How to Profit from Renovating – Even in the Cheapest Suburbs

Do you have a yearning to renovate for profit but feel that your limited funds are restricting you?

Don’t despair.  As Napoleon Hill says,

“There is nothing that belief plus a burning desire cannot make real.” 

Whichever price bracket of the property market you are in, there will always be opportunities – you just need to have a plan and stick to it. 

So what are the keys to renovating for profit in the lower end of the market?

1.  Show Restraint

The first key to ensuring you make a profit in the cheaper suburbs is to make minimal changes wherever possible.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!  Buyers won’t be looking for high end finishes, they just want clean, uncluttered and functional spaces that look modern and make them feel at home.

For example, if you are sticking to your formula of spending 10% of the purchase price on your renovation, then on a $230,000 house your renovation budget needs to be kept to just $23,000.  You need to become creative in order to keep your costs down and make a profit.

In this renovation of an asbestos cottage in Perth’s cheapest suburb, the previous owners had polished the floorboards before renting out the home.  The floorboards were in ok condition, so we didn’t spend money unnecessarily on repolishing them.

Once the house was decluttered and simple furniture brought in, it wasn’t an issue to buyers that the floorboards hadn’t been recently polished.

2.  Lighten the mood

Keeping things light and bright is a great way to attract buyers, particularly if they are planning to live in the property.  In smaller houses, this is even more important.  People might love the look and feel of real wood such as jarrah, but they don’t want to see it everywhere!

In our cottage renovation, the jarrah wardrobe doors in the Master Bedroom dominated the room.  After they were painted with white gloss, the feel of the room changed dramatically and it became soft and inviting.

3.  Follow current colour trends

In a cosmetic renovation, you will be painting A LOT. The cost of paint is the same whether you choose a dated colour or a current one.  So it’s a no-brainer – go current!

If you don’t know what colours to choose, get advice.  Online, you can check out paint companies such as Dulux Inspirations or try sites like Pinterest and Instagram where you will find a plethora of inspirational photos.  If you still can’t decide on colours (or aren’t confident that you’ll get it right), you can hire a Dulux Colour Consultant through Bunnings for $99.  Well worth the investment.

In this cottage renovation, we chose Linseed Half Strength for the internal walls as the colour contrasted well with both the white trims and the wooden floors, giving the home a warm, inviting feel.

Externally, the cream colours had to go!  The dark Ironstone window frames were painted white to make the façade appear more welcoming.  The Ironstone colour on the gutters and base slats was retained to save time and money. Shale Grey was chosen for the wall colours to complement the Ironstone and to warmly contrast with the white window frames.

It can be so rewarding to renovate inexpensive properties, particularly when there is some gorgeous character to be renewed.  Don’t be put off by comparing yourself to TV renovators or designers on social media.  Show restraint.  Remember to keep things simple, clean, uncluttered and light.  Combine these tips with smart colour choices and modern styling.  If you have done your homework and chosen a suburb that has strong demand from buyers, you should be celebrating all the way to the bank…

Happy renovating!

PS. For more photos of this budget cottage renovation, check out this article in Australian Property Investor magazine.  

PSS. To see the numbers on this renovation, check out the Case Study here.