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How to increase your home's value through renovation

We all want to turn a good profit when we sell our homes and you might think that renovation is a good way of increasing the house value when it comes to selling.

There are pros and cons to this, of course.

For example, imagine you have a 4-room flat and you want to convert one of your bedrooms into a walk-in wardrobe by removing the walls between rooms.

It may turn out to be a costly decision in the future if buyers are looking for a 4-room flat but you can only offer two bedrooms and a walk-in wardrobe that they don't need.

"For the most part, renovations don't play a big role in the official valuation," said Carolyn Goh from PropNex Realty, "but when you take into consideration extras like cash over valuation (COV)--for public housing, renovations do result in a higher sale price...in fact, a well-renovated home can trigger a lot of demand from the potential buyers as people are generally more interested in beautiful and modern properties."

What this means in a nutshell is: don't get too carried away during the planning process, instead go for improvements that are both functional and practical.

To help homeowners make sensible decisions before they sign on the dotted line, we asked Carolyn to share a couple of tips with us.

RENOVATIONS SHOULD:

· Improve the overall liveability of the house: Renovations should have more than a cosmetic purpose. Go for improvements that will relocate an ill-conceived doorway or create an open-concept kitchen to make things more convenient for everyone at home. Even the tiles you use can be a strong factor in justifying a higher asking price.

· Avoid being too extensive: What may be trendy today will go out of fashion tomorrow, so go for a classic, timeless style that can be easily updated with furnishing or accessories. This means having a themed bedroom for your kids may not be practical down the road, since they're likely to cultivate different tastes as they grow up.

What about removing walls between rooms to create more space? Carolyn considers it a positive step to take if it improves the overall functionality of the home e.g. human traffic or lighting, but do remember that it does decrease the number of rooms available in the flat.

Of course, the selling price of your home ultimately depends on its location, current condition, proximity to amenities so keep that in mind and try not to overspend!

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