Everyone loves a renovator’s fun, but how often does it turn into a renovator’s ruin?

Far more often than you might imagine, says Belinda Botzolis, appraiser and senior real estate strategist at Metropole Property.

Because while it can be great fun with an investment property to pull out a rickety old kitchen and replace it with acres of gleaming marble, and turn a shabby bathroom into a dazzling white spa, many hobbyists are discovering that they spent far more than they could ever recover.

“It’s easy to get carried away and overcapitalize on an investment property,” says Botzolis.

As renovation spending soars, it’s important that investors don’t get carried away with their investment properties. Photo: film studio

“Most of the time I blame social media like Instagram and then the beautiful photos in personal magazines. People want to imitate the pictures, and too late they find out that these tiles are handmade from imported porcelain and cost $130 per square meter.

“People can just get carried away with the beauty of the renovations rather than thinking about what they want to achieve. For every dollar you spend, you want at least $2 back, otherwise there’s no point. Sure, you want to attract good tenants and maybe sell later for a higher price, but if your property is in an area where people are happy with Laminex, why would you choose Carrara marble? »

Australians are still in the midst of a pandemic renovation frenzy, with $11.82 billion in renovation approvals granted last year.

But while the lack of international travel means many of us have more money than ever to splurge on renovations, it’s important with an investment home or apartment not to go overboard. .

In a market where prices are rising rapidly, it is even easier to overspend.

But to get the most out of your money, it’s wise to be more careful, experts say.

“In a city like Sydney, property values ​​will still double every seven to ten years,” says Phil Lovell of architectural builders Lawson and Lovell.

“And if you’re in an exclusive area as a homeowner, by the time you’ve completed your renovations, your home will have gone up in value a lot.

For the best returns, investors should design their property in a way that has timeless appeal and does not date the property. Photo: Charday Penn

“But with an investment property, it’s important to use a reputable builder and be careful not to overcapitalize.”

It is also essential not to be too avant-garde in the renovation of an apartment building, warns Peter Georgiev, director of Archicentre Australia.

He was once asked to design a bathroom in a house with clear glass walls, but he persuaded the owner to add etchings to the glass to keep everyone outside from seeing everything.

Another notable trend to avoid, he advises, is having a bathroom in a bedroom.

“But property prices usually go up so much, and rents are so healthy, that whatever you spend, the market will eventually give it back to you,” says Georgiev.

“And if you’re going into debt to renovate, it’s a good time with such low interest rates.

“But usually with an investment you just want to create something nice and clean and neat.”

It also means something that isn’t too fashionable, that will go out of style easily, agrees Botzolis.

“If you’re spending a lot, go for something Grace Kelly and rather less Kardashian,” she says. “You want it to age well so you can keep up with the money, rather than the latest trend.”