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5 features that rarely add value when you sell

There’s a rule of thumb when renovating that you should aim to add three dollars back from every dollar you spend.

This three-for-one rule quickly shows if your return on investment (your precious money and time) was worth the effort.

So if you want to inject more dollar signs in your property’s sold price, knowing where not to spend your money is super important.

We ask a few avid investors and renovators to answer this burning question: What are five housing features that add little or no value to most properties?

Orsolya Bartalis has bought property since the mid-1990s and has completed development and renovation projects. She also mentors others on the property investment process.

“When looking for return on investment, I like to get $3 dollars back for every dollar invested,” she says.

5 features that add little value to property

1. Swimming pools

5 features that rarely add value when you sell

“I am sure you have heard this before but here it is again. Swimming pools are a large investment, and they will not give you a bang for your buck,” Bartalis says.

“While you may like it, others possibly think ‘hassle’, ‘danger’, ‘expensive to maintain’ and the likes.

“If your area is bustling with young families, you may find they turn down a perfectly good home because of the swimming pool, so if you don’t already have it, don’t use it as an upgrade to try to make a sale.”

Christine Williams, Principal of Smarter Property Investing wholeheartedly agrees.

“Swimming pools may seem like a great idea at the time, especially if you have just come back from a fun holiday where there was a pool, however this truly can be a costly addition,” Williams says.

“When selling, it can detract from a potential group of buyers, i.e families, the elderly, and potentially property investors.

“The reason for this is the type of tenant it (a pool) will not attract due to maintenance, public liability, insurance and local government laws regarding fencing and safety barriers.”

2. Extravagant fittings and fixtures

5 features that rarely add value when you sell

“With the rise of renovation shows on TV, where contestants have exorbitant amounts of money to spend on renovations, we have seen all sorts of high-end products being introduced to try to win points.

“But while the latest purple Smeg stove could be what you fancy, with a personalised backsplash made with cow hide and gold trims, this may not be the style your buyers are looking for … so unless you are selling to a highly niche market, the fixtures and fittings will not give you a good ROI if you spend big bucks on them.”


3. Things you cannot see

5 features that rarely add value when you sell

If you can’t see it, it’s unlikely to boost your return, Bartalis says. This includes wall and ceiling insulation, double glazing, new air-con systems and stumps.

“They are great to have so if you want to add them to your long-term home, please do so. But do not install them as a selling feature as most people expect they are there and are in good working order. But if they are not there, that is fine too.”

Craig Heppell, CEO of Agent in a Box, has worked in marketing and selling property for almost 14 years and agrees air-conditioning does not add value to a home for sale.

“Yes, in our subtropical regions air-conditioning is a must,” Heppell says. “However, adding a nifty split-system for, say, $1,000 does not increase the value of a property by $5,000 as a number of home sellers believe. This type of feature can add to the marketability, not the value.”

4. Fancy landscaping or no landscaping

5 features that rarely add value when you sell

“When it comes to the garden, you need to find a balance. No garden is a big turn off, just as much as a highly manicured garden,” Bartalis says.

She recommends a basic make over as the surest way to make money back from your outdoors outlay.

“Make sure there is some lawn and a simple, easy to maintain garden design. Do not go overboard with water features, cladding, hidden gardens, paving and the like.”

And don’t think your rare and/or edible botanicals instantly add to your riches at sale time. Fruit trees may produce fine marmalade, but do not automatically give vendors money for jam, according to Heppell.

“They’ll says things like ‘down there, I have a lime, over there a lemon, just put in an avocado and the bananas are the best you will ever taste’ … I have lost count of the number of sellers who expect that the ‘trees’ will be the big seller and add serious value to the property,” he says.

“Unless your property is a working orchard, the average buyer will respond with a resounding ‘meh’ if a guided tour of the fruit trees takes precedence over the benefits and amenity the property actually provides.”

5. Sub-par DIY work

It’s easy to get a false sense of what a layperson with a hammer and paint can achieve. Who wouldn’t get enthused by all the money to be saved on labour? That’s not to say homeowners cannot go-it-alone on some minor cosmetic improvements and do a very neat job of it.


But doing a less-than-average job can cost you dearly. Dodgy tiling and painting is easy to spot at home inspections. Half-finished jobs devalue a house.

Even if you don’t decide to get in a professional in a bid to save money, if you don’t feel confident in what you are doing it can end up taking you twice as long to get the desired finish.  Those hours will hold up getting your property to market.

“Electricity and plumbing will also need the sign-off sheets from the professionals for the jobs completed so before you begin, think about what jobs you can truly do well,” Bartalis says.


Originally Published On: http://www.realestate.com.au/

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Home Improvements

Robina: Top 10 Qld New Apartment Hotspot On Realestate.Com.Au


According to realestate.com.au’s New Apartment Hotspots1., Robina has been revealed as the top Gold Coast suburb searched by Australians looking for new apartments in Queensland from March to May 2015, and came in sixth overall.

In addition, data available on realestate.com.au/invest also points to strong market demand in Robina from people looking to rent 2 bedroom units in Robina as well as a steadily climbing rental yield.

realestate.com.au’s Queensland Sales Manager for Developments Marini Peries says Robina is a suburb that profiles well on the website, especially for apartments.

