Small house - best value add

Discussion in 'Renovation & Home Improvement' started by Orse, 26th May, 2020.

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  1. Orse

    Orse Member

    6th Nov, 2017
    Hi All,

    Very new to the forum and property in general. My partner and I bought a small 80's double brick house in late 2017. The house itself is tiny (floor plan added), however is on quite a sizable block. We had dreams of extending/second story potentially, however that all changed after having a child and another on the way due to the significant expenses.

    It is currently a rental and we are looking at moving back in and renovating it slightly in order for us to live there for the next 4-5 years. From there I would say we would be looking to sell and buying something larger. We are thinking of renovating the kitchen, floorboards throughout and changes to the bathroom.

    Is there any general advice you guys can provide or anything else in order to ensure best value for money but also making sure it is livable for the next 4-5 years potentially.

    Thanks heaps.

    Attached Files:

  2. kimbrisvegas

    kimbrisvegas Well-Known Member

    30th Jan, 2019
    A large back yard will be such a good asset with little ones, and even though it is a compact house, I think the layout is mostly fairly efficient. Looks like lowset, which is even better with little ones to have that easy indoor/outdoor access. So I think it is possible to be comfortable there with two children if you don't overload with too much clutter.

    It can depend greatly on the children, but once little one is a bit older and sleeping well, sharing when they are young is something to be considered to give yourself the extra room for other uses. In the younger years with our boys, we actually had a house with lots of rooms, no shortage of bedrooms - but a large sleepout operated as a sleeping dormitory with all four children sleeping together for a few years because that is what they wanted.

    With only a carport rather than a garage, a shed might be good for a bit of extra storage if you don't already have one.

    When I looked at the location of the kitchen and laundry together, it made me think of a couple of design options I had seen in some houses that I thought were clever use of limited space, where an adjoining laundry kind of became an extension of the kitchen. Used same cabinetry and benchtops. One I saw popped the fridge in there to free up room in the main part of the kitchen and with a nice sink it almost felt like a laundry/mini butler's kitchen combined. Another option I saw had a section of bench that could be used as either folding area or you could grab a chair, pop a laptop on it and it could be used as a workspace.

    Flooring. With youngsters, recommend avoiding the types of floorboards that can't handle moisture. Maybe consider some wood look, good quality vinyl plank flooring. My sister installed some in her little townhouse close to the beach by herself. They have held up fairly well, and have handled the ravages of sand, and a good sized dog over quite a few years now. I think they would be a very practical flooring option with little ones. Feel softer and warmer underfoot than tiles or concrete.
  3. Angel

    Angel Well-Known Member Premium Member

    19th Jun, 2015
    Paradise, Brisbane
    Your floorplan is screaming out for a deck across the back if it isn't there already. This is a perfectly normal "first home" for a young family layout, but i see the rooms are tiny. We had two boys sleep in the same 3000 x 3000 room for about four years iirc, until their personalities clashed. They still played together in there until high school.

    I would include a desk/sewing/craft area and fridge in the laundry space. Our house has real timber floorboards, and the only damage was from pets, not children, and general foot traffic. Young children played outside most of the time, weather permitting. That is why I suggest a large undercover outdoor area will help make the home more livable.
    Last edited: 29th May, 2020
    Marg4000 and wylie like this.
  4. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

    13th Jun, 2015

    It's a nice simple design.
    Looking at the dimensions the area to the left of the kitchen is probably more a dining/meals area and the front area is a family room.
    For a small renovation I would
    1. consider knocking down the wall between the front living and the kitchen to open it up and have an island bench there fixed on one side to the laundry. I would put a fridge recess where the stove is and a pantry the other side of the sink area. Then I'd replace the sink with an oven under the window. I'd put a sink in the island bench.
    2. make the laundry more useable, I would put a narrow linen or broom cupboard in the recess then some bench space or just bench space with underneath cupboards and some overheads
    3. for flooring and young children I would use some hybrid vinyl planks like these I'd do the whole house except wet area.
    4. Build a nice roofed pergola/patio/alfresco area off the back so you have extra room to spread out in good weather and enjoy your nice big rear yard Patios | Verandah, Carport & Pergola | Stratco - Stratco Australia
    Zimplestiltskin and Angel like this.
  5. 24675

    24675 Member

    2nd Jun, 2020
    Hi Orse,

    Our real estate agent almost always recommends updating the kitchen as it is generally the highest value add.

  6. Zimplestiltskin

    Zimplestiltskin Well-Known Member

    4th Oct, 2018

    I love double brick but not great for knocking down walls if it is single brick walls internally. Which way is north?

    I'd reconsider extending it. The house and layout and large land is ideal for an extension and you wouldn't have to move out of the home while it was happening. Once you pay agent fees and capital gains on selling it (if you made profit) plus stamp duty on next buy you will be down a decent amount to middlemen and government.

    I can't see how you can come out ahead that way. Even if you had 100k on top of what you'd spend for kitchen upgrade and flooring, you could extend this into a 4 bedroom, 2 bath place.
    Last edited: 8th Jul, 2020
  7. skater

    skater Well-Known Member

    18th Jun, 2015
    I'd look at removing the lounge/kitchen wall as well as the laundry walls & create a kitchen/laundry together. You can pop a front loader washing machine under the bench, the same as your oven. Then I'd do a nice large kitchen against the far wall, and a big island bench. The double doors in the dining area would open to a nice large undercover area for entertaining & the kids to play.
    craigc likes this.
  8. Archaon

    Archaon Well-Known Member

    20th Mar, 2017
    have you had a quantity surveyor through?

    There may be some residual value in the house that you could claim under a scrapping report when you destroy them in the course of renovation? This only works for an investment property though, tax advise sought.

    Apart from that, if you are looking to sell in a few years, perhaps you should review the current value and what the value will be after the renovations you are planning to do, over capitalizing for a family home you plan to stay in is understandable as you want it perfect, but if you plan to sell and the renovations you want to do far exceed what the added value will do you will be losing money.
    Pingu1988 likes this.