One quick addition that most investors can implement in just a day is a new fence around a property. Including a fence around the front garden can provide security, and also immediately open up the tenant-pool while adding value and a greater opportunity for re-sale down the track.
“When you go around the front we recommend putting a front fence up, it’s sort of like the frame around the Mona Lisa,” explains Reno Kings' Paul Eslick about the resulting highly visible impact on the front garden and the increase in usable space.
“You want to get as much value as you can and a guaranteed way that you can have your house always rented out, without a shadow of a doubt, is if you consider kids and you allow pets.
“You’d be surprised how much more money people will pay to make sure their little puppy dog comes along and is safe within a fence, at the same time for those with kids it’ll do the same.”
Bigger brick pier fences with decorative iron work inserts give a property a compound feel, which Renovating for Profit's Cherie Barber suggests is preferable for up market properties and families.
“A compound feel is highly valued because people tend to be very private and security is a big thing for a lot of families, particular as people get wealthier,” she says.
Depending on the size of the property’s frontage and the desired effect, fencing can be an expensive enterprise costing up to $20,000, with all sturdy fences priced upwards from $3,000, and investors should ensure they know what is appropriate in their area before construction.
“You have to know and research your target market,” says BG Home Styling's Belinda Grundy.. Sometimes it can be good to look towards reducing the costs of the materials themselves.
“The general things you can get away with are not putting the best hardwood down, and reducing your costs in these materials. Sometimes a small outlay here will give the best return,” she says.
For those who may have difficulty with fencing, due to neighbours or council restrictions, a more easily installed addition to the front yard, and often cheaper consideration, that suits almost all properties is a path to the front door.
While this may seem obvious, Ms Barber says, many homes do not have this. Directing prospective buyers to the doorstep is a simple tip to make the property more marketable when it comes to re-selling.
Adding pavers, or a gravel path for the budget-conscious, can do the job.
“In an ideal world if you’re standing at your front gate you want a path that goes from your front gate that goes in a direct line to your front door.”
For the outlay, Ms Barber says, the yard is one of the easiest areas to reap a profitable return.
“The outdoors is in our genes as Australians. We make a beeline to outdoor areas, so they’re obviously highly valued spaces.
“But you need to think low-maintenance.”