Thrive Property NT

6 Investment Property Renovation Tips You Need To Know


Over the past 12 months, the property industry in Darwin has been booming. We’ve seen a growth in consumer confidence, record-low interest rates and a high demand for rentals that tick many boxes for tenants. This unique combination has all fared in favour of the landlord.

Given the current positive property situation we find ourselves in, now is a great time to look at ways in which you can maximise the return on your investment property. One such way in which you could do this would be to renovate your investment property. If done so correctly, you could position your investment property in a way that showcases your property as a comfortable, enjoyable and liveable home for your tenant.

Before diving into our top investment property renovation tips, it’s important to note that renovation doesn’t have to be a huge project. In fact, there are many small tasks (that we’ll elaborate on later) that can make a huge difference in how you present your property, without breaking the bank. Throughout this article, we’re going to take you through different tips and tricks that we’ve learnt along the way with regards to renovating your investment property, that won’t devour your profits.

Budgeting for investment property renovation

It goes without saying; the budget you decide upon will affect the scale of work – the possibilities of renovation can be countless! Some renovation works are considered ‘low scale’, while others are ‘high scale’.

Low Scale Renovations

As the name suggests, low scale renovations are those that tend to be smaller in project, and budget. This includes quick fixes such as:

  • Adding automations such as lights, blinds, door locks, blinds etc
  • Fresh coat of paint throughout the property and window treatments
  • Carpet/Floor clean or replacement
  • Update of kitchen appliances (eg, oven, dishwasher, cabinetry, tapware etc)
  • Replacing and updating of door handles (kitchen cupboards, drawers, linen cupboards etc) and window coverings (installing new curtains or blinds)

High Scale Renovations

On the other side of the scale, we have high scale renovations. This tends to be the big project-type renovation, where a larger budget is required. This could include:

  • Complete bathroom, kitchen and/or laundry renovation
  • Knocking down walls to create a more open plan living space
  • Adding to the property; eg, second storey or granny flat
  • Refreshing backyard space with a pool and/or patio
  • Installing solar electricity (this is proving to be popular with tenants looking to minimise their expenses)

While, from the outset, these options may seem overwhelming, it is worth pointing out that you don’t need to utilise high scale renovations if you think that low scale renovations will suffice. You’d be surprised by just how much of a difference a fresh lick of paint makes!

Essentially, how you choose to renovate really comes down to budget and your readiness to experience vacancies throughout the renovation period.

Top 6 Renovation Tips

  1. Paint all internal walls: a fresh coat of paint goes a long way when it comes to property appeal. Use light colours to create an airy, bright and spacious allure.

  2. Resurface kitchen cupboards and replace old bench-tops and handles.

  3. Clean carpets and flooring. If your budget allows for it, we’d recommend removing carpets and replacing them with floating timber floorboards. Not only does timber flooring look great, it’s also super low maintenance.

  4. Conduct basic lawn maintenance and/or landscaping. There’s no need to overcapitalise here, however, low maintenance plants and new grass (if needed) can work wonders!

  5. Ensure ceiling fans work at all speeds.

  6. If your property is in a warm climate area, it’s worth investing in a split air conditioner; these work much better than the older box air conditioners and are preferred by tenants.

Does renovating your investment property really bring higher ROI?

Whether they be low or high scale, renovations done to your investment property really do have the capability of maximising your rental return. If you’re thinking of making adjustments to your investment property, just remember to identify and understand the below:

  • Budget: if you don’t have the available savings to accommodate renovations, don’t risk getting yourself into debt – make sure you have the finance available.

  • Know your customers: or, in this case, your tenants/your ideal tenant – what do they really want in a rental property?

  • Forward planning: if your property is currently tenanted, know how renovations will impact them. Would it be best to wait until the lease period is up and existing tenants are vacated before commencing renovations?

Are you looking for help in renting your investment property? The team at Thrive Property NT supports homeowners across the Greater Darwin region. If you’re looking for a Property Manager to take the stress out of managing your investment property, who will provide the highest level of tenant screening, get in touch with our Property Management team today – we’d love to help!