Home extensions: will they increase your home’s value?

What improvements can you make to your home to increase its value? Can any lessons be learned from the renovations and additions made to the President’s Nkandla homestead? Nicolette Dirk speaks to the experts to find out when it’s worthwhile to give your home a make-over.

What should you consider before renovating your home?

Arrie Rautenbach, Absa head of retail banking, recommends that  homeowners should be aware of the latest home trends when it comes to design, fittings, décor, wall coverings, lighting, appliances, accessories, home technology, security, fencing, paving, irrigation systems and entertainment areas.

“Physical appearance and facilities are always a major selling point. In the last few years, there has been a growing demand for modernised kitchen and bathrooms, newly painted buildings, new and modern flooring (carpets, tiles, and wooden floors) and green housing,” says Rautenbach.

The installation of environmentally-friendly and energy-saving home systems and appliances may also increase the eventual value of a property when renovating based on the prominence of these aspects.

With regards to President Jacob Zuma’s renovations to his home in Nkandla, that cost more than R200 million, the installation of air conditioning systems in President Zuma’s houses reportedly cost R1.5 million. A feature like air-conditioning could be seen as a home technology feature that would be a big draw card for potential buyers.

 

Security upgrades can also add value to your home. According to City Press’s documents a total of R3 million was spent on bulletproof glass for the compound. President Zuma could defend this renovation as a security feature to up the value of his home. By increasing the security in your home, you could decrease the premium of your insurance by between 10% and 20%, depending on the insurance company. Should your home have the type of high level security, like that at Nkandla, you might not even need theft cover because the probability of a burglary would be lowered.

Do all renovations increase your home’s value?

Monde Motha, channel manager for FNB homeloans, says that not all renovations to your property will immediately increase equally to the cost of the improvements.

“Some improvements may only enhance the marketability and quicker selling potential of a property and not necessarily the value. Examples are repainting of the dwelling and internal and external improvements. A well-maintained garden, pool and general yard/paving areas as well as clean maintained internal finishes like floor coverings will mainly improve the selling potential of a house,” says Motha.

He adds that an upgraded or modernised kitchen and bathrooms have a better appeal to modern buyers but also adds value to your home. Entertainment areas like patios or lapa’s, with built in braai facilities, are also very popular today and add value to your home.

Zuma’s renovations included R2.3 million for lifts to carry him and his visitors between an underground bunker and the main houses. Would such a renovation improve the marketability of property? Or could the selling price be upped by such a lavish improvised addition? It is a far cry from a mere patio or built-in braai and likely only certain income bracket population could afford a home with such a renovation.

Don’t neglect the basics

Tony Ketcher, managing director of Seeff Property in Randburg, says that when it comes to increasing the value of your property, the most important factor is to ensure that regular maintenance is done to your home.

“Repair things like leaking taps, toilets and gutters and undertake regular paintwork. Ideally you should have a maintenance plan which is regularly actioned. It is also useful to replace outdated fittings from time to time, like upgrading door handles, light switches and light fittings,” explains Ketcher.

He adds that a good kitchen will definitely enhance the value of a home, so an upgrade here would make sense as well.

“Well-constructed and modern bathrooms also attract more attention, and definitely add to the value of any home. A well maintained and colourful garden also adds to the appeal of a property. The garden will often give a good first impression and is a very attractive feature to potential buyers,” says Ketcher.

Can renovations provide an extra income?

Israel Skosana, head of consumer insights at African Bank, says that if a renovation can bring in extra income into your pocket, it is definitely worthwhile.

“Renovating your home to build an extra room to rent will be a worthwhile investment. But buying expensive taps to improve the look of a bathroom is not always a good idea,” said Skosana.

He adds that if you take a loan, you should also consider whether the repayment on interest and instalment period is worth the renovation. “Research on the payment terms of the loan and the interest involved are essential,” says Skosana If you are going to take out a loan to make improvements to your home it’s essential to get the best possible price and lowest interest rate. To compare loans speak to a registered financial advisor or apply to Justmoney’s loan providers here.