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Home Living : March 1st 2011
HLN - HOME LIVING: NORTH, Tuesday, March 1, 2011 5 Renovate to improve your investment » ADVERTISING FEATURE People renovating properties for resale and investment could devalue their properties with poor plans, warns Archicentre, the building advisory service of the Australian Institute of Architects. The warning comes at a time when the $20 billion renovation industry is set to play an extended role in the Australian building industry. Archicentre's ACT & NSW state Manager Ian Agnew said many people invested in property to secure their financial future without a planned strategy or any idea of the cost. ''Many baby boomers are purchasing homes to renovate and live in with a view to gaining capital on their resale when they move to smaller homes in their later years. The success of their renovation can have a major impact on their financial future,'' he said. ''People can devalue their investments with poorly conceived designs or inappropriate materials, providing a negative cash flow for the investment and poor reselling options.'' Mr Agnew said some of the worst examples seen involved period houses where poorly designed flat-roof extensions had been added, houses painted in garish colours, and costly bathroom and kitchen fittings at the expense of light and space. ''Another mistake is to inadvertently change the house from one market segment to another, for example, converting the third bedroom of a three-bedroom house into a walk-in robe and ensuite will change the house to a two-bedroom one with a drop in value of possibly $100,000 after spending perhaps $40,000. ''The renovation decisions people make today will certainly impact on the resale value of their property and their retirement funds in the future. ''The basics of planning and costing the renovation to work within an available budget, combined with a clear understanding of how to tender the work out and manage the renovation project, is fundamental to the success of any renovation,'' Mr Agnew said. Archicentre is often called in when a renovation is halfway through and people recognise that the renovation will not deliver what they envisaged. ''At this stage it is very difficult to reverse a badly designed renovation where a lot of money has already been spent. However, this is the risk people run if they have not followed careful and professional planning.'' Some tips for renovating a property for maximum return include: Purchasing a property that is structurally sound; Assessing the financial potential with a design- and cost-analysis before purchase; Ensuring a well-designed, accurately costed feasibility study is prepared before committing to the project; Checking the planning regulations to avoid costly planning appeals; Ensuring the design, finishes and fittings do not overcapitalise the property; Utilising design to deliver lifestyle requirements being demanded by the market; Creating a design where additions are compatible with the existing structure; Obtain competitive building or subcontract prices. 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