Room to improve property income
The popularity of television shows such as The Block, Selling Houses Australia and House Rules has inspired many of us to consider how we can improve our own properties, especially those we hold as investments.
A skylight will improve the amount of light in a living room or hallway, and retiling the bathroom with contemporary prints will improve aesthetics. However, if you really want to improve your property income, add another bedroom.
Of course, the ability to add another bedroom depends on the structural integrity of your property and the position of the home within the rest of your block and its features, such as the garage or pool. Generally speaking, the more you can offer an additional tenant – bedroom plus bathroom plus kitchenette plus lounge/ dining, for example – the greater the increase in your property income stream will be.
As reality television contestants have shown us, there is an array of opportunities to find that added bedroom:
- Subject to local council approvals, you may be able to convert the existing garage into a self-contained living space. This is often a good option if there is reliable public transport nearby your investment;
- There may be enough space in the rear of your yard for an added-on living space, or perhaps a detached granny flat;
- Ensuites and built in robes are also options for adding value
- Do what the Queenslanders do and raise your home and build-in the lower level;
Introduce a wall to separate living quarters or under-utilised space, enabling another bedroom. Although entire rooms can be transformed in a few hours of television, we all know this is not possible in reality. Extensions to homes and interior reconfigurations are major activities which require the employment of professionals.
Remember to that wear and tear is real. Just because you painted 10 years ago, don’t think it might not be due again. Many investment properties don’t get the same level of maintenance as private residences. When it comes time to retaining tenants or even locating a new one, this can make it more difficult. Speak to your property manager about upkeep on your investment property on a regular basis. Items such as paint and carpet are obvious. What about items such as fly screens, new curtains, exhaust fans to make living in that property a little more enjoyable.
People are also becoming more price sensitive; there are little ways that you can assist in reducing the running cost of a property:
- Thick backed curtains reduce heat transfer, therefore less heating / cooling costs, as do trees!
- A “door snake” is a simple and effective way to reduce drafts.
- If we look at the UK, many entry doors have curtains over them to reduce heat transfer
- Many investors now are taking advantage of rebates on items such as water tanks and solar panels.
For more ideas on how to make your property more efficient, please visit www.livability.com.au
Before undertaking any amendments to your home, make sure you get guidance from building experts: building designers, builders, electricians and other trades. Of course, you also need to heed your local council regulations.