Renovating your house is seldom a bad idea, but there comes a point when the cost of your improvements can never be recovered if you decide to sell your home. This is referred to as over capitalising on your house. Basically, it means spending money on a property with little or no hope of returns on your investment.
The trick is to understand which home improvements would be most appealing to potential buyers and which ones would simply inflate the selling price to a point where no one is interested.
Best home improvements
The best home improvements are the ones that don’t cost a ridiculous amount of money but add significantly to the overall value and kerb appeal of the property. Here are some of the best home improvements you can make.
New roof and gutters
A low-maintenance aluminium roof can easily last 40 – 50 years and doesn’t need to be painted. This peace of mind for new homeowners is nearly invaluable. A sound roof and gutters also prevent damp, especially in older houses.
Modernised kitchen and bathroom
As long as you don’t go overboard with expensive countertops or imported fittings, modernising your kitchen and bathroom can add significant appeal. Small things like ditching the old taps for a modern mixer or getting rid of old linoleum will appeal to buyers because they don’t have to bother with making those improvements themselves.
Secure parking for at least one car is a big plus for potential buyers. Most people are put off by street parking because of the risk of damage or theft. Secure, off-street parking also results in lower insurance premiums.
An established or low maintenance garden is also a big plus. No one wants to move into a new home with a big patch of dirt instead of a back garden. If you’re not the gardening type, go with paving for a low maintenance outdoor area that can double up as an entertainment or braai area.
With our high crime rate, burglar bars, alarm systems and even electric fencing are a big plus for South African houses. Most people wouldn’t buy a house that didn’t at least feature burglar bars and security gates.
Grey water system (or other water saving features)
Many areas in South Africa are water scarce or plagued by frequent droughts. The means to save water or catch rainwater in tanks is a welcome addition to any home.
Worst home improvements
Unfortunately, some improvements cost too much money to ever be considered a good investment. Here are some of the home improvements that don’t result in a healthy return on investment.
Overpriced flooring or tiles
Imported tiles and flooring might look pretty, but it’s hard to justify the cost when you’re selling your home. For most people, they won’t be able to tell the difference between your pricey imported tiles and the ones they have in their bathroom back home. It’s difficult to recover the money spent because most buyers won’t want to pay for your expensive choice of tile or flooring.
Jacuzzis (and sometimes pools)
Jacuzzis and pools are appealing to some buyers, especially if they like to entertain or if they have kids. However, the cost of maintenance can be off-putting to some buyers and, if you live in an area that has water restrictions, pools and Jacuzzis can be more of an irritation than a boon because there’s a good chance you won’t be able to use them.
Auto filling bathtubs, garbage disposals, automatic blinds and clap on lights are great to have but expensive to install. They might even increase the overall appeal of your home but not to the point that buyers will pay extra on the asking price just for the privilege.
Textured or overly bright paint colours
Dark colours take a lot of paint to cover up, so if your buyer doesn’t like a bright orange wall in their lounge, they might be put off by it. Expensive paint effects might also not appeal to buyers, in which case they might not want to hassle of painting over them. The same can apply to wallpaper, depending on the design.
Trendy light fittings
Retro light fittings are often seen in recent home renovations but because they are trendy at the moment, they cost more than regular light fittings which means you might not get that money back when you sell. Buyers also might not like your choice of light fitting if their furniture and décor differ greatly.
If you’re renovating your home and need somewhere safe and clean to store your belongings, Xtraspace has a range of secure self-storage units in a range of sizes.