Category: House & Home
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Sub category: Renovate
7 December 2015

Turning your house into a home

Buying a home is a huge investment in the future, no matter how you look at it. It can pave the way to financial security, but it’s also a place to grow into, enjoy and to make your own. Whether it’s wearing in the couch grooves or ‘christening’ it with a wine bottle for good luck, there are many ways to turn a house into a sanctuary while increasing its value over the long term.


Increasing the value of your home

If you’ve just moved into your new property and are looking to spruce up the place without spending the big bucks in one go, perhaps you’ll find it easier to approach your home improvements room-by-room.

We’ve got some great ideas to help get more out of your new place, with a focus on the things that will bring the most value through the years, for both you and potential future owners.


Tip #1: Update your kitchen

Why: The kitchen is one of the most functional rooms in the house, so don’t be scared to splash out.

How: Trying to appeal to not only potential buyers, but most importantly yourself, try for a style that won’t age quickly. A common mistake is overdoing kitchen upgrades with fancy granite and all-new stainless steel appliances. Although this looks sleek and modern, some buyers might be turned off by these types of upgrades. Check that all appliances are in working condition and that the kitchen looks tidy and attractive.

Upgrade effort rating: 9/10


Tip #2: Renovate your bathroom

Why: Bathrooms are a room that buyer’s typically pay more attention to when considering a new home.

How: If you’re looking to upgrade your bathroom, a ballpark figure on how much to spend is roughly 1.5% of the current properties value. This will get you a decent, full-bathroom upgrade. Simple changes that can generate a noteworthy return include respraying the tiles, fixtures and fittings in the bathroom. If you don’t have a tub you might also want to look into installing one.

Upgrade effort rating: 8/10


Tip #3: Think open plan

Why: Open plan living areas are all the rage in the market and they never fail to impress buyers.

How: Removing walls is a great way to update your home, giving it a modern feel. Do your homework and get a floor plan to help determine whether the walls are ‘structural’ or ‘non-load bearing’. It’s also worth considering which option is best suited for your budget – both architecturally and interior design-wise. Things can get pretty pricey if you also need to remove structural walls and buy furniture to suit the new layout.

Upgrade effort rating: 7/10


Tip #4: Basic updates

Why: Don’t underestimate the impact basic updates make on the value of your home, sometimes it is the little things that count.

How: One fix that shouldn’t be overlooked is cement rendering your property, as this is one of the quickest and cheapest ways to add value to your home. Other upgrades include repainting your property including small things like windows and doors, redoing the front garden or creating an outdoor entertaining area.

Upgrade effort rating: 5/10


Tip #5: Create alternative seating areas

Why: Having additional seating areas gives the allusion of space and allows you to utilise the space you do have in a way that makes it functional and friendly.

How: If you have a balcony, yard or terrace, these are easily converted into secondary seating or dining areas. If you don’t have much space but do have a view or nice sun exposure – add deck chairs.

Effort rating: 5/10


Tip #6: Make yourself a garden

Why: Because sometimes the little things can make the biggest impact when it comes to making a house feel like home sweet home.

How: Even if you don’t actually have a garden, you’ll be surprised how far a couple of grouped pot-pants will go in beautifying the place.

Effort rating: 4/10


Tip #7: Get creative with your storage areas

Why: Storage is gold in the real estate world, so our advice is get creative.

How: Think about how you can utilise unused space in your place to maximise storage areas. There are heaps of cool design websites that will help you to get inspired and offer DIY solutions too!

Effort rating: 4/10


How to pay off your mortgage faster

A mortgage can seem like a big commitment to take on sometimes, but there are certainly a few tricks you can employ to make the load lighter. Try one of these tips to help get closer to paying your mortgage off faster.

Tip #1: Contribute lump sums of money – Consider paying lump sums into your mortgage. You’ll be surprised how much of an impact this can have, often cutting years of interest off the loan term. You can track the impact these repayments have on your loan term through mortgage calculators. Yearly tax returns or bonuses are often the easiest way to contribute large payments to your mortgage.

Tip #2: Set-up auto payments – This is a no brainer, especially if you’re on a monthly salary, which will allow you to sync your repayments with your pay-day. Our customers can keep an eye on their finances with the ING mobile app, which allows you to view your accounts, transactions and payments for everyday baking, savings, business and home loans.

Tip #3: Get creative with how you generate cash for repayments – Relying on your salary to cover repayments is the obvious route. But if you want to get creative with your repayments you might find yourself chipping years off the loan. If you’re a young couple, who isn’t tied down with a family; you could consider generating revenue through services such as Airbnb. This will allow you to earn money while sharing your unused space with travellers and can be very profitable!

Looking to secure your homes financial future? Get the down-low on your new suburb and download the 2015 Home Buyers Guide or call one of our Home Loan specialists on 1800 100 258.

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