12 April 2010

Style, Paint and Win: Coast Home Advice

Goldcoast Australia

TO renovate or not to renovate?

That's the question Gold Coast home owners are asking after new research revealed expensive revamps were not guaranteed to boost a property's sale value.

Instead experts have suggested splashing a lick of paint on the facade or using a 'property stylist' to shuffle furniture to reap greater financial rewards.

PRDnationwide Mudgeeraba agent Karl Grossman warned owners to be cautious following the latest advice 'to stay put and renovate'.

"There are two things to take into account, whether you are doing it for lifestyle or financial gain," he said.

"If someone is going to spend money for the purpose of selling, they would want to get at least double back."

While owners might get their money back for bathroom or kitchen remodels, spending $2000 on exterior touch-ups and landscaping could reap a $10,000 increase in the sale price.

Mr Grossman said to mitigate risk, owners should never exceed the median value of their suburb when combining the purchase price and renovation costs.

Instant Interiors Gold Coast owner Helen Farquhar said property stylists could remodel a home and increase market value in just a few days.

Tricks of the trade include removing personal items, shipping in classy furniture, linen and even bathroom soap to ensure the house is aesthetically pleasing.

"A few thousand can put 15 per cent on the value of the property and they sell faster as they ... have the wow factor," said Ms Farquhar.

"It's definitely a growing market because people are beginning to realise perception is reality when it comes to selling property. It's whether people make an emotional connection to it."

Artcraft Design owner Phil Andrews said his California bathroom renovation business had been quiet due to the global economic downturn.

But he said owners of luxury properties were still looking to renovate.

Canadians Colin and Lila Eicher completely gutted the luxury Main Beach apartment they bought last year.

"We took everything out and rebuilt the whole thing from top to bottom, three bedrooms, laundry, kitchen, all new tiles, new airconditioning, windows, all new kitchen appliances," said Mr Eicher.

Mr Eicher, who plans to retire in Australia, said he believed the property was a sound investment and felt confident he would make a profit when he went to sell.

"I think we will easily get it back when we sell," he said.

ACME Joinery and Cabinets owner Perry Nelder said he had experienced an increase in clients in recent weeks, with most wanting new kitchens and bathroom remodeling.

"Most plan to stay, some are thinking of selling," said Mr Nelder.

"I'd say most spend about $20,000 to $30,000 and they know that whatever they put in they are going to get back."

Top tips to attract buyers:

    * 1) De-clutter - remove family photographs and personal items.
    * 2) Clean - ensure your house is spotless.
    * 3) Curb appeal - the external appearance will be a deciding factor as to whether buyers step through the door.
    * 4) Odour control - ensure the house smells fresh and inviting, no pets.
    * 5) Space - move furniture to create an illusion of space.
    * 6) Lighting - carefully placed lamps can ensure the house looks bright and inviting.
    * 7) Temperature control - ensure the house is cool, switch on airconditioners.
    * 8) Make repairs - everything should be in working order.

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