Spring Into Action And Boost Appeal
The way to lift value and keep good tenants happy is to keep your property well maintained, writes Jeremy Gray.
2 October 2023
There are some clear seasonal trends that stand out across the 100,000 jobs we see posted on builderscrack.co.nz each year.
Winter, somewhat surprisingly, is the time for bathroom renovations. Spring for exterior painting. Summer for outdoor living projects, and autumn sees a spike in heating and weatherproofing jobs.
Looking through the trends, there are some tried and true spring projects popular with investment property owners that boost appeal and lift value. Beyond the obvious, there are also a few jobs some owners may not have thought of which are worth considering.
Decks providing indoor/outdoor flow are always popular.
The Small Things
No matter how well presented your property is, a collection of small issues quickly detract from its appeal. Some of these common issues include:
- sticky ranch sliders and tricky doors
- flickering LED downlights
- misaligned cupboard doors
- dripping taps and shower heads
- mould (shower seals, base of toilet, bathroom windows)
- slumping hard surfaces (patios, accessways)
- obvious damage to plasterboard (missing door stops, furniture removal accidents).
A suitably experienced handyperson can be surprisingly efficient at getting in and resolving a list of issues. Typically, these handy people have had a background in the trades but enjoy the diversity and style of work that comes with being a general handyperson. Many builders will also be happy to take on jobs like this as gap fillers between bigger projects.
The cost: $50-$70 per hour depending on the required jobs and level of expertise. To complete the list of above jobs might be around $1,200 plus materials.
The result: A house where everything works, with no quirks.
A patio with a permanent table setting adds appeal.
With the winter wet drying off and the spring growth searching for light, property accessways can slowly lose their space and ease. While certain tenants might be happy to forgo easy access for privacy and character, we see many jobs coming through in spring around improving property access. Major goals include:
- cutting back and removing encroaching vegetation
- cleaning surfaces covered with mould and decomposed vegetation
- building retaining walls, steps and rails, to create larger parking areas and more convenient, safer accessways
- repairing slumping, cracked steps and pathways to eliminate trip hazards
- spraying weeds and laying mulch to keep growth down over summer.
Most landscapers and property maintenance specialists are happy to take on a project involving a range of tasks like the above.
The cost: $50-$70 per hour labour. Simple full garden tidy-ups typically start at around $1,000. Retaining walls are highly variable, but simple low timber walls in easy ground can be inexpensive.
The result: Great street appeal. A sense of convenience, space and safety.
Security lights deter burglaries which can spike in summer.
Part of increasing appeal and keeping good tenants happy is creating a spot that makes them think “wow, that’s impressive”. For a small investment, creating the perfect spot to sit adds a homely vibe and injects a sense of love and care into your property that shines through to tenants. Some of these types of projects include:
- morning coffee spot: Typically east or north-east facing, it might be a built-in corner seat, or a private little patio or a deck separate to the main indoor-outdoor area.
- Sunday reading spot: A shade-sail covered, north facing patio or deck, a simple back-of-garden timber gazebo, or a little landscaped gravel patio tucked inside a boundary fence amongst natives.
- dinner spot: North or west facing deck or patio, with a large permanent picnic table for summer dinners outside.
- play spot: Especially for families with children, an enclosed yard is essential. Reimagining an overgrown garden may be as simple as a good tidy, laying ready lawn and investing in fence and gateway maintenance.
By working with a creative landscaper or builder and collaborating on ideas, you can add a powerful and unique appeal to any property. These professionals are typically comfortable working with a range of materials and can take care of the whole project.
The cost: $60-$80 per hour for an experienced builder or landscaper who will manage the whole job. Budget $2,500 for a simple five square metres, and roughly $400 per square metre up from there. Patios are half this, at around $200 per square metre.
The result: Instant attraction that inspires the imagination and creates a strong bond between tenant and property.
Replacing older locks with robust deadlocks.
Police statistics show a spike in burglaries in the summer, with most happening in the early afternoon. Seven out of 10 reported burglaries are of residential buildings.
New Zealand’s crime statistics are receiving a lot of attention in the media in the run-up to the election, and we’re seeing a corresponding lift in jobs posted on Builderscrack related to home security improvements.
These projects include:
- installation of security lights, especially around access and entry ways
- replacing older locking mechanisms with robust deadlocks
- installing window security latches
- installing camera systems
- general alarm installation, testing and maintenance
- security gate installation
- fence repairs
- general home security audits and recommendations.
There are several different specialists in the security field. Typically, a general electrician will cover basic security lights, alarms and cameras. Locksmiths will repair and improve the physical security of a home. Security specialists will install more sophisticated CCTV and alarm systems. General builders will typically be able to resolve fencing and gate issues and upgrades.
The cost: $70-$90 per hour for most specialists. Basic alarms start at around $1,500. Wired CCTV installations start at $2,500. Security light installations start at around $200, and the price comes down for multiple installations.
The result: A sense of safety and security. Peace of mind.
Beyond the typical (and effective) paint and spruce up, there are several other inexpensive improvements which will boost the summer appeal of your investment property in unique ways.
Builderscrack can connect you with the right tradespeople and specialists to undertake any improvement to your investment property at builderscrack.co.nz.