For many of us, the family home is one of our biggest assets.  We love our homes; we want them to be warm, comfortable, loving places for our families.  And sometimes, that means we renovate them to better reflect our tastes and the needs of our family.  But are you renovating wisely – or are you throwing your money away?

As an avid reader of craft and design blogs, I’ve read about home owners renovating their homes by putting solid oak floors down in a manufactured (mobile) house, or putting marble floors down in a stock-standard suburban house, or putting granite counter tops in a 1970s ranch-style house.  It might sound nice – But these home owners will probably not get their money back.

Ask anyone who’s watched an episode of Property Ladder, and she will tell you: Every street has its ceiling price.  No matter how much money you put into a property, you won’t get higher than this ceiling price.  So renovate wisely: Don’t over-capitalise on your initial investment.  If you live in a suburb where most people have lino in their kitchens, consider lino or tiles or similar; a nice kitchen floor is a solid investment.  But don’t replace your kitchen floor with marble, thinking that you’ll get your money back when you sell, because chances are, you won’t.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever indulge.  If you want marble floors in the kitchen, and you can afford them, by all means, go ahead and do it.  You’ll be supporting craftsmen and helping the wider economy.  But don’t think potential buyers will cough up more for a feature they may not really want.

It also pays to pay money for those jobs you can’t do yourself.   While most of us can manage small jobs just fine – a new coat of paint, a set of shelves – most of us just don’t have the training or skills to plumb in a new vanity sink, or build a load-bearing wall.  If you go ahead and do the work yourself, you may end up paying for it twice – once when you do it wrong, and again when you pay someone else to do it right!

As you renovate your home, ask yourself: Is this a wise investment?  Am I likely to get my money back?  Do I really know what I’m doing?  If the answer is no, you may want to rethink your plans.

If you’d like to know more about property or investments then make an appointment to speak with your financial planner. If you don’t have a financial planner then contact us on 03 5338 7455 or http://www.ballaratwealth.com.au.

 

Peter Angel

Authorised Representative of Aon Hewitt Financial Advice Limited

Authorised Representative No. 1234567

 Aon Hewitt Financial Advice ABN 13 091 225 642 AFSL No. 239183

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