Fall in love with your old house again…
This can happen! A lot of people plan to renovate to sell or to lease out but a lot end up loving the changes they have made and stay put!
Changes can be cosmetic or can become quite major as sometimes you don’t know what’s hidden behind an old bathroom wall or old kitchen sink cupboard. Everyone loves a surprise but not all renovators love the surprises and costs involved with an old house. For this renovation, my intention was to renovate and flip it quite quickly but I ended up falling in love with my character home and tried my hardest to pay homage to its history. Not always an easy task especially if the previous owners had done a not-so-great job in their attempts.
These are some items that I find are an easy place to start and see how you go. Cosmetic is always going to be the cost-effective option and can most definitely enhance the longevity of a rental and increase the rental amount but that’s if it’s possible. Always take into account the demographics of your area and who your buyer/tenant will be.
Street Appeal – For me the house had amazing bones, being a cottage with a land title dating back to 1896. Important factors to start first, as it’s what people see doing a drive-by and when swiping by hundreds of properties online. You want to catch their eye. Planting out as soon as you can gives everything time to establish prior to selling. I cleared this garden and started again to make it more clean-cut and low-maintenance. Being an old house, I took all the trees down around the boundary so it could finally breathe after many years of being covered, this also clears up the gutters from leaf debris.
Fences are another important factor for security but also as it’s an expense no buyer wants to spend and from a rental perspective it attracts more tenants knowing their kids and pets will be kept safe.
Bathroom – There was no other way to attempt to make this a cosmetic reno, so it had to be gutted. Money can be saved by upcycling old furniture to keep the character flowing. Use big 600 x 600 tiles and add plain white 600 x 300 white tiles to keep the costs down. Try to keep the plumbing in the same places as this is a huge cost saver. Bathrooms sell houses.
Flooring – Another important item for longevity if it’s in a rental property especially. Personally, from years of seeing rental properties, I will never have carpet again. Vinyl planks were my choice due to the hardiness of the product and the fact you can purchase extras that can very easily be replaced and in the Brisbane summers, they are a godsend.
Claire Morrison is the National Business Manager at ARG. We are a property partner to many finance and investment strategists throughout the country.