The act of buying and selling property is not something to be taken lightly, as property always remains a big purchase. With every sale you need to try and ensure that you made the biggest profit you can, as the selling of one property often leads to the purchasing of another.  By knowing which home remodeling adds value, you can increase your profit margins by quit an increment.

Kitchen Remodeling Projects:

Kitchens are still the heart of the home, knowing this, a potential buyer would love to see a completed, up to date kitchen with modern fittings.  Kitchen remodeling can be done through a major or minor remodeling project.  You should decide what you are willing to spend and what needs improvement.

The general rule of thumb is that minor remodeling tends to be a better return on investment than major remodeling projects.

Minor kitchen remodelling return on investment = 97%

Major kitchen remodelling return on investment = 91%

Bathroom Remodeling Projects:

Bathrooms has shown to be one of the best home remodeling add-on’s.  Simply because most homes (especially the older homes) tends to come with too little bathrooms as is.  It is nearly considered a must to add a bathroom if your home only has one.  If adding a full bathroom is out of budget, consider adding a guest toilet only.

Minor bathroom remodelling return on investment = 100%

Major bathroom remodelling return on investment = 93%

Outdoor Remodeling Projects:

Outdoor improvements include the look of your home, it’s first impressions.  By spending a bit of money and ensuring your home looks and feels appealing you can increase your interest 10 fold.

Spending money on landscaping, especially your pavement appeal and the front yard will result in some yield – guaranteed.  The percentage varies from country to country, but in the U.S.A. landscaping is considered to be a 100% return on investment remodelling project.

Minor landscaping remodelling return on investment = 100%

Deck, Patio or Porch remodelling return on investment = 90%

Structural Remodeling Projects:

Potential buyers expect the building to be in a sound structural condition.  Meaning the roof shouldn’t leak and the lights shouldn’t flickr.  If your home has any of these problems it would be suggested to fix all structural problems before listing your property.   These fix-ups may not increase the value of your property, but the other would result in a severe decrease in selling price.

South African law dictates that, you are obligated to inform any potential buyers of any and all structural problems the property may have.  If not, it could result in a reversal of sale.  We (R.S.A.) are still allowed to sell our properties “voetstoots”, but with a list of structural problems.

Voetstoots: Without guarantee or warranty; at the buyer’s risk

Remodeling projects that can negatively affect the reselling price.

There are remodeling projects that can result in a negative effect, ending up having no return on investment.  They tend to be those personal remodeling projects, that Cinema room or the fountain by the pool, or simply extensive luxury items.

Thumb of rule is, the more personal the project, the less return on investment you might have.

This may not be music to anyone’s ears, but you have to also find a balance between return on investment and personal happiness.  If the cinema room is going to give you and your family many happy hours then it’s still worth it.  You as the seller simply have to understand that it might not be for everyone, and that some potential buyers would rather have prefered a room for their second child.  

Remodeling projects to be cautious of:

  1. Luxury Upgrades:  Potential buyers definitely don’t want to see the cheapest items on the market, but they also don’t want to pay for the highest of quality.  It is always recommended to go with the mid-range of items
  2. Rooms that don’t fit with the floor plan:  Having odd rooms in your home can be one thing, but having your dining room window looking out on your newly renovated stoep-to-family room might put many potential buyers of.  Be careful of not cluttering your property with structural add-ons.
  3. Garage Conversions might give homeowners much needed storage space, but the truth is that any potential buyer still wants a garage for their car. Don’t replace one problem by creating another.
  4. Swimming pools are one of those questionable luxury items.  Some potential buyers will insist on it, and other will do the exact opposite.  Before adding a pool, consider the temperature, will the pool really be used or will it become another white elephant in your home.  For pure return on investments, swimming pools rank extremely low, considering their initial cost as well as monthly cost.  A new trend is to not build a hot- tub, instead of a swimming pool.

Home remodeling projects are easy to find, but difficult to do, especially if you are a DIY-er. They not only require a level of skill, or skill learning, but money and more time than you thought.  It is for this reason that you have to be honest with yourself.  

  • How much are you willing and wanting to do yourself?
  • How big a home remodelling project will it become?
  • Will it be a quick and cheap mini remodelling project or will it require knocking out some walls?

There is no failure in planning only failure in not planning, for a more visual representation of where to spend your remodeling funds have a look at our infographic.

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Written by Lizl Brink, Lizl is copywriter and designer based in Johannesburg, she is also a frequent contributor to the Mafadi blog, and as an Urban investor and rejuvenation shares a passion for urban regeneration, go check out her personal portfolio here
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