Renovating Properties

It is not always necessary to renovate a property to achieve the best sale price. So, if renovation is not an option for you, here are our top tips and tricks that can help you increase your property’s value:

1. Planning Approvals

If you think that your property has potential for subdivision or development, have the plans drawn up and approved by council before you list your property for sale. Selling a house with planning approvals will attract buyers and developers to your home.

2. Be Prepared

In the months before advertising your property for sale, begin clearing, cleaning and tidying the outside of your home. Clear your yard of unnecessary items – trim trees and plants, weed the gardens, remove all rubbish and building materials, and clear under the house and the side lanes. Wash the outside of the house with a pressure hose, clean all the windows, and fertilise the grass and gardens so they look lush for open inspections.

3. First Impressions Count

People form their opinion of a house from what they see on the outside, so it is important to make a good first impression. If the front fence or door is looking tired, then paint it and shine any hardware. Make sure you clean the veranda and the front steps too.

My favourite trick to add that little extra touch is to place a fashionable door mat, cute chair and cushion, and a plaque on the veranda to make the house look welcoming.

4. Make Rooms Appear Larger

A few well-placed mirrors will make a small room appear larger. This is essential for tiny hallways and dark corners. Clearing clutter and removing furniture that is too large for your space will also help create the illusion of space.

Ensure there is plenty of unobstructed floor space so moving from one room to another is effortless. If buyers have to squeeze past large items of furniture, it gives them the impression that the room is too small, when this might not actually be the case.

5. Define the Space

Organise furniture in such a way so the purpose of every room is clear to buyers. Defining each space makes it easy for the buyer to imagine themselves, and their family, living there.

6. Light Up the Room

A skylight might be necessary to allow light into dark rooms or hallways. If installing one is too expensive, turn on all of the lights at open inspections.

7. Organised Storage

Everyone loves storage solutions and good storage sells homes!

Define each space and fit out storage rooms with shelving and hooks, to keep everything from linen to brooms and vacuum cleaners well organised.

8. ‘Clean for the Queen’

Clean every room to the highest standard, as if her majesty herself was coming to stay. Cleaning is inexpensive and there are NO excuses for not having a spotless home for open inspections – kitchens and bathrooms should be shining, and windows should glisten!

9. Style to Sell

Create warm and comfortable places in your home to stir buyers’ emotions.

Things such as a comfortable chair beside a sunny window, a popular book on a small coffee table, cushions on the lounge, a throw rug, a tidy garage for the men and a defined outdoor entertainment space are simple and effective style ideas that will help buyers picture themselves living in the home.

Making a few small adjustments can have a real impact on the first impressions of potential buyers, without changing the existing structure of your home or spending too much money. Remember, how a house looks, feels and smells sells, so a little bit of effort can go a long way!

Anybody can renovate and many Australians love doing it, but not everybody can renovate a property for profit.

The ultimate goal of renovating for profit is to make the most amount of money in the least amount of time and to do it well.

In order to achieve these goals, the following steps are crucial:

1. Don’t Pay Too Much

Buy at or under market value for a property. By doing your area due diligence, and using the research tools available at, you will recognise a good deal very quickly.

2. Know What You’re Looking For

Examine the type of house that you are interested in purchasing and visualise it finished. Ask yourself: Can you renovate it using its current character? Does that style of home sell well in the area? How much changing around is needed to get it to the point where it looks attractive in today’s market?

3. Check Council Restrictions

If your intention is to renovate, then checks with the local Council are essential. You need to know that the house you are about to work on has all its previous building approvals in place and that nothing around it will impact its estimated post renovation value.

4. Get a Building Inspection

Organise a building inspection and pay particular attention to foundations and pest damage. These issues can be rectified but they cost money, so you will need to factor this into the price you offer for the property.

5. Get Quotes

Quotes from builders and tradespeople will help you recognise if the house is worth renovating, or if the money required to fix it up will leave you with little to no profit at the end. It’s important to listen to your builder.

6. Don’t Cut Corners

Never cut corners with building approvals. Always follow correct Council procedures. The Council will stand by you if there is a complaint, so long as you have all of your approvals and are fully compliant.

7. Consider Your Neighbours and Do Not Attempt to
Overdevelop the Site.

Try to put yourself in their shoes and ask, “If this was happening next door to me, what would I be the most upset about?” They will already expect the building works to impact their peace and quiet.

8. Consult an Accountant

If you intend to flip the property upon renovation completion, see your accountant before you buy it. They may advise you to set up an appropriate company structure (e.g. a Trust) as the Tax Office will view you as a property trader if your purpose is to renovate to sell for profit.

9. Renovate to Your Target Market

Your renovation project should be designed around meeting the criteria of a purchaser, not just what you consider to be an improvement to its value.
Remember, planning ahead, structuring properly, buying like a professional and renovating to your customers’ requirements will increases your success rate!

Case Study
Martino Cottage

Purchase Price: $414,000 (plus stamp duty and legal fees).
Year Purchased: 2012.
The House: A derelict 1912 timbre cottage.


My husband and I had just been involved in a large project that had been held up in council for over a year – our property’s value had been effected by the Brisbane floods, which cost us dearly. We decided to downsize and buy a smaller home for us to live in. Being specialists in traditional home renovations, I looked for a home that met this criteria.

This home had been on the market for some time and was in such a bad state there weren’t even any inside photos advertised. It was dark and dingy, with peeling paint and poor facilities. However, being a solid timber home inside and out, we could see its potential and its redeemable features.

