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Does renovation pay off?

Renovation pays off for Jane and Allan

Pictured: Jane and Allan Hartley with Andy Wharton


Kiama locals, Jane and Allan were in two minds what to do with Jane’s father’s home when he passed away in March 2017. Renovate the house and potentially hold onto it, or sell? They needed some advice from a trusted real estate agent.


Jane’s parents had bought the land in 1981 and built the home in the following year, so it was around 35 years old. It was a solid construction and had been well maintained, but the look and feel of the property was of the 80s era.


“Andy had a good look at the property and gave us honest answers.”


Obviously this was an emotional time, particularly for Jane who had just lost her father. The house contained lots of memories. She fondly recalls how her children loved sitting on her dad’s knee when he was whizzing round the garden on his ride-on mower.


When Andy Wharton first met with Jane and Allan, he estimated that the property would be worth about $625,000 in its then state.


“Andy had a good look at the property and gave us the honest answers we needed. He made suggestions as to what renovations would give the best value for money, said Jane.  “I told them that, given its location, and with a face lift, the property would sell in a week. And should double the money invested in renovations,” added Andy.


“We had $25K to spend on renovations and we kept track of all our receipts to make sure we didn’t go over budget.”


“Andy said that street appeal was important, so we focused on making the front of the house look good as well as the inside. We replaced the garage roller door and re-instated the garden border that ironically Allan had removed years earlier to make room for the ride-on mower!”


Jane and Allan embarked on what were mainly cosmetic changes to the home: replacing gutters and fascia, painting, re-carpeting, installing new blinds and replacing taps etc. They also squared off the 80s-look archways to give it a modern feel. It was a lot of work, much of which Allan did himself, however he left the larger jobs to his brother-in-law, a local builder, who was a great asset!


Andy had advised against renovating the kitchen and bathroom, saying that it would allow the new owners to put their own stamp on the home.


“I would highly recommend Andy.”


“I would highly recommend Andy; he was never pushy, he kept in touch throughout the renovation period and was able to give us a broader perspective on what buyers were looking for. He was helpful in his suggestions and was always positive in his feedback on the work we were doing on the house,” explained Jane.


When it came time to sell in early May the home attracted strong interest from prospective buyers.


“Andy’s prediction was virtually bang-on,” said Allan. “Eight days after putting it on the market we accepted an offer!”


The house sold for $700,000, which meant that their $25K investment reaped an additional $50K at sale.


When asked, would you do it all again, Jane's answer was a resounding "Yes!" She went on to say, "Mum and Dad would be so proud of what we did. they came to Australia with nothing as 10 pound Poms, and we have to thank them for all their hard work in creating a home that we benefited from."