‘Sexy’ reno options for cashed-up tenants

Renters's expectations evolve over time, and renovations for an investment property should work to create a higher asking price from potential tenants. Smart Property Investment spoke to one renovation expert for her tips on where to focus your cash and energies. 

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The best renovating tip

If investors intend to renovate a property before selling it off, renovation expert Dr Naomi Findlay said to Smart Property Investment the biggest ticket items that people are looking out for are kitchens, bathrooms and outdoor spaces.

Out of these three elements however, outdoor spaces are what Dr Findlay refers to as the simplest option due to less complexity, less trade and less issue with access, which is what makes them a “sexy” reno option.

“Outdoor spaces are often things that people can do themselves, whether it be decking, paving, a stone set floor, a small pergola, open, there’s a pile of things if you’re handy you can actually do without having to employ a swag load of trades, so that does make them quite sexy,” Dr Findlay said.

“In bathrooms we have waterproofing, we have professional tiling, we have power, electrical, glaziers (often for some of the glasswork that goes in the bathrooms now) ... and similarly kitchens but there’s a whole lot of people that are involved in the installation of a kitchen.”


The biggest renovating trap

Dr Findlay also cautioned investors who may be get too involved in the renovation, and warned against falling for invisible value.

To explain her point, Dr Findlay used the example of electrical wiring.

“You might go, ‘The wiring's a little bit old, how about I rewire it?’ That’s invisible value, it’s absolutely value, but it’s not highly visible, and often, not overly considered by a buyer because they can’t see it,” she said.

“Things like that that aren’t overtly in a buyer’s face, that they can’t emotionally attach to are often a trap.

“It’s because you love the project, you want to make sure that you hand on an amazing property to the person thats buying it off you, but theres making sure its to code and a good quality standard, and theres investing too much in the invisible value.”

Adding value, not updating

Regardless of what does or does not get renovated, Dr Findlay said her focus when renovating was looking where she could add more value.

“One of the things that so many people miss is theyre often just looking at how they can update and upgrade whats already there.

“For me, its essential that you look how you can add additional value, so how could you maybe tweak the floorplan, how could you maybe just move wall or change the location of a door to create an extra space or to add extra function?

“That is where you really realise your profits, when you’re adding extra value, not just updating.”

Previously, Dr Findlay mentioned to Smart Property Investment her top renovation tips to do over summer.

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