Simple tips for adding value to your home

Simple tips for adding value to your home

Whether you’re planning to sell now or simply want to keep your options open in the long-term, adding value to your home over time is a smart move for any homeowner.

Luckily, you can add value to your home without spending a huge amount of money on a full-scale renovation, with these smart – and budget-conscious – tips. And in the meantime, you can enjoy the benefits of any improvements.

Maintaining the basics

Making regular improvements to your home and maintaining it in good condition is the best way to add value over the long term. Fixing roof leaks instantly, replacing worn carpeting or broken windows, addressing any rising damp before it becomes as issue and other regular upkeep projects will ensure your home remains in tip-top condition.

Make minor cosmetic improvements

When it comes to selling your home, any real estate agent worth their commission will tell you that a fresh coat of paint can transform a home and improve its chances of commanding the best possible sale price. Georgia Cleary, a real estate agent with Bradfield & Prichard Double Bay in Sydney, recommends minor improvements as the most cost-effective ways to add value to your home. “Changing the knobs on the kitchen cabinets or moderinising the splashback can have a big impact without going to the expense of a full renovation,” she says.

Update the exterior

Never underestimate the power of curb appeal. This is the first impression your home will make on potential buyers and sets their expectations before they’ve even walked through the front door. Cleary recommends doing regular maintenance to the exterior of the house; and if you are selling, a fresh coat of paint and well-positioned plants can significantly increase your chances of securing a good sale price.

Add an outdoor “room”

Australians love outdoor living, so it’s no surprise that buyers often look for homes that offer attractive, usable outdoor spaces. Lou Rendina, managing director of Rendina Real Estate in Melbourne, advises building a weather-protected outdoor deck as a good way to add value to your home and attract buyers in the future. “If done properly, it’s like having another room that can be used year round,” he says.

Don’t ignore landscaping

Real estate agents agree that attractive landscaping can boost the sale price of a property and cut its time on the market. If you want to get maximum enjoyment for yourself, you can employ the services if a landscape designer or stick to a budget by planting perennial plants in oversized urns, applying a new layer of mulch, updating old pavers or even installing a water feature for the extra wow factor.

Improve insulation
A well-insulated home is a pleasure to live in and instantly attractive to potential buyers – and can save you money in the long term. “Upgrading heating and cooling systems, double glazing and insulation are ways of reducing your carbon footprint and utility bills now and well into the future,” Rendina says.

 

 

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What is a fixed home loan?

A fixed rate home loan is a loan where the interest rate is set for a certain amount of time, usually between one and 15 years. The advantage of a fixed rate is that you know exactly how much your repayments will be for the duration of the fixed term. There are some disadvantages to fixing that you need to be aware of. Some products won’t let you make extra repayments, or offer tools such as an offset account to help you reduce your interest, while others will charge a significant break fee if you decide to terminate the loan before the fixed period finishes.

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We also take a shorter term, more realistic view of how long borrowers hold onto their loan, which gives you a better idea about the true borrowing costs. We take your loan details and calculate how much each of the relevent loans would cost you on average each month over the next five years. We assess the overall flexibility of each loan and give you an easy indication of which ones are likely to adjust to your needs over time. 

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Redraw fees are charged by your lender when you want to take money you have already paid into your mortgage back out. Typically, banks will only allow you to take money out of your loan if you have a redraw facility attached to your loan, and the money you are taking out is part of any additional repayments you’ve made. The average redraw fee is around $19 however there are plenty of lenders who include a number of fee-free redraws a year. Tip: Negative-gearers beware – any money redrawn is often treated as new borrowing for tax purposes, so there may be limits on how you can use it if you want to maximise your tax deduction.

What is a building in course of erection loan?

Also known as a construction home loan, a building in course of erection (BICOE) loan loan allows you to draw down funds as a building project advances in order to pay the builders. This option is available on selected variable rate loans.

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What does going guarantor' mean?

Going guarantor means a person offers up the equity in their home as security for your loan. This is a serious commitment which can have major repercussions if the person is not able to make their repayments and defaults on their loan. In this scenario, the bank will legally be able to the guarantor until the debt is settled.

Not everyone can be a guarantor. Lenders will generally only allow immediate family members to act as a guarantor but this can sometimes be stretched to include extended family depending on the circumstances.

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The mortgage market changes constantly. Every week, new products get launched and existing products get tweaked. Yet many ratings and awards systems rank products annually or biannually.

We update our product data as soon as possible when lenders make changes, so if a bank hikes its interest rates or changes its product, the system will quickly re-evaluate it.

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For example, the monthly repayments on a $250,000 loan with a 5 per cent interest rate over 30 years will be $1342. For a loan of $300,000 on the same rate and loan term, the monthly repayments will be $1610 and for a $500,000 loan, the monthly repayments will be $2684.

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