Top tips for renovating your home for resale- get the best bang for your buck

16 August 2019

If you buy a doer-upper with goals of resale to make money, then there’s some renovations that will make you money, and some that simply aren’t worth it. It’s a balancing act- and here’s how you can do it.

When you’re deciding what to do with your investment property, the options you choose will be different from the ones you make if you were living in the home yourself. Make educated choices about the renovations you make so you can increase the profit on your investment.

1. Street appeal


The first impression of a home can make a big difference in how it is viewed. If the front of the home looks fresh, clean and appealing, you’ll have more people at open homes and every other step of the home purchase.

Have a good hack into the garden and remove any overgrowth, making it lighter, more spacious and welcoming. Repaving/ pouring concrete is more of an investment but is an easy way to make everything look tidier. Of course a coat of paint and a new, crisp letterbox also work wonders.

For more of an investment, adding a parking space or replacing a garage door can help boost the appearance.

2. Kitchen renovation

The kitchen is the hub of family life. It’s also one of the most expensive rooms to do up, and fiddly. Because of that, many people simply don’t want to do up the kitchen. Great kitchens are light, clean, with plenty of storage space and enough room to move around. Keep it neutral and simple and it’ll add value to the home.

Big entertainer-type kitchens, while looking great, do not necessarily add value unless it fits in with the style of the overall home.

3. Bathroom spruce-up

A bathroom is another tricky renovation that many house owners don’t want to do. With the potential for leaks, budget blow-outs and the inconvenience of going without a bathroom for days, it adds value if you do it. If your home is a one-bathroom home, consider adding another toilet or an ensuite too.

The problem with upgrading a bathroom is that water damage can be found, which makes the project much bigger. You can find great value fittings though, that will reduce the overall cost. Focus on water-saving taps and shower fittings, and a bath is still appreciated if there is space. It should look sparkling clean and smell fresh too.

4. Storage

Kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms often don’t have enough storage. There are plenty of ways to find storage spaces in every nook and cranny though. Storage is a must for any home buyer, so create storage spaces—whether under stairs, overhead, or under the breakfast bar. Build in spacious wardrobes.

5. Flooring makes a difference

The kind of flooring you choose makes a big difference to the feel of the home. Investing in quality carpet or timber is a great idea and will look modern and clean. If you can’t afford new flooring, remove tired and faded flooring, paint the surface underneath, or use large rugs to cover it.

Also get your carpets professionally cleaned to freshen up the home and to help removal of any bad smells.

6. The outdoor area matters

People love a bit of indoor-outdoor flow. We spend a lot of our time outside and we might as well make it part of our lives. Having a partly covered area outside the house is good in winter and when you try to have a BBQ and it rains. An easy to walk path to the washing line is a must. Some seating that’s built in is great too.

But forget the big deck or spa- it’s not worth the expense unless you’re planning on living in the house for a while.

7. Maintenance

General upkeep of the house makes a difference. Rusty gutters, overgrown lawns, dirty windows and dripping taps are a major turn-off. Spend time going through the house taking note of all these little tasks, and then make sure you resolve them all. Often these are not big expensive fixes but take time. So, spend a day or two making everything ship shape and you’ll give your potential buyers a much better feeling.

Remember that your house insurance may not cover house repairs and renovations, and you may need contract works insurance. For more information on house insurance visit State NZ

These are the top seven things you can do to get more bang for your buck for your house renovation. Don’t waste time, energy and money on options that aren’t going to provide a better buy price for your property and focus on the things that bring true value. 

At State we’ve been helping New Zealanders with their insurance for more than 100 years. Today we manage around 900,000 policies for more than 400,000 Kiwis. In that time, we’ve worked hard to build up a pretty good understanding of New Zealanders’ insurance needs.


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