Are the days of renovating for profit over?

Many people love the idea of renovating, whether that’s your own home, an investment property or renovating for a living. Various reality programs showcase what’s possible turning a tired old property into a desirable home adding value to the property and inspiring viewers to have a go themselves.

Many property owners decide to become DIY renovators yet fail to achieve a professional look, spend more time and money than intended, and overcapitalise on the property vowing never again!

They fall into the trap of renovating according to their own tastes, changing their mind along the way, and fail to budget and plan their steps often resulting in unnecessary delays – and if in a relationship or partnership it creates incredible strain.

It doesn’t have to be this way – successful Renovators treat renovating as a business - with a system and education, renovations can be streamlined, budgeted accurately, and increase the value of the property to hold or realise a profit at the end of the project.

Our top tips for renovating for profit are:

Property Locationidentifying where to buy and where to avoid.

Do your research on an area – identify the price point of unrenovated property versus renovated property and note the price gap. If it’s an area you’re not familiar with then visit that suburb, walk the streets, talk to locals - local knowledge will tell you where the good parts of a suburb are and where to avoid. Once you’ve identified a property you are interested in, go there at different times of the day to see what happens at different times – is it noisy, is there lots of traffic, it is under a flight path? Buying in the wrong street can affect the saleability of your property.

Style of propertyknowing how to read a property to determine which one to purchase by identifing what floorplan works best, what specific features does one property have over another.

What can you most easily do to the property by working with what you have - and perhaps remove a wall to open up and adjust the floorplan. What features or disadvantages does the property have – understanding this can save you thousands of dollars.

Budgeting your renovation by estimating costs accurately to determine your profit.

This is the number one area that inexperienced renovators get themselves into trouble. When prices are guessed and expenses are left out of the budget forecast it can result in a big loss of profit. Often this is a case of just not knowing what to expect. A budget spreadsheet which lists the costs you may incur can assist you to estimate your costs more accurately.

Planning your renovation and knowing what to do in what order to avoid preventable delays and expenses.

Rather than just rushing in and pulling all the old cabinetry out, plan what you can work with and what needs to be removed. Follow an order of works and determine what you will be doing, in what order. Doing this will save you money as you can coordinate tradespeople in the best order and avoid having to get people back numerous times unnecessarily.

Know where to spend and what the value-add strategies are to give the best return on investment.

Planning your kitchen and bathroom to maximise the wow factor and minimise the costs. Do you really need high end tap wear or appliances in your property or can you have a few hero items. The question is, what will give the best bang for your buck whilst still delivering a quality project.

Know the latest trends and colours to select to appeal to the broadest market.

Read magazines, visit open homes, visit display homes, follow Designers, Renovators and Stylists on social media. Create a folder online or hardcopy and collate the information there so it’s easy to locate.

Styling and staging to sell – displaying the property in the best possible way to increases its desirability and saleability.

Remember, people buy on emotion. Having a property styled turns a house into a home. This is one area that is greatly under-utilised when selling and those that spend the money here generally sell their property faster and for a better price than those who don’t – particularly in a flat market.

Many people don’t have the vision for creating an amazing renovation and are happy to pay for the completed product. This is where, if you understand the steps outlined above, you too can renovate for profit – regardless of what’s happening in the market!

Belinda Westblade


Renovate and Real Estate

Belinda Smith


Renovate and Real Estate