Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living
Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living
Renovating an investment property is not the same as renovating your own home. While you might splash out on a freestanding bath or Italian tiles, knowing you’ll get to enjoy them, an investment property demands a different approach.

If you have a property manager on board, ask them about the kinds of tenants they think will be interested in your property, and what these tenants expect. Doing this research at the outset will ensure that your outlay is recouped on increased rental returns and tenants who will stay for a while. Plus, it will encourage you to plan and create a realistic budget. If you are going to renovate, do the whole property so it looks finished and of the same standard throughout.

Here are some points to consider, whether you’ve just bought a fixer-upper or you’re thinking of renovating a tired property.

Where to spend and where to save on investment property renos

Don’t worry about marble benchtops or designer tapware, as tenants won’t always take the same care with these details as a homeowner would.
Upgrade the tapware to modernise the space without overspending.
Consider a professional clean and a fresh coat of paint.
Can you save existing cupboards by replacing only the doors and handles?
Add a new laminate benchtop and your kitchen will look modern without a significant outlay.
Install a dishwasher. It’s a practical touch that many tenants appreciate – choose mid-range appliances, not the cheapest or the most expensive.

Regrouting tiles is cheaper than replacing them and makes a big impact. (Always try to salvage what you can when renovating to save money.)
Replace or add new mirrors, replace the vanity and toilet if necessary, and add robust tapware.
Get rid of your shower curtain and install a frameless glass screen for a cleaner look.
Replace light fittings if necessary.
Repaint in a neutral colour.

Floor coverings should be serviceable but attractive. Think about your projected rent – for lower-end properties, carpet is fine, but for high-end rentals, tenants tend to prefer timber floors.
Laminate or engineered floorboards are cheaper than solid floorboards while having the modern clean look of wood.
Clean carpets, or replace them if they’re looking very tired.

Here again, a fresh coat of paint and steam-cleaned or new flooring will make a huge difference.
Paint built-in robes and swap out old door handles if they’re looking dated.

Update old light fittings to refresh the spaces. IKEA and Bunnings both have modern-looking, durable and inexpensive light fittings.
If you’re using an electrician, have them replace or install smoke alarms, too.

Keep it neutral

With your own home, it’s fine to follow trends or indulge your love of the colour pink. But an investment property should have neutral interiors to appeal to the widest possible range of tenants. This will also ensure it doesn’t look dated in five years’ time.

How much to spend on your North Shore renovation

If you plan ahead and use reputable tradespeople, you should be able to keep costs under control. As a rough guide, try not to spend more than 7-8% of a property’s value on renovations, with no more than 3% on the kitchen and bathroom. Salvaging what you can and updating rather than replacing fittings will help you stick to your budget. Practical additions, such as air-conditioning and a dishwasher, are more important than cosmetic touches.

You should also factor in your expected increase in rental return – there’s no point spending $20,000 on renovations if they’ll bring in only another $10 a week in rent. Ideally, in this case, you’d want to bring in an extra $4,000 a year. This means the renovation will pay for itself over five years, and you’ll benefit from the tax deductions and increased overall value of the property.

Need help with a North Shore property sale?

McConnell Bourn, an independent agency working across four offices, has proudly represented clients selling and managing homes across Sydney's North Shore for the past 20 years.
Find out more about what we can do for you by calling 02 9496 2777 or emailing

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