How can I best spend $10,000 on home improvements?

If your home improvement budget is small – $10,000 or less – it is still possible to make real improvements to your property that could have a positive impact on price. 

A well laid-out plan is the secret to making a good return on little investment, professional renovator Cathy Morrissey reveals.

“Adding value to any property needs you to remove the emotion and treat this as a business,” says Morrissey.

The Founder of The Reno Chick has renovated eight homes since 2012, including a recent house in Campbelltown, Sydney, where she spent $6,000 on improvements. The property subsequently sold for $105,000 more than its original agent valuation only weeks later.

Here is the Cambelltown property before the $6000 renovations:

The Reno Chick property before


And after The Reno Chick and team were finished with it:

The Reno Chick after photo


Here are Morrissey’s three top tips for renovators wanting to get the most out of a $10,000 spend:

1. A simple paint job

Painting creates most bang-for-your-buck. “Seriously, spend a few hundred bucks and you will easily add extra on any property.”

2. Tart up the front yard

“Yep, clean up the gardens, repaint the front door and surrounding window frames, eves etc, even if you only do the front, and you could add to your property valuation, just by presenting your front yard at its best.”

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3. Find a style

Do you think you’re a budding Shanna Blaze from The Block? Put that talent to good use. “These days you can buy furniture and style items for such a small amount of money but you’d be amazed at how much extra it can add to a property.

“Most stylists agree that a property that has been styled usually adds at least $20,000 to the sale price.”

A property that has been styled usually adds at least $20,000 to the sale price.

Looks matter: Styling it up to nail the sale

According to Drew Davison, CEO of Real Estate Academy Australia, the key to high-return home renovations on small budgets is “big surfaces for big impact”.

If you want to make an impression with minimal investment, carpets and walls – both internal and external – are the best places to start, Brisbane-based Davison says.

“A fresh coat of paint, house washing or cladding, or even ripping up the carpets and polishing the floorboards are simple and cost effective ways to add real value to your home, fast.”

But before we reach for our sledgehammers, let’s consider the view of professional investor and educator Mark Kelman.

Kelman is the Author of Become a Property Millionaire in Your Spare Time and says there is “no No 1 guaranteed way to spend $10,000” to add value to a property.

“It varies depending on the property and the area, you need to know the market you are invested in, know what buyers are wanting, what deficits your property has and fix one of these to raise the value to market value,” he says.

You need to know your market and what your buyers want.

Kelman’s five easiest and budget-friendly ways to do this are:

1. Painting

2. Laying new carpet

3. Cleaning

4. De-cluttering

5. Staging the interior

“But you need to know your market to know what a buyer wants before you do this. Do the wrong thing and it’s also easy to waste your money and not get the return you were after.”



thanks REA