investor-q-a

Six ways under $1000 to add value to your property

By Staff Reporter

Not all investors are rolling in money and able to renovate their property, but if you’re looking to get a quick growth in capital, then cosmetic renovations may be just up your street.

You may not have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on your property, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make some significant improvements that will make your property rent faster, sell for a higher profit or help boost your valuation.

Here are five fixes for under $1,000 that any investor can take on:

1) Replace the flooring – up to $1,000 a room

Renovating for Profit’s Cherie Barber suggests that while many think replacing the flooring is expensive, it doesn’t need to be.

A good lino to replace some ‘daggy tiles’ or laminate flooring placed on top of old tiles can do wonders.

Lino can be picked up for “anywhere over $20/sqm”.

“I buy laminate flooring for $35/sqm installed,” she says.

WBP Property Group’s Wesley Inkster says that this is definitely a good budget way to approach a property, particularly if the carpet is stained from previous use. “Replacing one room will only cost you about $250 to $300”, he says.

TIP: Choose high-gloss flooring, not matte, due to higher perceived value. Also, consider whether the carpet can be steam cleaned to bring it back up to scratch rather than needing replacement.

2) Pressure cleaning - $70 to $150 a day

Go and get yourself a pressure cleaner to really make your property sparkle, Ms Barber suggests. This is great for the exterior, where grime can be in hard to reach places.

“Washing the roof, the walls, windows, pavement and so on can do wonders for your house," she says.

“It can take a couple of hours on average.”

TIP: Do this before considering any external re-painting and you may save yourself a few thousand dollars, as it often comes up looking brand new.

3) Re-surfacing tiles - $1,000

“You can have an entirely different bathroom in a day just with tile resurfacing. That’s where they come in and spray everything, including the old tiles. The room could be in structurally good condition but it’s a horrible colour like green, or pink, or that blue that was common in the 70s and 80s,” Ms Barber says.

“All the tile resurfacers do is seal up the door and spray the whole bathroom - the tiles, the bath, the vanity, the toilet, the floors - so you can have a horrible green bathroom in the morning and what looks like a brand new bathroom in the afternoon.”

However, be warned, the bigger the bathroom the higher the cost, and it could easily blow above this $1,000 mark.

TIP: Re-colouring your kitchen benchtops for $300 to $600 on average can have much the same effect if your kitchen is also looking outdated, while vanities can be completely replaced on the lower-end for around $300 from a hardware store.

4) Replace handles and doors - $3.50 and $35 respectively

When it comes to kitchen and bathroom cupboards, as well as other units around the house, consider a tiny outlay and a bit of elbow grease to replace the doors and handles.

“Simple things like updating the handles on cabinetry really update how it looks,” says Ms Barber.

Mr Inkster explains that you won’t need a good deal of outlay on kitchen doors, putting the cost at around $20 to $35.

TIP: You may consider re-painting the cabinet doors if you want to squeeze the pennies even tighter.

5) Bringing in some light with window furnishings and light fittings - $60 and $0.50 upwards respectively

Many rooms in a property can look dark and it’s worth considering why. Frequently, the problem is inappropriate window furnishing.

“Removing the old heavy curtains and installing new blinds on the windows can be great, depending where they are [located on the property],” suggests Ms Barber.

“Any windows to the rear of the property or the sides you can get away without blinds if your budget is low. It’s only the front you need. Replace heavy curtains with slim line venetians, which you can pick up so cheaply these days - for instance at Bunnings for $50 or $60 a packet.”

Mr Inkster suggests cheap light fittings can also do wonders for rooms, particularly if currently there are bare bulbs.

“Just something simple will be fine. Reflect the light away from the ceiling so that if it does have any faults in it, they don’t readily show,” he suggests.

One example he has seen included simple inverted-saucer type light fittings that not only reflected the light into the room, but cost 50c each. He paid just $10 for the whole house’s light fittings.

TIP: Make sure your light fittings and windows are clean to get the most light possible.

For free or on the cheap:

- Mow the lawn (either DIY or hire help for $20+ per hour). If your neighbour has a bad looking front yard, consider offering to mow theirs as well for the home open!
- Replace powerpoints that are broken or outdated ($12 from Bunnings and a bit of electrical know-how)
- Do a house clean ($20+ per hour for a professional cleaner or get in there yourself)
- Replace broken pipes and guttering

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