The main draw card for this home was that it was in a good area and the land was zoned medium density. We knew that we would not recover the costs of renovating this home alone unless we could add value by subdividing. Everyone in town thought we would bulldoze the shack and build 3 brick townhouses, but we preferred to save the old home and return it to its former glory.

Project Plan

Due to our renovation experience, we had a rough idea on how much it would cost to renovate the original home. We allowed extra funds in case we went a little over budget, which is typical in most renovations. This home would be a live-in renovation project.

Subdividing the property – We looked at the cost of subdividing the block and building a new home. We also explored the option of buying another old house and moving it onto the block, then renovating both the front and the rear houses. The second option worked out best as we could save money doing much of the renovation work ourselves.

House 1 – Original House

Renovation Cost Breakdown

Strip inside of the house, open up verandahs and remove internal walls to let the light in and give an open plan space.
Work was done ourselves to save money.

Rubbish Removal Cost: $800

House Extension
A builder was hired to extend the house, adding an en-suite, bedroom and garage

Heritage Garage Cost: $28,000
Extension Cost: $16,000
En-suite Fit-Out Cost: $800
We used a large white tile at $27 per metre and a stone floor tile at $88 per metre
Tile Fittings Cost: $1,600
Tiler = $3,300
Bathroom 2 Fit-Out Cost: $2,000

Total Cost: $51,700

Window Replacement
All windows were replaced, but the original French doors were kept.
Cost: $7,500

New Roof
Cost: $11,000

Kitchen Renovation
We used Bunnings flat pack gloss white cabinets with Ikea upper cabinets in timber veneer, and had a kitchen company install a few custom cupboards and a stone bench top. Appliances were bought from a shop display.
Cost: $8,500

New Plumbing
Cost: $10,000

Electrical and Fittings
Cost: $5,400

Solar Hot Water
Cost: $3,000

Floor Sanding
Cost: $2,700

New Timber Rails
Cost: $1,000

New Paint
We did the labour ourselves
Cost: $1,000

We did the labour ourselves and put in some established trees and plants to enhance the cottage look
Cost: $2,000

Cost: $1,000

Laundry Renovation
We used the same cabinetry as in the kitchen and used the same floor tile as the bathroom
Cost: $1,400

Paths and Driveway
Cost: $3,000

Council fees, surveyors fees, agents fees, legal fees, stamp duty and mortgage
Cost: $50,000

Total Renovation Cost, House 1: $159,200

Sold Price: $475,000

House 2 – Rear Property

Purchase Price: $85,000 (plus stamp duty and legal fees).
Year Purchased: 2013.
The House: Long, narrow Queenslander.

Project Plan

Position the house sideways and create a new front of house and entry point.

Replace the roof and horse hair/plaster walls – when we purchased this home it was in quiet good condition, but unfortunately while it was stored it suffered the effects of the Brisbane storms. The roof tarp leaked and water damage ruined most of the ceilings and the horse hair/plaster walls.

Revamp the kitchen and bathroom, added an extra bathroom by reconfiguring the spaces, divide a room and extend one side to create a garage.

Add decks.

Renovation Cost Breakdown – House 2

House Purchase Price, Transport, Re-stumping and New Roof on to site
Cost: $85,000

Removal of Walls and Plaster was done ourselves
Cost: N/A

Rubbish Removal
Cost: $1,000

Extension and Re-plastering Damaged Walls
Cost: $36,000

Electrical and Fittings
New wiring and lighting
Cost: $12,000

New Plumbing
Cost: $10,500

Bathroom Renovation
We kept the original bath and floor in the existing bathroom and put in new wall tiles, fittings, a vanity and a cupboard
Cost: $1,200

Kitchen Renovation
We reused the kitchen cupboards and added some open shelf units and a stone benchtop
Cost: $4,000

New Paint
We did the labour ourselves
Cost: $1,000

New Bathroom and Laundry
We used plain white wall tiles with a more expensive terrazzo tile to match in with the original floor in the main bathroom. New fittings ‘on Sale’ items were purchased at a discount
Cost: $3,800

Cost: $4,500

Floor Sanding
Cost: $2,200

We did the labour ourselves
Cost: $1,600

Paths, Fill, Drains and Driveway
Cost: $4,200

Council fees, civil road works (widening of the laneway), surveyors fees, agents fees, legal fees, stamp duty and mortgage
Cost: $66,000

Total Renovation Cost, House 2: $233,000

Sold Price: $450,000

About ljgrealestate 据联大

Removing the Hassle from Sales and Rentals across South East Queensland. Aim to Empower other like minded Property Investors. LJ Gilland Real Estate Pty Ltd LREA推荐书LJ Gilland房地产 L J Gilland Real Estate is a prestigious boutique agency specializing in Property Investment Management Services and the Sales of Investment Properties with tenants in place. Comprised of a top performing group of handpicked specialists, our Agents proudly serve Property Investors in Queensland. Since 1996 our Agency has demonstrated a genuine enjoyment of working with people, developing long-term relationships and delivering on the promise of great service. Carlos and Linda Debello offer property investor's the confidence to sell and lease in any market. We provide comprehensive market appraisals, exclusive multimedia marketing campaigns, and knowledgeable, highly personalized counsel on all aspects of real estate. Our Property Management Team is equally considerate, offering investors with in-depth advise, well-researched rental valuations, and highly professional rental management services. Carlos’ direct mobiles are 0400 833 800 & 0413560808. Linda’s mobiles are 0409995578 & 0414978700 (prefer email contact for Linda). Office 07 3263 6085.
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