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Home comfort vs buyer appeal

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Homeowners considering renovations might be caught between making improvements for their own benefit and comfort and making them for future buyer appeal.

When trying to balance these desires, Steve Thomas of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s advises homeowners to always leave something for the incoming owner to do to put their own stamp on their new home.

“If you’re not intending to sell right away, invest in improvements that will pay for themselves, and offer a greater return when you do decide to move, such as solar panels/inverters, boreholes or new flooring. The rule of thumb is never to over-capitalise.

“Putting in a no-expenses-spared kitchen might look great, but a R5 million house doesn’t recover the cost of a new R1m kitchen when it sells, and chances are you’re going to have to spend on upgrades to your new home as well to turn it into your new dream space. Rather save the big bucks for that,” Thomas says. Ultimately, a balance must be found between investment and lifestyle, says Knight Frank agent Lyndsay Child.

“You want to live in a property that works for you and keeps you comfortable. The home is a sacred place so making it work for your lifestyle is important. Keep yourself happy but be reasonable. If you have eccentric taste, know that it may take longer to find the perfect fit of a buyer when you do decide to sell.” 

Being sure to not over-capitalise is one of the most important things to consider, emphasises Mike Greeff of Greeff Christie’s Real Estate.

“Homeowners who are not wanting to sell or, rather, do not envision themselves selling in the long term, tend to want to use their excess money to make changes to their existing home. There is no argument against maintaining your home, and making minor tweaks where necessary, but owners need to think carefully when considering big changes.”

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