How much could fixing up one room add to your home’s value?

We’ve had a look at some very specific renovations that can add value to your property when the time comes to sell, which can cut down on energy bills and improve the practicality of a home. But what about doing over an entire room? Obviously fixing up a kitchen is a completely different beast from making over the master bedroom, with different costs involved and different amounts added to your bottom line.

So without further delay, let’s see what you should do to some of the key rooms in the home – and if it will put many extra zeroes on your sale price.

Keeping it in the kitchen

Historically, a kitchen renovation is the go-to task to add value to your home. However, it’s also one of the most expensive undertakings. According to a recent Improvenet research, the average cost of a kitchen remodel is a little over $22,000 in Australian dollars. Given that the rule of thumb is you shouldn’t spend more than 5 per cent of the value of your home on renovations, this should be within reach of many home owners.

Moreover, the work that needs doing will vary from home to home. For example, a basic IKEA kitchen setup for small areas can cost as little as a few hundred dollars, if you’re replacing cabinet fronts and splashbacks. Budget full kitchen kits can also be found for less than $5,000.

But for a full do-over, you’re looking at spending at least $10,000 – up to $25,000 for simple kitchens, and up to $75,000 for a true luxury do-over. This includes flooring, walls, countertops, sinks, plumbing, appliances – you name it, it’s covered.

While this might seem extensive, if it’s within your budget it can be very much worth it. According to, depending on your suburb, all costs can be recouped when you sell. Moreover, some vendors like IKEA provide guarantees that last up to 25 years, ensuring peace of mind that it will last.

Make sure it stays with the theme of the home though – an ultra-modern kitchen in an older cottage could ruin the home’s aesthetic and put people off!

Bulking up the bathroom

The same principles as the kitchen apply here – it can be done cheaply, but it depends on how much luxury you want to add. According to HGTV, it’s possible to renovate a bathroom for $100 per square metre. For small areas that can mean less than $5,000 without heavy customisation.

Brian Johnson from Collaborative Design Architects also told HGTV that it’s important to add a 30 per cent allowance to your budget, as sometimes things go awry, and costs can blow out. Adding a new toilet, bath or shower can make this an expensive task, numbering in the tens of thousands of dollars.

And as for returns? Gary Caulfield from Construction Cost Consultants told Westpac NZ that bathrooms can give you a return of up to $1.50 for every dollar spent on it. Gauge the suburb and likely buyers you will be getting – do they want luxury or practicality? Working this out with an agent and a professional remodeler can always be a good idea.

Adding a new bedroom

Found yourself in the enviable position of having two lounges, or perhaps a basement or attic that could be converted into a new bedroom? You might just have hit a goldmine. Mr Caulfield also told Westpac that you can double your return when you turn a three bedroom home into a four bedroom one.

But what about the cost? In a recent Domain article, it was estimated that adding a 20 square metre bedroom would cost anywhere between $50,000 and $70,000. This will be significantly less if you already have space in your house – Graeme Bell from GDB architecture converted a loft into a room for a mere $10,000!

You’re unlikely to get this cheap a renovation going unless you are an architect yourself, but it shows how it can be done on a small budget. Given the rising real estate prices in many of our cities, you could be in for significant profits too.

According to Real Estate Institute of Victoria figures, four bedroom homes in certain suburbs were the largest capital gains earners in Melbourne at the end of last year. Making your home join this category through renovation could be profitable indeed!

Don’t go overboard

Crucially though, you have to keep a cool head. Engage professionals for quotes, and get a set budget from several different firms – if they vary wildly, you need to be careful you’re not getting ripped off. On top of this, make it comfortable! If you don’t enjoy using these rooms while you live there, how can you be sure potential buyers will?

So no garish colours or experimental designs – keep it beautiful and functional for solid value-adding.

Until Next Time,

Five Major Influential Themes in the Property Market for 2017

LJ Hooker outlined five major themes which they believed would be influential in the property market in 2017.

  1. Rise of the renterThere has been a culmination of factors over the last two years which have made some households prefer to rent than buy.

