Greville Pabst, CEO and executive chairman of WBP Group, and buyer’s jury judge on Channel 9’s The Block, says it’s important to know your demographic when renovating to ensure you appeal to your most important audience – the buyer.
Over the years I’ve given advice and feedback to contestants on The Block to ensure they are renovating to their demographic and considering attributes that will add value come auction day. Many renovators make the mistake of overcapitalising and spending too much in areas where they will not get the return when they sell.
Even if you’re not planning on selling straight away, it pays to plan for the future when considering your renovation plans.
So, what should you think about?
Know your market
Before launching into a renovation it’s important to stand back, do some research on your area and think about who will potentially live there, for example are they downsizers or young families. And also think about who your buyers are, whether they’re investors or owner-occupiers. If you’re in a family area, a renovation should be approached with children in mind. Pay special attention to the kitchen and living rooms, the backyard, and make sure there is a good flow through the house. Ronnie and Georgia have done this well by creating an open plan kitchen, living and dining area – it’s a large space with a nice flow that is perfect for a family.
Certain attributes are expected in certain areas, for example a pool in Brighton is expected and people are willing to pay for that, but further out in the suburbs, people don’t expect it and it might not add any value. Four out of five contestants on this season of The Block have gone with pools, which will appeal to families and add value on auction day. If you’re in an area with more young professionals, perhaps a study is more important than a third bathroom. Josh and Elyse are the only couple who have a proper study in their house. A home office trumps an extra living area any day in today’s market, as many professionals work from home.