Boost home value and valuation with the right kind of renovations

Image: Megapixel

Improve is the mantra of our times, but not all home improvements will boost home value.

By: Hitesh Khan/

We are constantly assailed with advice about what to do to boost home value, but what changes push prices down and make a property less attractive to a future would-be buyer?

The answer? According to some leading property agents, it’s bad news for you if you have just turned your home into an open-plan space with a flash kitchen and a converted your toilet to have a gaudy jacuzzi.

Professional appraisers surveyed agree that kitchen remodeling is the best kind of home improvement which will boost home value.

Remodeling the kitchen provides an average payback of 72 per cent. What if you don’t want to spend tens of thousands of dollars to remodel? Try some lower-cost quick fixes such as updating the lighting, replacing the cabinet doorknobs, or installing new counter tops. The payback will be lower, of course, but it might just tide your kitchen over until you’re ready for a major overhaul.

Your kitchen is probably the most used room in your house. Poor layout, inadequate lighting, cramped spaces, outdated fixtures and old cabinetry are common complaints of homeowners. Before you decide to go ahead with a kitchen renovation, it is important to clearly identify the features you want in your new kitchen. Just as important is a thorough pre-renovation inspection to identify any existing problems.

If you are trying to make a quick profit from the sale of your home, remember that dodgy decorations do very little to boost home value.

Decorations that reflect the eccentricities of the owner can be a turn-off for buyers, which is why estate agents and house doctors say “de-cluttering” and a large tin of neutral-coloured paint tend to maximise the appeal of a property going on the market.

Purchasers look for quality – not necessarily gimmicky improvements, but high-quality finishes. Neutral ivory or white in a classic modern or period style is always the safest bet. Owners preparing to sell should remember most buyers make near-instant decisions about a home.

boost home value
Image: Megapixel

So, another good way to boost home value is to be selective about your painting.

Painting – Sprucing up the walls and ceilings with a coat of fresh paint can be one of the best uses of your renovation dollars with an average potential payback of 73 per cent. A new paint job leaves a good overall impression. And it’s one of the easier do-it-yourself jobs that can save or eliminate labor costs. Experts advise selecting colors that are neutral or in keeping with today’s styles.

Interior Painting and Decorating – One of the best ways to make your home more comfortable, healthier and less expensive to operate is to upgrade the cooling and ventilation systems. Energy-efficient equipment upgrades can be expensive, but can be offset by lower operating costs.

Mechanical upgrades – Before you decide to upgrade mechanical equipment, it’s also critical to understand how the overall performance of the house will be affected. Keep in mind that your lifestyle, the number of occupants and their age all have an impact on the performance of mechanical systems. This type of upgrade will require professionals to do it right and to avoid causing other problems in the house. It’s important to weigh the benefits against the costs.

When planning your home renovation, remember that the house is much more than just four walls and a roof – it’s an interactive system made up of many components including the basic structure, ventilating and air conditioning equipment, the external environment and the occupants. Each component influences the performance of the entire system. A renovation provides an opportunity to improve how your house performs.

The Bathroom. This is right up there in the value-for-money area with a payback of 68 percent for a full renovation. Experts suggest updating the look, but keeping the fixtures neutral. Quick fixes for a lower payback: install an updated mirror, medicine cabinet, or vanity. New lighting can also work wonders.

Flooring Upgrades. Attractive floors add value, with an average potential payback of 62 percent according to the survey of professional appraisers. But experts caution that this payback could be reduced if potential buyers prefer carpeting, rather than hardwood floors, for example. If you’ve got wood floors, refinishing them could bring new life.

Knowing how to calculate the property valuation is of paramount importance to any owner wanting to boost home value. It can help you determine whether you are overpaying for a home, or whether you have gotten yourself a real bargain. Paying the right price is just one way you can avoid overspending on your property.

If you are considering a home renovation, make sure you research your project carefully to ensure you are making a wise financial decision and getting the biggest bang for the buck. Not all home renovation is what they are cracked up to be. When deciding what type of renovation to undertake and how much to spend, consider the payback on your investment.

If you are thinking of selling your property, you don’t need to splash out on expensive renovations. At most times, you just have to stay practical and functional to boost home value. It’s the fundamental question facing anyone who has ever embarked on a home renovation – “how likely am I to get the money back when I sell my house?” There’s no easy answer if you can get your money back, because what a buyer might be willing to pay depends on many factors — everything from the choice of project to the materials you use to the value of other homes in your neighborhood.

Written by Ravi Chandran

property investor confidence

Mortgage default rises in Singapore as economy slows

Millennial property consumers will define real estate landscape in 2030