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Renovations that pay off

Are you planning on renovating your home this year? If you are like most of us, you have a growing list of things you would like to upgrade or renew in your place.

If you are planning on selling your home, whether it be now or five years down the track, it pays to check out which renovation jobs are the most cost effective. So to get you motivated, we've put together a short list of renovations that experts say will get you your money back upon sale.

Create a great first impression
The first step to selling your home is getting people through the front door. You home needs to have street appeal and create a great first impression, and you don't need to spend big dollars to achieve this.

Think about the small things you could do that will give your house a fresh look – things like freshening up the letterbox, front fence and front doors are a good place to start. You can also look at a paint job or even cleaning the roof and gutters.

In an article published by the NZ Herald "Consumer Watch: Paint job is always a winner"1, experts explained what they thought were the best renovations to take on and estimated the return on your money. For exterior renovations they estimated that you can spend around $100 for a new letterbox and numbers – giving you a $3 return on every $1 spent.

Update the kitchen and bathroom, but don't go overboard
Bathrooms and kitchen are not necessarily easy renovation jobs, but some experts say these two rooms are key when selling houses.

If you are thinking about doing a complete renovation, keep in mind prospective buyers. If your home is a two bedroom unit, potential buyers most likely will not expect a $50,000 top of the range kitchen. It is best to follow the industry medium to avoid over-capitalising and experts even argue that it is a good thing to leave something for potential buyers to do themselves.

A refreshed look in your bathroom or kitchen can be achieved by simply changing fixtures or replacing cabinet doors.

The article in the NZ Herald estimates that if you spend $3,000 on cosmetic improvements, you can get a $1.50 to $2 return on every $1 spent on a bathroom or kitchen.

Insulate! Insulate! Insulate!
Having proper insulation in your home should be top priority these days. Not having insulation can create the perception that your home is an unhealthy one. Buyers looking for a family home will pay close attention to heating systems and insulation in any potential new home.

With the EECA Energywise programme subsidising the cost of insulation, there really is no excuse not to have good insulation.

Add a deck
Adding a deck where there is none can seem like a huge task to undertake, but it is the best way to add liveable area to your property. Particularly in Auckland, there are plenty of houses with sloping lawns that can be seen as more of a nuisance to look after the lawns rather than a great outdoor area to enjoy. A deck can instantly provide the huge selling point of an indoor-outdoor flow and entertaining space.

It is estimated that it can cost from $300 to $500 per square metre to add a deck but you can get a whopping $4 for every $1 spent. Now that's a winner!

You need to keep in mind though that if your deck is more than one metre off the ground you will require a building consent.

If you have equity in your home, you can use that capital to tackle some of those renovations. Give us a call if you want to see whether your current loan could help you get your house freshened up. Contact us on 0800 500 510 or mortgages@apexgroup.co.nz.

1 Consumer Watch: Paint job is always a winner, Susan Edmunds, NZ Herald, Apr 26, 2015.
Image courstesy of bugtiger / Freedigitalphotos.net