With cut interest rates and many working from home permanently, more and more people are looking at moving into bigger spaces. It’s currently a buyer’s market in South Africa, which can make it difficult for sellers to offload their properties at the prices they expected.

Despite this, there are still some tips and tricks you can put into place – whether you’re selling now or simply want to keep your home maintained for the day you do want to sell – that will ensure you’re maximising your property value without having to pour money into expensive renovations.

Here’s our list of DIY renovations you can do today to get your property market-ready!

1.  Safety first

Unfortunately, safety has to be a top priority in South Africa and the more secure your home is, the more appealing it’ll be to buyers. Most security measures can’t be carried out without professionals, but there are a few things you can do yourself:

  • Regularly check all your security measures to ensure they’re working as expected. It’s easier to carry out small maintenance regularly than let systems degrade over long periods.
  • Install fake security cameras as a deterrent to criminals – all it takes is a drill and some screws.
  • If you don’t already have one, get a metal board from your security company that you can hang outside your home to show your home is protected.
  • You can install an audible alarm system yourself. While it won’t be hooked up to a security provider unless you pay for their service, an alarm may be enough to deter criminals.
  • Install your own motion sensing security lights to illuminate the driveway.

2. Curb your enthusiasm

‘Curb appeal’ is a term used to describe how attractive your property is when viewed from the sidewalk. When a potential buyer arrives, they’ll already make their first impression before they step foot into your home, so it’s vital that the outside looks as good as possible. Here are a few quick fixes to increase your home’s curb appeal:

  • If your home numbering is weathered or non-existent, choose from a wide variety of home number signs to suit your budget and style.
  • If your front garden needs a little TLC, plant some succulents – many are native to South Africa and need little water or maintenance.
  • Conversely, if your front garden is overgrown or has weeds, trim the offending shrubs in a way that frames the entrance.
  • Pressure wash your driveway to get rid of any oil stains or dirt. It’s so satisfying there’s even an entire Instagram account dedicated to pressure washing!
  • Light up the outside with solar options that don’t require any digging or cables.

3. Grow a green thumb

According to Tyson Properties, “even a small increase in the quality of your home’s landscaping could increase the resale value of a property by around 7%, and that’s without much financial outlay.” Your garden is directly related to the overall appeal of your home, and it doesn’t have to cost much to get great returns!

  • If you’re handy, you can build your own wooden deck or patio with basic tools and some cut wood from the hardware store.
  • Grass is polarizing – some homeowners love a rolling lawn, while others will immediately start thinking about the maintenance. If you already have a lawn, start watering it and filling in gaps with grass seedlings immediately; but if you don’t already have one, it may not be worth the effort to carry out extensive landscaping for a grassy garden that buyers may or may not want.
  • Outdoor lights, either battery-powered or solar, add ambience to any garden and are easy to install yourself.
  • Plant colourful, low-maintenance plants like Agapanthus, Strelitzias or Firesticks.
  • While it will require some consistent care, the best way to keep your garden maintained until you sell the house is to start maintaining it now. It’s much easier to carry out weekly maintenance than to let it overgrow or die for years before trying to turn it around.
  • If you have a swimming pool, ensure it is full and the pH levels are appropriate. Homeowners and potential buyers alike know how much effort a pool is to maintain – a sparkling blue pool will leave a good impression, while a discoloured or drained pool will immediately have buyers thinking about the expense it’ll take to make it swimmable again.

4. The heart of the home

Kitchens aren’t just the heart of the home – they’re also one of the most expensive areas of the home to renovate. A full kitchen renovation can cost anywhere from R30,000 to R100,000 (and above), so if your kitchen is outdated, buyers may already be calculating the cost to modernise it.

Without carrying out costly fixes, there are a few things you can do make your kitchen look its best, even if it’s seen better days:

  • Changing hardware is one of the easiest fixes you can do. Simply unscrew old cupboard handles and put new modern ones in – voila!
  • A little paint can go a long way. Paint the walls, discoloured grouting, and if you have wooden cabinets, you can sand them down and repaint them.
  • Switch appliances to gas appliances – like your stove and oven. In the wake of consistent load shedding, gas is highly in demand.
  • Peel & stick tile decals can revive old tiles, but make sure to choose neutral colours and patterns. Something too colourful or eclectic can turn off more minimalist buyers.

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