Q: We are thinking about selling in the next couple of years and want to use this time to add value to our home. We have a large backyard with room for a pool, and also space to add a garage, but I don’t know if we spend the money on these things will we recoup the cost through a higher sale price. What do you think?
A: Planning ahead to get your home in its best state for sale is great forward thinking. There is however a fine line between adding value and over capitalising, so it is very smart to think about what additions or changes you make and whether they will enhance your property’s value or not.
Do pools add value?
While there are some people out there who would absolutely love to have their own pool in the backyard, there are probably just as many who couldn’t think of anything worse. They might have little kids and not want the risk, they mightn’t want the added time and monetary costs of maintaining, insuring and running a pool, or they might simply prefer a bigger grassy backyard.
The fact is, pools can be polarising and limit your potential buyers. Adding a pool can also be costly, so you would need to consider how to pay for a pool.
Speak to a couple of local real estate agents and get their thoughts on interest in the local area for pools and also what value it would add to your home before taking the plunge. If the cost to you is higher than the value it would add to your property, then you simply won’t get the return on investment.
Alternatively you could consider getting the DA (council approval) for a pool so the option is there for buyers who want it. This would also save you time and money and remove the risk of turning off buyers who don’t want a pool.
Do garages add value?
In contrast, providing you have the space, adding a garage is really an extension of the home and additional square footage can mean a higher price.
Garages might also appeal to a wider group of home buyers including those who want to protect their cars and keep them undercover and anyone who likes storage. Just be careful when deciding on the design as costs will vary between freestanding and attached garages.
You could also look around the local area to see if other homes have garages. If they do, then adding one could make more sense so your home isn’t seen to be lacking something.
There are plenty of smaller things that you can do to boost your home’s value for minimum cost, such as a fresh coat of paint, tidying up the landscaping and fixing things around the home that are broken or starting to show their age.
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