An interior designer and a real estate agent share advice for getting the most out of your investment property renovation.
While it’s easy to get caught up trying to mirror the trends of the moment, investment property renovation is all about creating functional spaces without overspending. Consider features that are welcoming, durable, highly useable and, most importantly, cost-effective. Ercan Ersan, Director and Senior Sales Executive at Ray White Erskineville in Sydney’s inner west, and Luisa Volpato, Head of Interior Design at Advantage Interior Design, give their advice on how to renovate to make the most of your investment property.
Focus on the kitchen and bathroom
When looking at places to allocate more of your budget, the kitchen and bathroom should be your focal points. “They’re often the first things renters look at,” explains Luisa. “Allocating a good portion of the budget to these areas can pay off.” Ercan advises spending on the finer details in these rooms. “Update these rooms with quality fittings and fixtures,” he says. “Investors can cut corners here and this can cost them a lot in the long run.” Luisa agrees, emphasising the fact that doing so is achievable in a costly manner. “Remember, you don’t want to overcapitalise, so keep tiles, fittings, cabinetry and appliances affordable. There are some great flat-pack kitchen options that, when installed by a professional, will look just as good as more expensive custom-made kitchen,” she explains.
Utilise space to add value
While you may not be able to change the amount of space you have, effectively using your property’s footprint could make all the difference. “The easiest way to add value to an investment property is by adding a bedroom and bathroom,” Ercan explains. “This could increase the resale value and improve your rental return – should you choose to keep the investment and not sell immediately.” On that note, he advises that it’s worth allocating extra budget on a landscaped garden, entertaining area and incorporating at least one bath tub, as elements like these are almost fool-proof when it comes to adding value.
The less personal, the better
While it’s hard to resist adding you own personal touches, Ercan and Luisa recommend saving that for your own home – in investment properties, it’s all about keeping it neutral. “You want your property to appeal to as many people as possible,” says Luisa. “Choose colours, materials and finishes that aren’t too personalised.” When it comes to design, choose timeless pieces that appeal to a wider audience. “Keep the space feeling light, uncluttered and contemporary, as you don’t want the property to date too quickly. Don’t follow trends too closely as these will come and go.” Ercan suggests retaining period features while adding contemporary updates, “People generally prefer to have a mix of old-world charm meeting the convenience of new-age technology.”
Plan for the long term
You’ll want your renovations to last well into the future. What’s Luisa’s golden rule for achieving longevity? Hard-wearing materials. “You don’t want to have to replace things often so make sure materials are hard-wearing and not too delicate,” she says. Luisa suggests solution-dyed nylon carpets and simple engineered flooring as cost-effective solutions. The same goes when choosing furniture and interior accents if you’re furnishing your investment. “Stick to durable and easy-to-clean fabrics such as a leather sofa, or for an upholstered sofa, polyester in a textured finish or cotton-blend fabric. Keep marble, natural stone and other delicate finishes that need maintenance for your ‘forever’ home, not your investment property.”
Ready to revamp your investment property? Before you start, talk to your Aussie broker today to understand your finance options.