Smart tips for adding value to your home

Smart 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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Real Time Ratings™ was conceived by a team of data experts who have been analysing trends and behaviour in the home loan market for more than a decade. It was designed purely to meet the evolving needs of home loan customers who wish to merge low cost with flexible features quickly. We believe it fills a glaring gap in the market by frequently re-rating loan products based on the changes lenders make daily.

Real Time Ratings™ is a new idea and will change over time to match the frequently-evolving demands of the market. Some things won’t change though – it will always rate all relevent products in our database and will not be influenced by advertising.

If you have any feedback about Real Time Ratings™, please get in touch.

What is the ratings scale?

The ratings are between 0 and 5, shown to one decimal point, with 5.0 as the best. The ratings should be used as an easy guide rather than the only thing you consider. For example, a product with a rating of 4.7 may or may not be better suited to your needs than one with a rating of 4.5, but both are probably much better than one with a rating of 1.2.

Can I take a personal loan after a home loan?

Are you struggling to pay the deposit for your dream home? A personal loan can help you pay the deposit. The question that may arise in your mind is can I take a home loan after a personal loan, or can you take a personal loan at the same time as a home loan, as it is. The answer is that, yes, provided you can meet the general eligibility criteria for both a personal loan and a home loan, your application should be approved. Those eligibility criteria may include:

  • Higher-income to show repayment capability for both the loans
  • Clear credit history with no delays in bill payments or defaults on debts
  • Zero or minimal current outstanding debt
  • Some amount of savings
  • Proven rent history will be positively perceived by the lenders

A personal loan after or during a home loan may impact serviceability, however, as the numbers can seriously add up. Every loan you avail of increases your monthly installments and the amount you use to repay the personal loan will be considered to lower the money available for the repayment of your home loan.

As to whether you can get a personal loan after your home loan, the answer is a very likely "yes", though it does come with a caveat: as long as you can show sufficient income to repay both the loans on time, you should be able to get that personal loan approved. A personal loan can also help to improve your credit score showing financial discipline and responsibility, which may benefit you with more favorable terms for your home loan.

Mortgage Calculator, Loan Amount

How much you intend to borrow. 

What is an ombudsman?

An complaints officer – previously referred to as an ombudsman -looks at formal complaints from customers about their credit providers, and helps to find a fair and independent solution to these problems.

These services are handled by the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, a non-profit government organisation that addresses and resolves financial disputes between customers and financial service providers.

Mortgage Calculator, Repayment Type

Will you pay off the amount you borrowed + interest or just the interest for a period?

How does a redraw facility work?

A redraw facility attached to your loan allows you to borrow back any additional repayments that you have already paid on your loan. This can be a beneficial feature because, by paying down the principal with additional repayments, you will be charged less interest. However you will still be able to access the extra money when needed.

How personalised is my rating?

Real Time Ratings produces instant scores for loan products and updates them based what you tell us about what you’re looking for in a loan. In that sense, we believe the ratings are as close as you get to personalised; the more you tell us, the more we customise to ratings to your needs. Some borrowers value flexibility, while others want the lowest cost loan. Your preferences will be reflected in the rating. 

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. 

How is the flexibility score calculated?

Points are awarded for different features. More important features get more points. The points are then added up and indexed into a score from 0 to 5.

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How can I get a home loan with no deposit?

Following the Global Financial Crisis, no-deposit loans, as they once used to be known, have largely been removed from the market. Now, if you wish to enter the market with no deposit, you will require a property of your own to secure a loan against or the assistance of a guarantor.

How long does NAB home loan approval take?

The time required to get your home loan from NAB approved can vary based on a number of factors involved in the application process. 

Once you have applied for a home loan, a NAB specialist will contact you within 24 hours over the phone to take down relevant information, including your total income, debts (existing loans, credit cards, etc.), assets (car, shares, etc.), and your monthly expenses (food, utility bills, etc.). Your lender might also ask for information related to the property you want to purchase, including the type of dwelling and preferred postcode.

NAB will then verify all your information and check your credit score, and if the details stack up, you should be given a conditional approval certificate. This certificate stipulates how much money NAB is willing to lend you and is typically valid for 90 days. 

Once you have your conditional approval, you can start browsing for properties that you like and that fit within the budget that NAB has provided. After you find a suitable property, you’ll need to give a copy of the signed deed to NAB, following which you should get full approval and access to the funds. This process can take up to 4-6 weeks. 

Mortgage Calculator, Loan Purpose

This is what you will use the loan for – i.e. investment. 

Savings over

Select a number of years to see how much money you can save with different home loans over time.

e.g. To see how much you could save in two years by switching mortgages,  set the slider to 2.