More Queenslanders are renovating properties as a way of increasing their equity and rental returns, but too many are making avoidable mistakes along the way.
The volume of renovations in Queensland has been growing for the past two years, as mostly amateur renovators pick up the tools to manufacture profit in their homes.
But many fail to understand the types of renovations that are the most valuable for the Queensland climate or, worse still, make costly mistakes that may put off would-be buyers and tenants.
Zoran Solano, of Brisbane-based Hot Property Specialists Buyers Agency, has seen some serious renovation blunders during his career, including the removal of ceiling fans.
“I was at a property recently where the renovator had taken out all of the fans and put ducted (air con) in,” he says.
“He thought it was a really good idea but it was completely the opposite of what I’d do in a renovation for myself, so there’s a blunder.
“A lot of people don’t actually like using air con all the time for cost reasons. People also don’t like that air con smell… they like fresh air circulation.”
Queensland sub-tropical climate also means that outdoor living is high on the list of desirables for buyers and tenants but some renovators don’t quite finish the job.
Solano says he recently bought a property for well under market price because the renovators had forgotten about the power of first impressions.
“Inside had a semi-modern kitchen and bathroom, it had a nice deck, but the yard and landscaping was completely overgrown. You could not see the house from the street,” he says.
“So, I think maintaining your continuity in your renovation, is key. First impressions are very important.”
Another issue in Queensland, he says, is the construction of uncertified outdoor areas, such as decks and car ports, which can have significant insurance and resell price implications.
Queensland’s renovations market is showing clear signs of momentum, according to the Housing Industry of Australia. The volume of activity grew by 1.4 per cent in 2014/15 for the second consecutive year. Growth is forecast to accelerate to 10.5 per cent in 2015/16, with growth of 4.3 per cent projected for 2016/17.
Solano says regardless of where a property is located his agency has a set list of must-haves for every property or renovation.
“These include having built-in wardrobes, fans in each bedroom and living, split-system air conditioning in the main bedroom and living if possible, and having a dishwasher,” he says.