WHAT INCREASES THE VALUE OF YOUR PROPERTY THE MOST?
There’s no doubt that home improvements are getting increasingly popular. Simply watch a few reality renovations shows and you’re sure to get the bug too! However, renovating your property could also increase the value of your home should you later decide to sell. Many homeowners make the mistake of splurging on expensive renovations, flashy fittings, and state-of-the-art fixtures right off the bat, but you can’t take for granted that you’ll recoup the exact value of your improvements when you sell.
"Just because you spent R200 000 on home improvements does not necessarily mean that your house is automatically worth R200 000 more." Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX SA.
Before you take on that complete remodel or install all of those smart home applications, it’s important to consider which improvements will have the best chances of improving your Return on Investment (ROI). Many factors have an influence on how much of the renovation cost is recouped by a property’s resale value, for example:
- The direction of the general housing market in your area
- The value of other, similar homes in your neighbourhood
- The nature of the renovation projects you’ve undertaken
- How long the home was occupied after completed renovations
What renovations add the most value to a home?
At the end of the day, sensible, considered upgrades can make or break your property’s resale value and, ultimately, your ROI. Be careful to keep within the limits of the surrounding neighbourhood. Before you start planning your improvements, contact your local RE/MAX property professionals for expert advice about the property prices and requirements in your area. This is the best point of reference to determine your ceiling when it comes to renovating. As a guideline though, here are our top 8 renovations that will most likely increase a home’s value:
1. Can you convert your loft or basement?
One of the best questions to ask in any home-improvement situation is “can I create more space in my home”. Converting a loft or basement into habitable rooms with a function and purpose to be listed with your property can often be the easiest, cheapest and least disruptive way to create more resale value. You can turn these types of already existing spaces into an extra bedroom, office, workspace, or even a home gym. As a rule, improvements that increase the functional space of a home tend to hold their value longer than ones that just make a house look better.
2. How about eco-friendly enhancements?
In South Africa, both electricity and a generally higher cost of living mean that any saving your property can offer on utilities is a major advantage. You may have wondered, does solar energy increase a home’s value or should you get a generator installed for load shedding? Ultimately, shrewd energy-efficient improvements like these can certainly add to the resale value of a home. Also, consider switching all or a few of your light bulbs to LED/CFLs, fix any leaky taps, install water-saving showerheads and ensure that you have a timer installed on your geysers.
3. Could you upgrade your entertainment area?
In South Africa, the inside-outside living of a covered braai room is extremely popular in most areas. Inside fireplaces for frosty winters are also wonderful for increasing a home’s value. Being able to entertain, irrespective of the elements outside, can usually be quite easily accommodated with a few practical alterations too. Folding or sliding doors or windows are a great option, allowing you to throw open the area when the weather allows for it.
4. How do you feel about landscaping?
Upgrading your garden space can be a tricky thing to navigate when it comes to appealing to every buyer. For example, a low maintenance garden could attract a certain type of personality and a spectacular but rather high maintenance yard could attract another. As a golden rule, making use of plants and shrubs that are indigenous to the area will alleviate unnecessary watering and maintenance in the garden. Also, practical upgrades like a good fence, attractive pavers, well-pruned greenery, as well as an automatic watering system, may also increase resale value.
5. It might be as easy as getting a pool
Installing a pool can also affect the saleability of your home differently from buyer to buyer. For example, expensive upkeep and the fear of liability mean that for some, the responsibility of a swimming pool will detract from a property more than add to its value. However, if you live in a higher-end neighbourhood and most of your neighbours have pools and patios for outside enjoyment, then not having a pool might make your home harder to sell.
6. Redecorating & retouching could be key too!
A few tweaks and a bit of redecorating can certainly make a property look brand-new. Your paintwork also sends a strong message to buyers about the general love and care that’s gone into the property. Consider your light switches too, the standard white light switches tend to look yellow over time. Check that the latches are working correctly, window treatments are in good order and even consider reviving any shoddy floors.
7. How about a kitchen makeover? Within reason!
You may have heard the phrase “kitchens sell properties” but they’re also the most expensive renovation to undertake and one of the hardest to recoup. Without exception, potential buyers will consider the kitchen when evaluating whether they are willing to pay the asking price of your property. Therefore, modernising the cabinets and countertops, upgrading to brand-new appliances, updating sinks and faucets, and redoing the flooring could certainly mean increasing your home’s appeal and value. However, get expert advice on how far other homes in your neighbourhood have taken this first, as it’s very easy to overspend unnecessarily in this regard.
8. Upgrade your home security…
In South Africa, this is possibly one of the most important features for resale value. Upgrading your home security will not only be lucrative for you when you decide to sell your property but also gives you peace of mind while you’re an occupant. This could be as simple as upgrading your fencing and burglar bars to adding state-of-the-art features like electric fencing, beams, and even security cameras. Again, the level of security your neighbourhood needs can be gauged by other property’s security measures around you.
Discuss Your Home’s Resale Value with Experts
Sometimes, homeowners improve their property so extensively that the cost of renovations, added to the selling price of the house, exceeds the current market value of the property. This is called overcapitalisation and it’s an easy mistake to make. To avoid this, study the average house prices of comparable homes in your area and get an independent property valuation. If you’re doing these renovations purely for the investment returns, it’s vital to do thorough research and reach out to a RE/MAX property professional who can offer you guidance. When you’re finished with your renovations, get another independent property valuation for a final look at what kind of ROI you could have in store.