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Home improvements that pay dividends

Updated: Aug 20, 2020

Is it safe to assume that your choices today will be loved by buyers down-the-track?



Even if you plan to live-in your home for years, I find that most people are keen to ensure that any money they invest today, will maximise the appeal of their home to tomorrow’s buyers. However, is it safe to assume that “if I love it, buyers will too?” Alternatively, before committing to a major extension or renovation, it’s probably worth a quick chat with someone who really understands what buyers are looking for.


“Whilst you don’t know the specific person who will buy your home, it’s useful to have in mind a buyer “demographic”.”

Who will buy your home?


Whilst you don’t know the specific person who will buy your home, it’s useful to have in mind a buyer “demographic”. It could be a SINK; DINK; Young family; Older Family; Downsizer; etc. Within each group, it will further break-down into geographic and socio-economic factors. Beyond this, different buyers have different aesthetic tastes.


However, broadly speaking, each group will favour certain things. For example, within Willoughby Council area, we find that Young families, who are the most prevalent buyer, favour a highly useable yard over a large home. True, some will look for both, however, it’s rare that young families favour a big, beautiful home with limited yard space or a yard that is disconnected from the house. The implication of this might be that to extend the home at the expense of the yard, might not pay-back at sale-time.

Alternatively, a modest home near the shops is perfect for Downsizers and they will pay a premium for it as is. However, should you extend the home or put in a large pool, it may then render it less suitable for Downsizers, which might yield a poor return on investment.


“Less is often more. A small yard typically works better without trying to squeeze-in a pool.”

Further, less is often more. For example, a small yard typically works better without trying to squeeze-in a pool. The same goes inside – it’s better to have one or two great living spaces than three compromised ones. And, if you are to install a pool, don’t make it tiny... most families won't see it as 'pool-enough' to tick that box! And, in terms of location, the ideal for most families is to separate sleeping quarters from living quarters... having bedrooms all over the house will niche the appeal.

In summary, determining your ideal buyer will help you figure out what it is they want. This will allow you to ensure that any changes you make, will yield the maximum return when it comes time to sell.

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