Investing in residential property, especially a villa, can be very costly. Here are steps to cost-effectively remodel or refurbish a villa to ensure an even higher rate of return.
Consult with a residential architect for upgrade possibilities and ways to maximise your home’s functionality, as well as suggestions on aesthetics, which will undoubtedly increase appeal and value. Your bank may even be able to assist in the advancement of equity already accrued to finance those improvements.
At the outset look at the locality of the property, the value range in the area and the most suitable changes needed based on buyer demographic. Having a remodelling plan and staying within budget is imperative to ensure that the cosmetic and structural changes are profitable and appeal to the customer.
Increase the living space by efficient layout and by adding a room or incorporating an outdoor area into the habitable space. This increases the floor area and improves comfort and lifestyle without being too costly. Another option is to remove some internal walls and create an open-plan area with some floor-to-ceiling seamless windows, immediately giving the concept of light and space.
The kitchen is one of the focal points of a home and one of the areas where value can easily be added, whether by remodelling or the installation of an entirely new kitchen. There are many new design concepts incorporating concealed lighting, storage features and appliances, but be sure to remain focused on functionality and practicality.
The second area where remodelling is important is the bathroom. Make it appealing with good tiling (not overly decorative), quality sanitaryware, appealing vanity features (basins), storage, mirrors, fixtures and fittings.
The level and extent of maintenance, electrical, plumbing and paintwork have a bearing on property value both internally and externally. A well-maintained property is well-received and does achieve a better value. Internal paintwork with tasteful neutral colours can enhance the atmosphere of a room, making it lighter, brighter, cosier and feel more spacious.
Energy-saving upgrades, solar panels and energy-efficient heating or cooling devices make your home more efficient and generate savings on utility costs. They also make the property more marketable by delivering long-term benefits to the occupants. Replace old, dated light fittings with modern surface-mounted fixtures, accent or recessed fittings with energy-saving bulbs and dimmer switches can create a very different ambiance in a room that, and it won’t necessarily be an expensive exercise.
Create an outdoor gazebo/entertainment/barbecue area set in landscaped surrounds. Ideally, these planned areas should architecturally be in harmony with the home and flow from the living/dining room or outdoor terrace area for better social interaction and catering. Adding a swimming pool comes with many lifestyle, health and family benefits, and most certainly adds value and appeal to a home.
A beautifully landscaped garden is highly visible and impacts one’s first impression of a home. Well-maintained garden beds, trees, shrubs and manicured lawns immediately create a good perception and enhance buyer confidence. Creating good street appeal can be done by way of attractive boundary walls, gates, paved driveways, irrigation systems, feature garden lighting, water fountains and many other features that will increase desirability and marketability of your single, biggest investment.
Cheryl McAdam is director of real estate at Valustrat. The views expressed here are her own.