Renovating inside or outside - Part 2

Luke Parker
Renovating inside or outside - Part 2

Tom tackled the inside

Tom Lynch was moving down country and decided to spruce up the inside of his free-standing two-bedroom unit he had owned for 13 years before leaving Papatoetoe in Auckland.

The 100sqm brick and tile unit with aluminium joinery had become pretty run down inside and needed a facelift to maximise its capital gain.

Tom painted and re-wallpapered inside. He painted the ceilings, skirting boards and inside window frames.

His next step included a new sink and bench top in the kitchen along with replacing the vinyl in the kitchen, bathroom, toilet and laundry. He picked these up from a small contractor. Likewise, he picked up new carpet at a good price for the lounge, hallway and two bedrooms.

He finished off with some light shades from Bunnings and new drapes from The Warehouse. In five or six weeks the renovation was complete.

Total cost: around $7,000.

Prior to the renovation, Tom was thinking he might get around $385,000 and was pleasantly surprised when it sold at auction for nearly $435,000.

Tom’s advice: be patient, shop around for deals and do as much of the work yourself, but only if you can do it to a good standard. 

David doubled down on the outside

David Ryan was ready to sell his Browns Bay, Auckland, home but knew in order to maximise its sale price he would need to sort out his front and back yards to get that strong first impression with potential buyers.

He said three years on, the interior and exterior of the 250sqm property was in good shape but elements of the outside landscaping were letting its potential down. The section was 800sqm.

SEE ALSO: 10 ways to add value to your home for under $500

“I wanted to present the house in the best possible way for prospective buyers. The plan was to get it to a point where it was pretty much a blank landscape for somebody to come in and create their own unique look and feel.”

David painted the fences and had a landscaper come in to level and re-sow parts of the lawn. That created three planting areas which used to be clay around the deck; the landscaper then organised rocks and plants to lift the appearance of the front of the house. Some old trees were taken down to open up the view to the sea.

In addition, new concrete paths were put in, a retaining wall was replaced and sections of the driveway that were damaged were tidied up.   

“We also painted the base of the house and put some horizontal trellising around the base of the deck which made a big difference,” David said.

He got the paint from Colour Plus, building supplies and trellising from PlaceMakers and plants from Palmers.

All in all, he estimates the work on the outside cost around $25,000.

His expectation was that the property would sell for around $1m and after 6 weeks on the market it was bought by negotiation for just over $1.06 million.

“I definitely think putting the extra $25,000K into the property to do those things made it easier to sell and would have added $50,000 to the price,” he said. “I think being presented well played a big part in how the house sold.”

Don’t be afraid to take advice

The best advice David got was discussing with the real estate agent what she thought best in presenting the house. A lot of the time their views were quite different but he trusted her judgment on knowing what it took to sell in the area.

“The strategy was that the next owners could move in and it would be perfect to live in but could be enhanced by adding their own touches to the garden and landscaping without having to do any heavy duty stuff. It worked out well,” David said.

SEE ALSO: 10 ways to add value to your home for under $500

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