The best luxury investments are more structural in nature – the ones that capitalize on that great view of the beach or the city, leave an impression on dinner guests, or complement your home’s unique architecture or history.
So you have some hard-earned money to invest in your property?
It’s tempting to splash out on all the latest technological gadgets that you can, and while that may have short term appeal, the fast-changing nature of technology means that your home theater equipment might be out of date within two years – something that’s more likely to put future buyers off than impress them.
Here I’ve outlined some of the best investments that will yield you the greatest pleasure, and the greatest return if you do decide to sell.
Let’s face it: if you live in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, a big portion of the year is going to be spent outside. Advances in design and features have resulted in a renaissance in the pool as a luxury feature – but there’s an important caveat: the pool must be tailored to your house. It’s less about size, and more about shape and making the pool complement the house.
Infinity edge pools blend seamlessly into the landscape, pools can be integrated into decks or even incorporated into rooftops. Remember, there’s no point having a pool if you miss out on a view while you’re in it. It doesn’t have to be a backyard pool either, it can be integrated into the building itself – more of an architectural feature than a place to cool off.
If there’s one room you have to ‘go big’ with is the kitchen. The kitchen is easily the most significant room in the house – and the room with the most potential to embellish. Start with liberal use of a natural material – marble, wood or stone – and include an area where people can congregate during meal preparation.
If possible, orientate the kitchen to incorporate external views and lead directly to the outside entertainment area.
If space allows, a butler’s pantry is a brilliant way to increase storage, cater to large guest parties and keep the main kitchen primarily as an entertainment space. And don’t forget the little features: A wine cellar is incredibly practical, and an excellent talking point for when you have guests over to dinner. Or it could be a custom-built champagne fridge in the kitchen or a space to display your whiskey.
Again, like the kitchen, going big in the bathroom is a surefire way to enhance your property’s livability and desirability.
It’s luxury you’re after here. And getting the design right is the most important aspect. From a freestanding bath, to a double shower or his and hers vanity.
As a general rule, open plan living areas with minimal clutter have the most visual impact and emphasize the property’s architectural features and outlook. Surfaces like floorboards or polished concrete are always popular with buyers.
Creating a living area that is connected to the outdoors is key here. Maintaining that indoor/outdoor lifestyle aspect inherent in beach-side suburbs really does add value and appeal.
Open fires – gas, ethanol, or log – are increasingly popular design elements that add instant warmth to a space.
These days buyers expect more than a hills hoist and lemon tree in the garden. The outdoors is an extension of your living space, so planning is key. Investing in proper landscaping or garden design can add serious value to a home. Integrated barbecue areas are popular luxury features. As are outdoor heating/fans, wine fridges and food prep areas.
And don’t forget parking – in a busy street or popular beach-side suburb adding off-street parking can add significant value and functionality to your home.
Don’t forget the little practicalities
Lighting and storage are two things often overlooked in a reno. You can never have too much storage. And proper lighting can add warmth and functionality to even the smallest spaces. So while they may not be luxuries, your buyers will notice if these two practical features are missing when it comes time to sell.
The way we live has changed over the decades, and with that buyer expectations. While you can’t tick every box and please every buyer, including even a couple of these luxury elements in a renovation can add significant appeal and dollars to your home.