they come onto the market. “It’s like cleaning carpets, you really need to do it regularly to keep a home looking good.” Bec also suggests de-cluttering is critical before selling. “Home buyers want to see space, lots of it and you’d be surprised how few items you really need to keep. And getting some cushions and throws and plants to create a better atmosphere will add dollars to your sale.” For the more adventurous a new tiled splashback adds immediate return for small investment.

Leasing a property in a competitive market (yes we’re now into one again) means your presentation needs to be spot on. The Bees Nees property management team do a bi-annual survey of Brisbane’s tenants and you can read what they really want and will pay more rent to have. Tenants don’t always prefer a modern home, but one that’s in good condition is highly rated.

Our New Client Officer Rachael says updating the bathroom fixtures can be as easy as swapping over the shower head to something more modern. “Putting in new tapware (same for your kitchen) and replacing those rusty towel-rails is an easy way to get a modern touch. A new toilet doesn’t go astray, but you may need a plumber for install on that one.”

One very consistent theme from tenants and buyers alike: make the place as bright and air-filled as you can! Our GM Clint suggests freshening up by getting brighter light fittings, changing light bulbs to be consistent, and if a property is a little dark using cool white light bulbs rather than warm white. “It’s often overlooked but we love to have electricity connection maintained whilst a property is vacant so we can turn all the lights on and present it at its best.” He also reminds landlords to keep lawns and gardens mowed and trimmed during any vacancy.

Kitchens are such a focal point in a home and Sales Consultant Brady says even minor updates will add appeal. “Buyers go the extra mile to secure homes that are in immaculate condition. For example kitchen cupboards can sometimes be brightened with a fresh coat of paint and new door handles. That goes a long way. Further to that, we are seeing 2 tone kitchens growing in popularity. They don’t need to be all monotone or white anymore.”

Landscaping jobs bring probably the biggest ‘bang for buck’ and especially out front where first impressions count. Our tip – keep all gardens low maintenance, especially for rental homes.

Our tenants’ survey points to the huge importance of outdoor spaces, so those deck extensions and entertainment zones in a garden like a small paved area are worthwhile. Even adding some vertical garden or other aesthetic improvements to your apartment balcony will catch more market attention. One note of caution for enthusiastic apartment renovators: many of your neighbours are at home during the day at the moment and an advance letterbox note about your noise will be appreciated.

Brisbane real estate agentEarlier this year we got some professional guidance on the evolving 2020’s design trends and, as always, we suggest you keep your decor fairly mainstream if you’re wanting wide appeal.

We’ve written before about major renovations that add sales and rental appeal so if you do have the inclination and funds you might get a great deal on bigger projects right now. Many builders who wouldn’t usually do renovations are diving back in to keep themselves busy as new construction shows signs of a quick decline. One builder told us this week his cabinet maker has closed his doors, his concrete supplier was limiting quantities, and one local brickworks has halted production with enough stock in the yard to last them months.

And here’s a jobs stimulus idea for our politicians: Northern Territory homeowners who spend $2,000 of their own money on renovations are being given up to $6,000 from their government. Despite what many of us think much of this money stays in Australia. The Housing Industry Association: “Believe it or not, a majority of builders’ inventories continue to be sourced locally and are typically all Australian made and supplied. Some elements of your new build or renovation may have a high Australian labour content using imported materials such as aluminium windows or balustrade profiles and some glass.”

Getting ready to rent or sell your property? Our team would love to help with more suggestions to maximise your result!