    Affordability – Some households look at recent price growth, weigh up renting as opposed to a mortgage and feel more comfortable with a lease.

    Investor demand – Record low interest rates have encouraged investors into the market, allowing many new apartment and attached dwelling projects to proceed. This investor interest will likely see rental growth remain modest in the coming years, which improves security for tenants.

    New supply – The regeneration of suburbs close to the city has created more lifestyle opportunities for renters who want to live closer to work, cafes and shopping.

    2. The sharing economy

    Disruptive and innovative technologies like Uber are changing our way of life, particularly how we ‘monetise’ our activities and assets.

    Looking forward, these technologies are also going to influence how we build homes. For instance, building a granny flat or bedroom with a private entrance for short or long-term tenants.

    The sharing economy is also changing the way developers and strata managers operate, providing shared car services to reduce the need for private and on-street parking in new complexes.

    3. The cost of change

    The cost of moving has become a real issue for some people. For downsizers and upgraders the additional government costs associated with buying or selling a home has forced many to remain in, or renovate, their current home.
    As the shortage of listings in many cities and towns has shown, many would-be sellers are deciding to stay put rather than move.

    When people stay at home for extended periods, it has a flow-on effect: it reduces the amount of stock and choice in the marketplace, invariably placing pressure on prices as buyers compete keenly.

    4. Picking apartment pockets

    There are a small number of areas which have had an influx of apartments in recent years and some areas are planned to be rejuvenated through new projects starting or coming on line in 2017.

    While apartment projects have been in the glare of media and property commentators in 2016, it’s good to remind ourselves that capital cities and towns are primarily made up of detached houses. Developers are simply meeting the needs of a market demographic. Nonetheless, if you’re looking to make an apartment purchase in 2017, do your research on supply versus demand and ‘pick your pocket’.

    5. Love thy neighbour

    The rapid expansion of our cities has amplified the need for more dwellings and led to the densification of suburbs around Australia. This has seen councils rezone residential, commercial, industrial and rural land to allow higher density development. The rezoning of land has created the opportunity for neighbours to team-up, amalgamate their properties and offer them for sale in one line.

We never had a crystal ball (although we’d love one!!) but we think we did pretty well with our prediction, how about you?

Until Next Time…


Let’s all climb the hill together

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ – Martin Luther King, Jr.


You should be able to tell by now just how proud I am of our community. That may come from the fact that I’ve already said it multiple times in previous posts, or from what you see posted on my Facebook page – or even from meeting with me. There are so many wonderful people in our area, with their own unique stories, and I love hearing from them and about them.


Being the person that I am, I’m always trying to find ways to give back to the community. Some of the ways I’ve been able to do this have been by running competitions, sponsoring events, sharing history of the area and much more. But one of the things that stands out to me the most are the video posts that I do on the Facebook page with local businesses.


I am able to sit down with people and not only get to know their businesses, or their products, I am also able to get to know the people behind it. This has the knock-on effect of allowing you to do the same, just by watching the videos. I’m more than happy to promote a local business, because keeping it local is what adds to the community. The current shopping experience has been slightly lessened by the fact that everything is quite literally at your fingertips in this day and age – which can be fantastic, especially if you have a situation where you are unable to just simple pop down to the shops for an hour to do your weekly stock up.


What it doesn’t allow you is interaction with actual people. There’s something to be said for being able to walk into a shop and have them know your order, or know your tastes, or even ask you ‘how that thing went that you and I were discussing last week and oh, by the way, I saw your video, it was great!’.


Community isn’t just a bunch of shops or houses or schools – it’s the people in those places. It’s the friendly banter when you run into someone you haven’t recently seen, it’s in hearing your name called out while you’re just ducking out to grab a coffee.


In order to further our community, I will be continuing my online videos with local businesses, showcasing offers, and products – call it your online introduction to people that you will be seeing on a quite regular basis. If you are interested in having your own online introduction to the local area, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me – the more, the merrier!



The adage runs true – One hand helps the other. In this case, you help me feel giddy by fulfilling my sense of giving back to the community, and I help you by bringing you to the attention of more potential customers – and friends.


