Whether it’s a small update or a complete remodel, home renovations should ensure a good return on investment when the time comes to sell

“As much as we’d like to think that the money we pour into renovations will come back at us in full when we sell our home, that’s rarely the case. However certain renovations add value immediately, some small and exterior-focused improvements offer better value than larger challenging renovations,” says Craig Hutchison, CEO Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.

If you are considering making some home improvements, you want a good return on investment (ROI). This means how much money you stand to get back on any particular renovation whenever you decide to sell your home.

Remember, what you like might not be what the next owner would want in a home. Hutchison says that customising your home too much narrows down the potential buyers to very few, and this could result in your home remaining on the market for years.

A good place to start

Check the value of the homes in the area to give you a good feel of your home’s value and how much you should spend on the renovations. The last thing you want to do is over capitalise.

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Speak to an estate agent in your area to get a sense of the value that improvements could add.

For the greatest potential return on investment, opt for smaller renovations over major remodelling projects.

Kitchens and bathrooms

According to home loan originator Ooba, renovations to kitchen and bathrooms can generate a return on investment of between 60 and 80% and the good news is that you don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune.

Replacing countertops and flooring, re-enamelling baths and basins and re-grouting existing tiles in a bathroom can all have a major impact. Replacing old taps, light fittings and towel rails and installing mirrors or even re-painting can make the room appear more spacious and clean.

Another area that can add significant value is the garden and the entrance to the house. Neat beds full of healthy plants, manicured lawns and well-maintained boundary walls or fences all create a good impression of your home, and can be quite easily achieved.   

The best renovating ROI

Loft conversion +192%

It’s often the easiest cheaper and less disruptive way to create an extra space in your house. The loft could be used as an extra bedroom, workroom, TV room, playroom, study, games room, extra storage or a private home office, which will immediately add value..

Going green +65%

Going green can seem totally overwhelming but it may be good to revise your home’s energy consumption. Many buyers look at the amount of energy a home saves because of water shortages and the increase in electricity costs. Install solar heating panels, switch all or a few of your light bulbs to LED/CFLs, fix leaky taps, install water-saving shower heads and have a timer installed on the geysers.

Braai room +80%

There are two types of people – those with braai rooms and those still wanting one! A braai room means being able to entertain, irrespective of the elements outside. A small unusable area can easily be altered into a practical braai area. Folding/sliding doors are also an option, enabling a person to have the area completely open when appropriate, yet closed when the need arises.

Decking or patio +133%

Buyers see a deck as a place to entertain that offering a seamless transition from inside to outside. It increases a home’s usable space – but costs only about half of what it would to build a new room.

New bathroom +75%

Simple bathroom fixtures are a great way to add value, without having to spend a lot of money. Refresh the paintwork, replace the taps, replace that shower curtain with a glass screen, and invest in a heated towel rail rather than a hook on the back of the door.

Redecorating +26%

It’s amazing what a splash of paint can do. You could also change light switches that have yellowed over time and replace old rugs.

New kitchen +80%

Replace kitchen cabinet doors/handles, drawer fronts and/or kitchen countertops and aim to create as much space as possible with nifty storage solutions.

Garage +25%

Fit the garage with shelves and cupboard space, and replace the garage door.