TV shows like The Block have glamorised the renovation process, but any property owner in the eastern suburbs knows the reality is often expensive and time-consuming.

Here we take a look at renovation issues for key markets across the east to help you make sure your renovation is truly worth it.

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Paddington renovations: Focus on architecture to stand out

Some of the highest-value renovations we saw in the last two years were improvements to Paddington properties that offered unique architectural elements. By making good design a priority, these sellers managed to stand out in buyers’ minds and make the most of the difficult spaces often found in Paddington’s older houses.

Before you decide to renovate in Paddington, take the time to inspect nearby renovated properties and make contact with architects who have experience working with similar buildings. A by-the-book renovation can add some value, but one that offers standout design elements will bring in much higher auction bids.

Terrace renovations: The value of that extra bathroom

For owners of original terraces in suburbs like Paddington, Darlinghurst and elsewhere in the east, one of the big questions is whether to invest in the addition of a second bathroom—usually upstairs—to make the property more functional and family-friendly.

If budget, time and planning restrictions allow, it may well be worth investing in this area. Compare single bathroom terrace listings with two bathroom offerings and the price difference soon becomes clear: in some cases, the increase in value can approach $100,000.

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Harbourside renovations: Keeping up with the neighbours

Recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals that homeowners in the harbourside suburbs Vaucluse, Rose Bay and Watsons Bay spent more than any other Australian owners on their renovations—a total of $40.1 million per year. This means harbourside sellers face tough competition from their neighbours.

In these suburbs, taking the time to attend nearby open homes to find out what nearby owners are offering is a smart move before beginning a renovation. Depending on your budget and timeline, you may decide that major improvements are not worth the outlay and opt for a smaller-scale renovation that focuses on the essentials.

Parkside renovations: Which buyers are you focused on?

For owners in parkside suburbs like Randwick, Kensington and Bondi Junction, deciding whether to commit to a full-scale renovation or limit your plans to cosmetic improvements is all about the type of buyer you hope to attract.

If you’re selling a large family home, for example, upgrades to the kitchen or the addition of a third or fourth bedroom could make your property extremely appealing to this corner of the market. On the other hand, if yours is a property that is more likely to appeal to younger buyers with their own renovation plans or even to developers, making improvements before you sell could be an unnecessary effort.

The good news for any eastern suburbs seller is that as the 2018 selling season began we’ve seen strong activity across the east, with auction clearance rates above 70% for the east as a whole. This means appetites remain strong for both renovated and unimproved properties.

Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs Market Snapshot

A detailed annual assessment of the property market focusing on the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, Australia.

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