Speculate to Accumulate in Property Renovations

While many people speculate detailing cost-versus-value of home renovations, the truth of the matter is… your home is only as valuable as the development or area it sits in. With this in mind, if you are looking to sell or rent that property you have to detail what budget you can afford to invest into the property without exceeding the true value of the property. In the past I have seen clients spend millions on renovating on a house that they paid 5,000,000 THB for, only for the properties true value to increase by 500,000 THB because the house is in an area or estate of 5 – 6,000,000 THB houses.

What would be the first impressions of somebody coming to view your property, whether its for sale or rent. This is a question we poise to many home owners when taking clients for viewings. You wouldn’t believe some of the properties we have been asked to list with our Real Estate company over the years. There have been cases when we have turned up and there are no kitchens, some with no furniture, which isn’t so bad, many have no air conditioning. The old saying goes that first impressions count, so in hindsight, wouldn’t you as a home owner ‘speculate to accumulate’ to make sure that your property was the first on that potential clients “want” list.

In the modern day and age, tastes and fashions change like the weather, but not to everyones tastes, but don’t you feel that by spending a little cash on your run down or worn looking home can make you move it on or rent it out quicker than the next man. Presentation is everything and is doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to get your home into a clean and respectable state.

The most common areas that require renovation in older homes are the kitchens and bathrooms, along with worn furniture.  These can come in at a heavy cost if you don’t consider beforehand how you plan to remodel. We recommend to most home owners looking to renovate or remodel to give themselves a project budget and then work to that budget. Secondly, take a checklist of each room in the property and consider which are the highest priority.

If you plan to remodel the kitchen, first thing to consider is whether the carcass needs replacing. This tis the ‘framework’ to the kitchen that separates the cupboards and drawers. It could well be the case that you can remodel a kitchen by just replacing the doors and fascias. Installing new doors, handles and having existing work surfaces polished can make a huge difference and save bundles in expense.

The same goes with bathrooms. Not quite so easy as kitchens due to the fact that most of the time the tiles will need replacing. Again, presentation is the key and nowadays you can pick up tiles relatively cheap. Check how many square meters are required and give yourself a budget for the tiles. Maybe mix and match a little so the finished product doesn’t look so ‘bland’. Areas to consider in the bathroom are the location of the fixtures and fittings. Relocating plumbing cost cash. So try to keep all the existing locations for the taps, bath tub, toilet and sink the same.

With furniture it’s a little more difficult depending on the item. Areas such as sofas can easily and cheaply be made to look brand new. I have seen cases where guys have purchased second hand sofas and had them recovered for a minimal cost. Curtains can cost large sums also, so prioritize which ones need replacing if any at all. Again, presentation is the key so use some imagination. I tell home owners to go that extra step to make the potential client think they are walking into a brand new or just renovated home. Set the table with place mats, glasses and cutlery. Make sure there are some nice wall paintings, or have one wall papered to create an effect or ‘showpiece’. Place magazines on the coffee table, make sure you have nice bed linen in place. Turn the air conditioning on before the client arrives. All these small efforts make that first impression count.

The easiest part of making a property look new is giving it a coat of paint. It’s like a breath of fresh air. Painting any property will not break the bank. It is even a job most could do themselves to save on costs. Again, everyone has their own tastes and fashions, so we tend to recommend to stick to just neutral and pastille colours. Maybe mix the colour a little to remove a bland experience.

The first part of the property anyone coming to view will see is the outside, so if you have a house, make sure the garden presents well, grass shrubs, trees. Again, you don’t need to go over board to create something nice in a garden.

Now comes to the main part of the subject when renovating your existing house or condo. As I mentioned beforehand, give yourself a budget. Once you are comfortable, make up your priority list. A good contractor should be able to give you an accurate costing for each individual room, item and expense. So, with your list you now have a cost to complete the works. If you are over budget you need to consider where to ‘cut back’ or ‘rethink’. Your contractor should be able to give you’re a square meter budget for all tiles, a budget for individual items for the bathrooms and kitchen appliances. If they don’t have budgets with them make sure they have a brand or code so you know what you are getting prior to starting. Make sure you have a good brand of paint to be supplied, such as Sheild or TOA. Keep the codes from these paint colours for future reference. If you are having furniture re upholstered then make sure you have a healthy budget per yard for the material to be used. Basically before you hand any money over make sure you have a good quality detailed report of what is included and what isn’t.

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