Whether you’re building, selling or renovating your home, you’ve always got a budget to stick to. That’s why it’s important to spend your money on the features and upgrades that are going to get you the best returns on your investment.
Almost every major upgrade will have a sizable upfront cost, so when you’re weighing up where to spend your money, it’s worth considering the lifetime value and returns the upgrade offers. It’s true, not all home upgrades will benefit you in the long run. But some can drive up the value of your home, help you attract more buyers and sell for a higher price.
Even if you’re not planning on selling now, investing in high quality upgrades can help you get the most out of your home in day to day life and create more functional spaces that work for you and your family.
Here are 7 high return home upgrades to consider:
1. Solar Power
Investing in renewable sources of power, such as solar panel installation, can save you money in the long run if you’re planning on living in your home for several years to come. If you’re planning on selling your house or renting the property to tenants, a solar power system could fetch you a higher selling or rental price.
The cost of a solar panel system or solar hot water system will depend on what size and efficiency you need for your household. Higher efficiency systems tend to cost more at the outset, but have better saving potential. Depending on where you live, you may be eligible for government rebates when purchasing solar technology.
2. Central Heating and Cooling
Climate control is an important feature in any home, especially if you live in an area with hot summers or cold winters. Installing an effective central heating and cooling system is sure to keep you comfortable throughout the year – and it’s likely to increase the value of your home.
Some heating systems – such as a gas log fire – can increase the aesthetic appeal of your home too. Installing a gas log fire is a great way to create ambiance and add a touch of luxury to your living room.
When thinking about heating and cooling for your house, also consider improving energy efficiency to make the upgrade more affordable in the long run. Upgrading the existing insulation in your roof, walls and underfloor areas is the most effective way to improve energy efficiency. Double or triple glazed windows will also make a tangible difference.
3. Double Garage
Building a garage or renovating your current one into a double sized garage is likely to increase the value of your home by tens of thousands of dollars. Home buyers tend to look for a garage that’s lockable, remote controlled and has access to the house.
Another advantage of a secure garage is the extra storage space it offers the home occupiers. You can install open shelving or flexible cabinetry to get even more value out of the space. To increase the flexibility of the space, consider insulating the garage so that it can be used as a living space, home-gym or workshop.
4. Open Plan Kitchen
When home buyers visit a house on the market, one of the biggest areas of focus is the kitchen. Kitchen renovations can bring some of the best returns on your investment, so if you can only work on one room it’s a good idea to put your money into the kitchen.
Open plan kitchens and dining areas with plenty of natural light are popular with buyers because of the flexibility and modern aesthetic they offer. If you can’t make structural changes to your home, upgrading the cabinetry, benchtops and appliances are also value-adding options.
5. Outdoor Living Area
Homes that have a practical, functional and attractive outdoor space are worth more than those without. Creating an outdoor entertainment area can make your home more appealing, especially if it offers protection from intense sunlight in summer as well as rainy weather.
An outdoor kitchen is a value-adding feature as is a high quality deck or pergola. Consider also investing in landscaping for your backyard to improve visual appeal. A well planned garden will always make a space look more attractive and an efficient reticulation system will improve the functionality.
6. Smart Technology
Smart technology for the home is becoming more commonplace and can go a long way in making everyday living more convenient and energy efficient. Some types of smart technology may even help you attract buyers and renters who are willing to pay more. It’s a great way to add that wow-factor when selling your house.
Some of the most high-return smart tech to consider include high speed internet, multi-room stereo systems, automatic blinds and security systems. Some technologies may even make your home more energy efficient. For example, smart heating and air conditioning allows you to control your system remotely using a phone app and smart lighting allows you to minimise unnecessary power usage.
7. Curb Appeal
A fantastic first impression can drive up the value of your home, so it’s worth investing in the appearance of your home from the road. Consider cleaning your walls and giving them a new paint job for a quick transformation. Other great ways to increase curb appeal include replacing worn out paving, giving your front door a face lift and installing modern hardware.
Know your goals
Before embarking on any renovation or home upgrade, it’s important to think about what your goals are. Whether you’re wanting to sell to maximise profits or renovate to maximise energy efficiency and power savings, knowing your top priorities can help you figure out whether an investment is worth the cost. In most cases, long term thinking will pay off.