Renovating vs. Improving: What’s worth it?

As an investment property owner, it’s important to find the balance between maximising your property’s value and your cash flow. If you invest in the property through renovating you could potentially increase your equity, allowing you to reinvest or increase your rental capacity or capital growth. However, any money spent on your property will ultimately affect your cash flow. So, before you upgrade your investment property, understanding the difference between renovating and improving will be crucial in determining your cash flow over the next few years.

Renovating: a timely exercise

Renovating refers to the more complex changes that can be made to a property including changes to the floor plan, bathroom or kitchen remodels, or other structural changes.

Renovations require constant planning and execution, decision-making and solutions, and financing. There’s no denying that renovating is the most popular way to increase the value of your property, however it may not strategically be the right choice.

It’s important to be educated about the location of your property in terms of population, demand, rental yield and future and current infrastructure. These factors will all contribute to demand from tenants. When renovating, it can be easy to overcapitalise on your upgrades. If you then struggle to secure the right tenant at the right price, it can put pressure on your cash flow.

Doing your research and seeking advice from a real estate professional is paramount before undergoing any renovation exercise so you don’t overcapitalise.

Improving the right amount

The mindset of a homeowner versus an investor should be very different when it comes to upgrading your property. As an investor, removing any emotion is paramount to making financial decisions. Simple improvements can make a big difference to a rental property and can cost much less. These may include a fresh coat of paint, updated flooring – whether that be polished floorboards or new carpet – and new light fittings. Instead of renovating a whole new kitchen, simply change the cupboard doors. Similarly with the bathroom, instead of ripping everything down, try to upgrade the vanity, shower screen and fittings.

These smaller improvements can cost as little as $5,000 while adding as much as $10,000 to the property and increasing the rental amount by $50 a week.

These smaller adjustments to your property can add value to your property, attract quality tenants and won’t entice you to over invest for the location. To discuss your investment options, contact CPS Finance today.

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