Let’s see If we can’t all help each other out – and have some fun in the process.


Until next time,


I’ll eat some breakfast, then Change the World

“Sometimes, I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast”- Lewis Carroll


We’re a friendly bunch, here in Ormeau and the surrounding areas. And by friendly, I mean you can pass any of us on the street and get the smile with the accompanying head nod as a “Hello”. We also like to be as inclusive as we can.


In our quest to be inclusive, we’ve found that one of the best ways that we are able to do this is by helping out local businesses. Whether it’s by running a feature on our Facebook pages, or organising a promotion in conjunction with a business, we make sure that we support the local people by buying local products.


Starting a business can be one of the most time consuming, heart-in-your-mouth moments of a lifetime. Fortunately, as we understand that, we seek out ways to make that process easier – which leads us to the Ormeau Business Breakfast.


Running on the 3rd Tuesday of every month, and hosted by LJ Hooker Ormeau, it is a way to connect and network with your fellow local businessmen (and women!). What better way to learn how to utilise the services in the area, get inspiration or direction, even just make some new friends?


Of course, what would a Business Breakfast be without an actual breakfast? The wonderful folks at the Norfolk Tavern set out an amazing and mouth-watering buffet which could almost be the sole reason for going (maybe I shouldn’t be writing this while I’m hungry). There’s also a guest speaker, door prizes, and most importantly, business coaching guidance.


When you’ve decided to branch out into your own business within a chosen field, it can be daunting. Learning all of the ins and outs of invoicing, taxes, stocking enough product, getting people through the door – sometimes it can seem quite overwhelming. And honestly, for most people, there are probably only a handful of people directly in your life that you can turn to, to ask these questions. The Business breakfast will not only introduce you to people who have already been there and done that, but it can help you build some wonderful relationships going forward that allows multiple businesses to help and benefit each other.


To attend the business breakfast (held this month on the 20th June), simple contact LJ Hooker Ormeau on 5549 4500 or – the total cost is $20 which includes your scrumptious breakfast, and a $5 charity donation. And frankly, $25 for a wealth of local knowledge and experience? Bargain. Not to mention the wonderful food. Oh, wait, I mentioned that already?


I really shouldn’t write about food when I’m hungry.


Until next time,

Home is not Home without Mum

Is there anyone in the world that is a better multi-tasking specialist than a Mum?


With the passing of Mother’s Day, everyone worldwide took the time to step back to take a long, hard look at the constant in their life – their Mother.


You’ve all seen the memes – “Mum, we’ve hired some people to allow you the day off” alongside a picture of a cleaner, taxi driver, chef, therapist, doctor etc. And I’m sure you also saw the multitude of Mum themed items in your local stores (although I saw some truly AWFUL dressing gowns floating around out there!).


Whether it’s a handmade gift from your kindergartener, or a hastily wrapped box of chocolates from your teen, or even a family made breakfast in bed (of course you can forgive the burnt toast, it was made with love after all), Mother’s Day has become such an event that we felt the need to show our appreciation for them as well.


The Sue Ward team ran a Mother’s Day competition for a fantastic gift basket, featuring everything a mother could love – Wine, Chocolates, Scentsy items, Wine, Plonky Pouches, Vouchers, Wine, Tea, Coffee, Wine Glasses – wait, did we mention Wine?


Our lucky winner was Michelle Shaw, and the smile on her face when she received her basket had us tickled pink! Congratulations again, Michelle!


We had such a fantastic response to this giveaway – and it allowed us to see just how much people love to spoil their Mums.


Make sure that you keep an eye on our pages for future giveaways, because we love that chuffed feeling that we got from it, and we want to do it again!


So, even though Mother’s Day is over for another year, make sure that you check in with your Mum again soon – visit, call, send a letter if you want to. Technically you don’t actually need a specific day to celebrate the wonder that is your Mum, Step-Mum or Grandmother – even Aunties!


A mother should be celebrated every day – she is part of the reason that you are who you are. She is a confidant, a shoulder to cry on, a support system in one, and someone who loves you unconditionally, no matter what.


And she’ll always be YOUR Mum.


Until next time,