Does a pool add value to your home? Do ‘green’ features increase sale prices? and how important are outdoor areas and landscaping? In our interview with property expert, Sam Gamon, we find out.
This is Part 3 of our Building Insights series on Home Improvements That Add The Most Value. Look out for Parts 1 & 2 to find out whether extending your home is worth the cost and how to maximise the value of your renovations.
Jeremy Gates: Hi. I’m Jeremy Gates, Managing Director of Gaia Construction. We are an award winning residential builder based in Elwood specialising in renovations and extensions. Today I will be discussing home improvements that add the most value and the risk of over capitalising with property expert, Sam Gamon. Sam is one of the directors of Chisholm and Gamon, Bayside’s number one estate agent and auctioneer extraordinaire. Thank you for joining us today, Sam.
Sam Gamon: Thanks Jeremy. Great pleasure to be here.
Jeremy Gates: Do people recognise if you put in double-glazed windows, insulate your house properly and put solar panels on? Does that improve the sale price or people don’t notice the difference?
Sam Gamon: Well, I think it is a changing terrain. We are getting a lot more people asking what sort of green elements does the property have? Is there solar power? There’s no doubt, you turn on the media every single day everyone is talking about the rising cost of power and the change in solar. So I think people are more acutely aware of it. We probably don’t have a lot of evidence at the moment to say that it is going to add value, you know, if you spend $10,000 on solar then it is going to add $50,000 in value. But does it add to your buyer depth and maybe if somebody is comparing you to another property, does it put you a little bit ahead, is it a ‘plus one’? It is definitely a plus one and you are going to get the benefit whilst you’re living there. So I would encourage it. And I think people are more aware too of thermals in a property. They are always asking about heating and cooling and they are always thinking about running costs because they are buying expensive properties and they cost a lot to maintain in some cases. So it is important. I think those things should be factored in.
Jeremy Gates: Just because a builder is registered doesn’t mean they will insulate the house properly. We go in and check the insulation. We check that the thermal panels are installed properly. We have a checklist. And if you put solar panels on the roof and reverse cycle air conditioning, your house is free to heat and cool [during the day].
Sam Gamon: Yes. One of my colleagues put in solar a couple of years ago and she basically gets a zero bill. So it definitely has a huge benefit. There are a few other things that I see as value adds, but not in every case, because one of those things is you don’t want to compromise your property by having too small an outdoor area especially if you are in a family area. When you are in a family area you tend to find that people are going to have typically two children. If they have two children they’ll possibly want to have a four bedroom house or a three bedroom and study, but they still want room for the kids to play. It is a value add proposition to put in a pool and if you can fit in a pool and not compromise your garden too much then I would see that as a value add rather than over capitalising.
Jeremy Gates: A pool is going to cost between $50,000 and $100,000 depending on what you want. So you can get that back on your sale price, you think?
Sam Gamon: Yes, I do because it becomes a feature of the property. It is a selling point. It is aesthetically part of a landscaping package and I think that is also something that people need to think about when they are tying in their build is having the right landscaping because in my experience a lot of people are buying the front cover and the first impression. So the first impression has to count. It has to count in the quality of the build works but it also has to count in the garden and the way that the home is presented, the colour scheme, all of those things.
Jeremy Gates: Thank you very much for that. That is a wealth of information for our audience. I am Jeremy Gates from Gaia Construction. I hope that was useful for you and if you are looking for a builder to work with, please give us a call.
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