“People are attracted to new apartment developments as these properties are usually located in prime inner city locations,” she said.

“Buying off-the-plan also allows purchasers to buy at contract price with a 10% deposit and offers buyers more choice – they get to select the property that is most suited to their needs and lifestyle.

“Our data shows a lot of people are also searching in areas on the Gold Coast for new apartments.”

Robina Group’s Residential Sales Manager Azura Griffen says there has been a noticeable increase in interest from interstate buyers as well as first home buyers who are priced out of Sydney and Melbourne markets.

“We’re receiving many enquiries from interstate buyers who have seen the immense value and growth opportunities on offer here,” she said.

“This interest has been especially evident in our Bohème Apartment project from buyers wanting to purchase an apartment off the plan and are looking elsewhere due to being priced out of their local market.

“We also have interstate and overseas buyers interested in purchasing our apartments so their children can attend Bond University or Somerset College here in Robina,” Mrs Griffen said.

Related Reading: Construction Starts Early On Bohème at Robina

According to Mrs Griffen, New South Wales buyers are leading the charge with a dozen sales worth a combined $6 million at Bohème Apartments.


Bohème Apartments, Robina, Gold Coast

Former Sydneysider Shirley Sun made the move to Gold Coast City in search of her first home and chose Bohème Apartments due to its growth potential.

“Robina has an upmarket look and feel because it’s a relatively new area on the Gold Coast, although it still has plenty to offer with a major regional shopping centre, a private university, good schools and lots of businesses, which means job opportunities,” she said.

“Robina has all of the city conveniences that I enjoyed in Sydney but it’s not nearly as crowded and properties are much less expensive here,” Ms Sun said.

Another Sydney resident Johanna Licuanan, principal solicitor of Sydney-based Licuanan Lawyers, also purchased an investment property at Bohème Apartments due to Robina’s reputation as both a lifestyle and business hub.

“I was looking to buy an apartment in Robina as a home for my elderly parents and I ultimately chose Bohème Apartments because it offers a good balance between lifestyle for owner-occupiers and value for investors,” she said.

“Bohème Apartments is well connected to major transport, with train and bus stations nearby, along with easy access to the motorway which means I can head to the airport within about 20 minutes when I need to go back to Sydney for business.

“I think Gold Coast City will eventually catch up with Sydney and Melbourne in terms of prices, so there’s plenty of room for growth, especially in Robina which is well serviced by infrastructure and amenities.”


Bohème Apartments, Robina, Gold Coast

The strong demand for housing and commercial property in Robina from interstate investors follows large investment in the area with $1bn of investment pouring into the area and various development projects underway.

realestate.com.au’s New Apartment Hotspots (March – May 2015)
1. Brisbane
2. West End
3. South Brisbane
4. Milton
5. Albion
6. Robina
7. Newstead
8. Woolloongabba
9. Broadbeach
10. Spring Hill

Methodology: realestate.com.au reaches its findings by taking the most viewed apartment developments in the Buy and New Homes sections for each suburb over the course of three months. It compares the number of views on developer listings against the number of available developments in that suburb (suburbs must have minimum two developments to be considered).

1. realestate.com.au internal statistics, March 2015 – May 2015, based on views per development in the Buy and New Homes sections.

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Home Improvements

Aspial seeks 91 storey Brisbane apartment block next to the Abian

Aspial Corporation has applied to build Brisbane’s tallest residential tower. (more…)

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Home Improvements

Sunland’s luxury penthouses to test Brisbane CBD market


Sunland’s luxury penthouses to test Brisbane CBD market

Abian’s two penthouses will span 592sq m atop the 40-storey Alice St tower, each stretching over two levels. Source: Supplied

Sunland will launch its luxury penthouses atop Brisbane’s newest central business district high-rise for more than $7.25 million.

Abian’s two penthouses will span 592sq m atop the 40-storey Alice Street tower, each stretching over two levels.

The sales will be a test of Brisbane’s luxury CBD market, which hasn’t seen new stock since the ­financial crisis.

However, a raft of new city buildings is expected to hit the market soon, including the top end of the city’s equal-tallest Skytower, the Shayher Group’s 300 George Street and Consolidated Properties’ Spire apartment high-rises.

Sunland managing director Sahba Abedian said Abian’s “inspired interiors” matched the interior 3.5m ceilings, with views over the city and Botanic Gardens. “Abian’s penthouses are truly unrivalled in terms of their location, design and luxury finishes,” he said.

Brisbane is in the midst of an apartment-development boom, with 111 developments and 14,000 units on the drawing board across the inner-city.

But prices have yet to follow Sydney’s massive growth, with a Domain report to be released today showing a drop of 3.8 per cent in the median price of Brisbane units this year.

This followed a quarterly reduction of 2.3 per cent, reflecting the number and style of apartments being released.

The median house price also fell 0.7 per cent in the quarter, despite an annual increase of 2.8 per cent.

Senior economist Andrew Wilson said the recent market resurgence had stalled in the last quarter and unit prices had fallen for the third consecutive quarter.

Overall, he said, the market increased over the quarter, following the February rate cut. “Although the reduction in mortgage rates improved affordability only marginally, buyer and seller confidence has lifted based on the prospect of further rate cuts fuelling house price growth,” he said.


By Rosanne Barret

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