If you’re considering how you can get the best return for your property dollar, here are ten renovation tips that could be worth up to ten grand.
1. Saving is earning
Savings on energy and water bills will pay down your mortgage faster, allowing you to reach that magic goal sooner.
2. Rebates save!
When the government refunds your investment in something it considers valuable, its rebate will offset the cost of many renovations. A list of energy rebate available across the Commonwealth can be found on the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science's Your Energy Savings website. Your local council is also likely to offer rebates related to home improvement, too.
“The fastest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket.” - Will Rodgers
3. Green mortgages
These are a type of mortgage that allow the borrower to finance the cost of incorporating energy-efficient features into their mortgage. Switching to more energy efficient solutions is highly beneficial in the long run
4. Where am I energy inefficient?
It's easy to narrow down the parts of your home where you may be wasting money on electricity due to heat and water loss. They include bathroom fittings, the insulation, the rainwater tank and whitegoods. The NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) website can help make your home more energy efficient.
“It’s not your salary that makes you rich, it’s your spending habits.” - Charles A Jaffe
5. Structural problems can hugely devalue your home
Structural problems should be a priority, because they can affect how quickly you manage to sell your house. Structural problems can also mean the person wanting to buy your home cannot get the bank to lend them the money for the mortgage. Signs of termites in the timber, cracks in walls, cracks around doors and condensation, dampness and mould around floors and walls can impact on your home's value.
6. Asbestos and lead paint have got to go
Homes pre-dating the 1970s have a high likelihood of lead-based paint and the federal government's Department of the Environment offers 'Lead Alert' advice in six steps to let you know what to do. Also, homes built in the 20th century have quite a high likelihood that they contain asbestos as insulation under the eaves. Try and get a free government or council service to take this out at no cost to you.
7. The right lights lighten your loan!
56 per cent of lighting in homes comes from inefficient lamps. Halogen downlights are some of the most power-draining, so LED or compact fluorescent downlights are a sensible saver.
“A penny saved is a penny earned.” - Benjamin Franklin
8. Double glazed windows
Windows with two layers of glaze and aluminium framing keep the heat in. Basic aluminium framed double-glazed windows reduce heat loss by 30-50 per cent compared to single-glazed windows. Allowing natural in your home not only brightens your home but can help save on electricity
9. Open your home up to its northern exposure
This will let light in. You don't always have to knock out walls, but consider adjusting your curtains and furniture. Light equals heat equals energy savings.
10. Sealing gaps under windows and doors
This will lead to energy savings, better rot-protection for wood and less condensation which causes unsightly damage to wallpaper and big headaches when you're showing off your home to its next potential owner.