Increase your property’s value with these landscaping/renovation tips

Australians love to prime, paint and pimp their homes into shape. Our annual renovation spend of about $32 billion each year<sup>1</sup> is testimony to our enthusiasm for home improvements. The question is, are all those renovations really improving the value of our homes?

Most popular renos

The latest Houzz survey2 pinpoints the most popular renovations among Australian home owners. Kitchens top the list, accounting for almost one in four (23%) renovations. That’s closely followed by living rooms (20%), bathrooms (17%), and surprisingly, laundries (17%).

However, the pandemic is also driving demand for a home office – a project being tackled by about one in ten Aussie home owners.

How much can you expect to pay?

The final cost of a renovation depends on a variety of factors. It’s a no-brainer that a kitchen makeover is likely to set you back a lot more than freshening up a bedroom. But your renovation budget will also be shaped by the scale of your project, the materials you have in mind, and whether you plan to use tradies or roll up your sleeves and take a DIY approach.

The common thread is that plenty of home renovations don’t come cheap. The latest Archicentre Cost Guide3 shows a kitchen makeover can cost from $15,000 to $43,000. A new bathroom can cost up to $27,000, and even the humble laundry can soak up a renovation budget of $17,000.

If you’re thinking of landscaping the yard to turn your outdoor space into a green haven, the costs can be lower though still not cheap4.

Removing a tree can cost up to $2,000. Concreting the driveway could set you back $95 per square metre. Hiring a professional landscaper can cost around $55 per hour, with a full garden makeover potentially setting you back around $4,000.5

Will the renos add value?

If you have home improvements in mind, it always pays to avoid the trap of overcapitalising. That’s when the cost of the renovations outweighs the value they add to your home. There’s not much point spending $40,000 on a flash new kitchen if it’s only going to add $20,000 to your property’s market value.

To avoid this pitfall, property experts suggest a general rule of thumb is to spend no more than 5% of your home’s value on renovations6.  So if your place is worth $600,000, a kitchen budget of $30,000 may be reasonable. If the makeover includes eco-friendly appliances, a kitchen reno can have the added appeal of saving on power bills.

Sometimes, it can be a (relatively) simple matter of seeing your home through fresh eyes. Finder research shows that lack of natural light is a turn-off for 46% of home buyers7. So installing a sky light could make a difference to your home’s market appeal, while also cutting energy costs.

When it comes to outdoor areas, landscaping can boost your home’s value by up to 15%8. But be warned, high maintenance features like a swimming pool won’t appeal to everyone.

The upshot is that it’s all about knowing what works for your particular home and location. If in doubt, talk to a couple of local real estate agents for an idea of whether your planned project will deliver a decent uptick in your home’s value.


Building your home guide

Building a brand new home or completing major renovations on an existing property are some of the most exciting projects we can undertake as home owners.

Download now

It’s not always about value-add

Renovations aren’t always about adding a luxury touch. As it becomes harder to find an affordable first home, a growing number of first home buyers are planning to buy budget-friendly properties in need of some TLC that they can fix up later on.

Finder's First Home Buyers Report 20219 found some first home buyers believe their best chance of getting onto the property ladder is by purchasing a 'fixer-upper'. It’s a strategy that is seeing 79% of first home owners plan to renovate their new place.

Paying for home improvements

Your ideal renovation project can take time – and careful planning. And along with choosing colours, fixtures and fittings, it’s worth thinking about how you’ll pay for it all.

Your Mortgage Choice broker can suggest a range of options from refinancing your home loan to using a personal loan – both of which can preserve valuable cash savings. That can be a must-do in case the budget blows out or an emergency expense crops up. 

TBA Broker Meeting 400X400 (1)

Talk to your local broker today

Request a call