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Regularly refine features to save money

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Homeowners ought to be updating certain features of their homes throughout their years of living there, and not only when the time comes to sell.

Some features need to be updated more regularly than others, says Adrian Goslett, regional director and chief executive of Re/Max of Southern Africa.

Not only will this keep the property looking good, but also save owners spending a lot of money on updates just before they sell. “The rule of thumb is to update your home every five to 10 years.

This does not necessarily mean you have to undertake costly renovations that involve ripping out tiles and knocking down walls.” Often just changing small features such as door handles and taps can have the desired effect, he says. When it comes to updating certain features, the agency advises the following:

Walls and floors: The frequency of updates depends on one’s choice of wall colour and flooring. While timeless neutrals require less frequent updating, bold statement walls or flooring will need to be updated as trends change. In terms of general wear and tear, a fresh lick of paint every five to 10 years can uplift the look of a space.

Likewise, flooring ought to be regularly maintained. Carpets should be professionally cleaned every so often, cracked tiles must be replaced, and wooden floors can be sanded and refinished.

Fixtures and fittings: Again, this will depend on the fixtures and fittings as well as the chosen design aesthetic. If owners are going for old world charm and character, then they probably would not need to update these features unless they change the design of the space.

However, if they are going for a modern, trendy space, they will have to change things like taps, cupboard handles and light fixtures roughly every five years or as trends change.

Furniture and decor: Often the easiest and most inexpensive way to update a space is to change the furniture and decorative items such as scatter cushions, curtains and loose mats, all of which can be updated as and when trends change.

To avoid having to replace costly pieces of furniture such as couches or dining room sets, try to purchase timeless items that are hard-wearing and will not look tattered over time. “It is incredibly subjective to determine how often features within a home ought to be updated.

The key to deciding what works for you is to ask whether the space looks tired and/ or poorly maintained,” Goslett says.

“Buyers can always change the decor after they move in, but they will lower their offer if they feel money would need to be spent to fix and/or update the space. If you are unsure whether your home needs updating, consult an experienced real estate adviser.” 


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