DH and I have been trying to decide what to do with our 1950's post war home on 597m2 block. We bought it in original condition but we:
- ripped out the dusty lace curtains and crappy venetians,
- ripped up the awful green shagpile carpet hiding beautiful jarrah 150mm wide boards and polished them up,
- repainted throughout except kitchen and bathroom and yet to do trims,
- put in a few new light fittings and moved a couple too,
- ripped out some awful plants in the front and back gardens.
We have had it valued and to sell it as is we will only get between $30 and $60K more than we bought it for (the market is only just coming back now). We were tossing up selling and buying a block and building but there are no guarantees what buyers are going to pay and we would need a good deposit to ensure we don't pay LMI on the next loan.
So we are contemplating now:
- renovating and either staying put for 5-10 years, or
- using the equity to hang onto it as a rental and buy, or
- selling it at the higher value after renovation and then buying elsewhere.
Many similar places in our area are not overly spruced up but are going for about $100-150K more than ours was valued at. From what I can tell things they have done include:
- remove asbestos and replace with weatherboards/plasterboard where applicable
- new windows or paint and refurbish existing
- new kitchen
- new or updated bathroom
- outdoor patio and deck
- neat gardens
- basic window furnishings inside
- nice exterior of the subfloor (ie slats all around to conceal under house stumps)
- lock up garage
- R/C aircon or split system
Not all of them have done everything mind you and some have not done a top quality job either. But these places seem to be selling like hot cakes (many are under offer or sold).
As we are probably leaning more towards staying here we could also do a bit of a remodel within the existing layout to make the house more energy efficient, such as the attached (top one is current layout, bottom one is remodel layout). The dotted lines on the remodel plan are walls that if not load bearing could be removed or possibly just opened up (with beam or bulkhead to take load). Any suggestions on the remodel layout would be appreciated too.
The front of the house is N/NW facing so the living areas currently don't get much sun in Winter at all and get only the hot afternoon sun in Summer. The windows are extremely energy inefficient and though beautiful (art deco zinlighting in 3 of them and front door) are very expensive to refurb (quoted $10K 3 years ago just to refurb zinclighting, no fixing sashes/painting timber/replacing any bad bits). We have contemplated replacing them with new timber double glazed but are worried that would remove the only character from the house. Any advice on this also would be appreciated. Should we do them before/while asbestos is being removed and before new cladding goes on? If there is a delay in cladding what issues arise with that?
So for anyone who has renovated a house would you do the bare minimum things others have done so that you could either sell now or in a few years at the bigger profit or keep as a rental? Or would you remodel to then still probably have the same equity but a house you could stay in for a longer time or rent out for more? I know it probably all comes down to cost but would there be a great cost difference between remodel and just spruce up given we are not extending, only working within the existing footprint?
Any advice, suggestions, etc are appreciated. We are in WA and we have talked to our bank so we know roughly what we have to play with.