Every month, leading reno expert Cherie Barber answers your questions on how to make the most of your renovations. This month, cherie tackles questions about valuation and how to choose the best flooring for your rental property
Reno and valuation
Q: I have just done a full reno and got the bank to revalue my property. The valuer only did a drive-by and didn’t even see my new kitchen. Should I focus more on the exterior when renovating, as this is the first and possibly the only thing the valuer sees?
A: It’s unfortunate these days that most valuers will simply drive past your property in order to assess its value, especially when most of your renovation budget is spent indoors. What you need to do is insist that the valuer meet you on site. It may take a few requests for them to actually do this for you, but the benefit will be a more accurate valuation.
When meeting the valuer at your property, I suggest compiling a report for them on the renovations completed since the last valuation, which they can then take with them. This will enable them to clearly see the improvements made and assist them in producing their valuation report – anything that makes their job easier will work in your favour. Also, you may be tempted to ‘stalk’ a valuer around your property when they are on site, but try to resist doing this. There is nothing they hate more than having every cornice, appliance and designer tap pointed out to them in an attempt to sway the outcome. Be polite, stay out of their way, and you’ll find they will leave with a good impression of both you and the property.
Q: I am planning to renovate our unit, which is about 30 years old. Should I opt for a wooden floor, carpet, marble or lookalikes? This will be a rental property, so I want it to be durable but not too expensive.
A: Firstly, you need to consider the style of the property and surrounding apartments. Then you will need to research whether or not you are actually able to install a particular type of flooring, such as floorboards. I have heard of many apartment renovations being completed with floorboards, only to receive numerous complaints from the residents below regarding noise. This can lead to the forced removal of all that hard work due to strata issues.
If you are lucky enough that this isn’t an issue, I would definitely opt for floorboards. They are durable, can be quite cost-effective in a small area, and will increase the overall appeal of the rental property. People love floorboards, and for good reason. They look fantastic, they are easy to maintain, and, best of all for you, they will make your property appear much larger than it may be.
If you choose to install flooring instead of carpet, make sure your real estate agent includes this information in the marketing and advertising of the property. Many households are now concerned about allergies and dust and actively seek out properties without carpeted floors.
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