Monday 21 May 2018

How to Make the Most of a ‘Fixer Upper’!

Is there anything more exciting to the DIY home renovator than the potential of a genuine ‘fixer upper’? With solid bones in place, the imagination can run wild, allowing you to stamp your mark on a property to create a unique and character filled home or a guaranteed money spinner.Unlike a full rebuild, a renovation allows you to be the creative force behind the project–saving money, time and handing the reins of control over to you. Whether you are buying with the intention to renovate for a fast turnover for profit or looking to create something special for your family to live in, there are numerous strategies you can employ to get the best value out of your purchase.

Size matters
One of the single most costly decisions you can make when looking to undertake a renovation is to buy a house that requires additional rooms to be added. If working within a restricted budget, make sure the property has ample floor space.

A floor plan can always be rejigged, and non-load bearing stud walls added or removed as needed, but extensions cost big money per square metre.

Securing the site
Renovating whilst living off-site may be the easiest and fastest option but any house which is obviously uninhabited increases the risk of vandalisation. To protect your investment, find a reliable home security system in Melbourne which will give you 24 hour protection with the ability to monitor the site remotely on your iPhone or mobile device, from any location.

Monitoring will also protect building materials and merchandise from theft. According to police, some of the most likely items to be stolen from unsecured sites are:
Kitchen appliances
● Bathroom fittings
● Hot water systems
● Air conditioning units
● Electrical cable and wiring
● Timber

Tipping points
The point of a renovation project, unless you simply enjoy a challenge, is to get the biggest bang for your buck. If you have purchased a project with the view to turning a profit, we have compiled a few simple tips, to gain the most return from your investment:

● Appeal to the masses. Keep neutral decor throughout. It may not be to your taste but if you are considering selling, it is the best way to ensure a good price.

● Don’t skimp on bathrooms and kitchens; these are the rooms that sell a house. If the budget won’t extend to new, consider respraying tiles and cabinetry as an effective and affordable compromise.

● Modern homes are all about light and space. Dollar for dollar, paint is one of the most cost effective ways to brighten a home. Additionally, removing a few stud walls to open up living areas can transform the feel and functionality of a home.

Council concerns
Ensure you know what you can and can’t do with your property from a legal and local laws perspective. We regularly hear of investors purchasing properties with the intention of developing a site, only to find that local governance prevents or impinges on their plans.

There can be any number of regulations in your precinct. Just a tip of the iceberg of issues which may derail your plans are:
● Maintaining uniform street frontage
● Narrow driveways limiting rear access
● Second storey; overlooking and privacy concerns
● Heritage overlay restrictions on structures, buildings or trees
● Neighbourhood uniformity and design by-laws to maintain the character or heritage aspect of the area.

Even minor changes such as a new window, require consultation with the local council to ensure they don’t breach any existing laws and to ensure the correct building procedures are followed. Neglect them at your peril as you risk the council demanding the work be removed and re-done in accordance with their regulations which can completely blow your budget!

Don’t be left thinking ‘if only’. With Melbourne’s house prices stated to be doubling every year and home renovation resources more accessible than ever before, turning an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan can pay off huge dividends.

Look for inner-city ‘sleeper’ suburbs and then slowly extend your search outwards until you find the best prospect for the price. This could just be the recipe which will provide a stunning home for now and a debt-free future in the long term.

Till next time... take your time and invest wisely!


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