Home Renovations & Extensions
Renovations and extensions usually prove to be cheaper than buying a new house. Buying a new property does not only involve the purchasing price, but also a number of additional costs (transfer fees, registration fees, real estate agent fees etc.).
Do not over-capitalise on your property! It is probably best to speak to a real estate agent familiar with property values in your area.
Renovations and additions that add the most value:
- extra bedrooms,
- swimming pools or cottages.
Make sure that the renovation or addition really adds value. Just because you like a feature does not necessarily add value. The value may actually be reduced; think of a garish paint job.
An “income generating”, e.g. rental space, often increases value.
Make sure that the quality of the workmanship is of the top order. A badly finished renovation, poor paint job or ill-fitting units will put off any prospective buyer. Home inspectors can inspect your renovations and give you a comprehensive report.
Do not cut corners. Ensure that only skilled craftsmen work on your property!
Watch the design
An additional bedroom adds value. If, however, it fits poorly into the architecture of the house, it will likely deter future buyers. Poor design may even reduce property value.
Stay in keeping with the original style of the house. Maintain the same fittings throughout, e.g. wooden floors, high ceilings etc.
The value of a house can be increased with inexpensive renovations:
- Re-grout bathroom tiles
- Replace damaged, dirty or tired fittings
- Clean or refit carpets
A neat garden increases value:
- Neat beds
- Manicured lawns
- Well-maintained boundary walls
- Neatly arranged pot plants
- An outdoor seating area.
- Undertake serious renovations in an economic downturn, when discounts are available.
- Be an owner builder.
Keep in mind that building costs are usually more expensive per square meter than buying.
However, in an economic downturn, builders and suppliers are open to negotiation price. Currently, building costs are much closer to the real value of the home. If you make it clear that you have a strict budget, suppliers can advise you on less expensive options, with the same finish.
- Newly renovated bathrooms and kitchens are appealing to buyers. Such renovations can be very costly. Whilst Granite and Caeserstone is very popular for kitchen tops, a high gloss finish can also be achieved with PVC-wrapped kitchen units.
- You do not need to replace taps with the most expensive designer imports. Local manufacturers, e.g. Cobra, have a very attractive range of products at much lower prices. Also, installation is not problematic.
- Do not overspend on your swimming pool. It costs anywhere from R20 000 to R50 000 to put in a pool. Then there are the maintenance costs that also need to be considered. A small pool that is easy to maintain may be the best option.
- Garages are important selling points. If you can also provide additional space for plumbing and laundry, the value is increased further. This is a low-cost improvement.
- Security is a major selling point. Perimeter walling and fencing immediately push up the value of your property. Furthermore, American shutters, which double up as security bars, add cosmetic appeal as well as security.