What to watch for when making additions to your home

What to watch for when making additions to your home

September 20, 2019

Variety may be the spice of life but it's not especially great for selling your home. We all have different tastes and see beauty in different ways, however, when it comes to expressing your unique style, it's best if it's done in a way you can take with you when you move home.

Before you install a plunge pool, garden feature or backyard studio, it's really important to stop and consider if this will add future value to your home.

You may not be thinking about selling just now, you may even be sure that this is your forever home and you will never sell, even still, it's good to treat property additions with care and planning, you never know what events may unfold to take you on an unforeseen path.

In this blog, we'll go over what to be careful to steer clear of trouble, or at least be ready for it. In the next blog, we will cover Property Additions That Will Pay Off!

How to measure value

Of course there is no exact way to know what might be attractive to a buyer in the future, there have certainly been some quirky homes snapped up for prices far higher than expected, while others fail to get as much as a first offer and to be honest, sometimes the difference between them isn't discernable.

The way to beat the guesswork is to steer well clear of quirky. Quirky will be harder to find a match for, putting your home on the market longer and risking lower prices.

Before you go ahead with an addition to your home, step away from your personal feelings and passions and look at the situation from a business point of view, which is through the eye of a buyer.

Cold, hard facts

To get into the right frame of mind to assess your property value you need to gather as many facts as you can. Every home will be different depending on the suburb, type of home, property size and local trends, but if you did the right amount of research before you purchased your property you will already know something about your local market.

Looking at all the market elements including location, type of potential resident, land size and neighbourhood atmosphere you need to ask some questions:

Is the addition you are proposing popular for your suburb?

Does it fit with the lifestyle choices of that neighbourhood?

Is it something people in your location want to spend money on?

The best way to get a sense of this is to view property sales in your area and see if homes that have this addition sold for more or less than similar homes. You are looking to get a feel for how the market responds; in favour, neutral or disinterested.

The more research you do and the more properties you find the better.

Forget unique style

One thing to be careful of is thinking that your unique style will add a lot of interest and value through diversity. Yes, there will be other people just like you who adore those ornate fittings, but are they going to be looking to buy a property in your suburb, exactly when you are wanting to sell?

Finding that perfect buyer will probably take time, lots of it, time you may not have to let the home sit on the market. Even if your home is well presented, the longer a property stays on the market the worse it appears to be. Potential buyers start to wonder what's wrong with it and will steer clear, even with a price drop.

Hard work

When you take off your rose coloured glasses and see your addition through your buyer's eyes one thing you may notice is hard work.

Fountains, granny flats, pizza ovens, and pools may look amazing but they take hard work to clean and maintain. They can also be a safety risk for people with small children, even with a pool fence. You need to think about how much use these items might actually get to gauge whether they will be an attraction or deterrent.

Aesthetics

An additional room won't necessarily mean additional value. If you are adding extra rooms make sure they flow and provide more living options. Aesthetics are everything, meaning that a room tacked on the back or off the side of your home will look like it's a hasty, last-minute decision. Any addition needs to join seamlessly and appear to be perfectly integrated with the original floor plan.

For the same reason, rainwater tanks and solar panels are not attractive additions. That's not to say don't install them, but it's important not to install them thinking you will see a big return, overall they don't make a big difference to property prices. Money value comes from aesthetics and flow, with that in mind you might want to select tank styles that blend in or are well hidden rather than making them a proud part of your backyard.

Building up

Installing a second storey is expensive so you might not see a big return there. It could also put you out of reach of buyers looking to downsize and it may not have the harmonious flow effect from old to new that buyers are looking for. Another option might be to build down.  A basement may cost less to install and be less intimidating to buyers as it can be more versatile to use as storage space or hobby rooms.

Balance

What in your home needs extra love and modernisation? If you have a small living room where everyone struggles to sit, it doesn't make sense to add a bedroom. A great design will fall apart if it's not also functional. Find a balance that enhances lifestyle and liveability, so whoever comes after you will see the value and common sense you are offering.

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