The three sisters who owned this unrenovated suburban house in Sydney’s west were caught in a bind and desperately needed my help.
With Sydney house prices in freefall, and similarly unrenovated houses in this suburb failing to sell, they knew their best chance of securing a quick sale was to do a well-targeted renovation. However, they lacked the skills and experience to pull it off.
The house had been inherited from their parents but as the three sisters lived in different states and couldn’t continue to maintain the property or rent it out, the only practical solution was to sell.
The unrenovated house next door had been languishing on the market for over a year, with a price tag of $550,000, so it was vital this house didn’t meet the same fate. As the sisters were under the threat of house prices continuing to fall further over the coming months, they needed to get in, renovate quickly and get the property sold.
The three-bedroom family home – which also has a self-contained granny flat – had been reasonably maintained but was in desperate need of a cosmetic update to realise its full potential. The interior in particular, was in very original condition so it’s where most of the budget and my creative energy was focused.
Here’s what I did:
- Internal painting throughout;
- Old carpets removed and new flooring installed throughout;
- Updated window furnishings and lighting;
- New main bathroom;
- Cosmetic refurbishment of the kitchen using White Knight laminate paint.
In the living room, I removed the old faux fireplace which was just visual clutter and added a feature wall using wallpaper that mimics the look of VJ panelling. Its subtle tones provided a striking focal point without overpowering the space.
The granny flat (below), accessible via the main house, needed a new kitchen but the bathroom only needed a simple cosmetic refresh.
Externally, I spent minimal money on the externals, less than $1,000 in fact, simply freshening up the homes exterior appearance. The unsightly carport walls and associated clutter was removed, new turf laid, garden beds padded out and topped with wood chips, window frames and boundary fences painted.
The bottom line
The decision to renovate this house was a strategic one, primarily aimed at increasing the chances of securing a buyer at a time when other properties were struggling to sell. If the three sisters had listed the house in its unrenovated state, chances were high that a buyer wouldn’t be found. When I first saw this project, I made it clear to the sisters that the numbers didn’t stack up financially so its definitely not a renovating for profit project in its truest sense.
As it was, the outcome was a definite win-win. Not only did the house sell on the first open for inspection, but my nine-day cosmetic makeover delivered a gross profit of more than $20,000 – that’s after renovation costs of around $50,000 are factored into the equation.
It was a terrific result that brought emotional closure for the sisters, on a property where so many cherished family memories were once had.
- Property value (before renovation): $ 620,000
- Renovation spend: $ 48,500
- Renovation time frame: 9 days
- Sold price: $ 690,000
- Uplift in value: $70,000
- Gross Profit: $21,500