Property is a hot commodity – rarely does an investment conversation unfold, without delving into a discussion around market trends and buyer appetite.  One of the questions that tends to crop up regularly is how best to maximize a property investment, whether it be a primary residence or an investment property. The beauty about residential property, is that it can serve both purposes: our homes can be both great places to live in, and at the same time, if we are clever with design, décor and maintenance, they can also escalate in value over time.

Let’s begin by maximizing your primary residence. The rule of thumb here, is that this property is first and foremost, a home; and secondly an investment. From a general living perspective, homes will be customized to suit your individual needs, but always be mindful of enhancing the features of your property in a way that could also enhance its value. To this end, adopt a neutral palette, and remember that light homes are more appealing than dark homes. Space carries far more weight than clutter, so aim to create space and light in your home, by opening up wherever possible to maximize flow. The features that buyers seek are: open-plan living areas; modern kitchens and bathrooms; and good indoor-outdoor flow.

If you are looking to add value to an existing home, always consider its bones. Structural additions can be costly, so ideally, you want to start with a canvas that has good bones, and just requires some cosmetic improvements. Removing walls is generally more cost-effective than adding additional coverage, so remove one or two internal walls and this will create instant flow and bring light into the home. From a finishing perspective, bathrooms and kitchens can add value to your property. Consider upgrades in these rooms first, and then paint the rest of the home to give it a facelift. Floors also play an important aesthetic role: try to keep floors consistent throughout the home.

Izinga is a new suburb, so most of the homes are modern with good flow, the key here is ongoing maintenance and small upgrades over time. Privacy is also important on estates like Izinga, so plant your boundary areas and try and create your own oasis within the estate.

More broadly, if you’re looking to invest in property generally, then you will need to consider both your potential returns as well as your potential growth. Your strategy may be to buy, renovate and flip; or it may be to buy and hold. If renovating is your forte, always consider the ceiling price for the area. The last thing you want is to overcapitalize and then struggle to sell. From a rental perspective, gearing is my favourite word – invest in multiple smaller properties, gear them and let them pay for themselves over time. In my opinion, this strategy is far better than putting all your eggs into one more lavish basket. If you want to minimize risk then property investing, like all investing, requires diversification.

In sum, property is such an exciting asset class, because there are so many options available. So whether you are simply wanting to add value to your home, or whether you are wishing to build up a property portfolio, weigh in on area, costs, returns and capital growth and ask your local estate agent to give you some comparative market statistics to assist you in making an informed decision. Happy investing!

Posted by The Know - Pam Golding Properties