Social distancing has recently given us more time at home than ever before.

This has given us time to think about family, and plan those dream renovations or home upgrades to help embrace the enjoyment of time at home.

With so much time at home, and with expected Government stimulus coming to maybe even kick those ideas along -could there be a better time to tackle your home improvement to do list?

Here we take a look at a few things to consider from the scale of your renovation through to funding your project during COVID-19 and beyond.

Dipping into DIY

Has staring at an unsightly feature wall more often these days prompted you to pick up the paintbrush? Or, now that your weekends are freed up of social activities and kids sport, it may be time to roll up the sleeves and get into some landscaping before the next big bbq (now that they’re back on!).

Either way, it’s a great time to tackle those smaller jobs around your property, and it could make home life much more pleasant – especially at a time when you’re at home more to enjoy it.

For small projects there are several quick and easy ways to access “quick cash”. These may be:

  • Your savings
  • Redraw on your home loan
  • Credit card

Credit cards can end up an expensive way if you don’t pay them off quickly. So if you’re unsure, check in with your lending specialist who can guide you if you don’t have savings.

Large scale renovations post lockdown?

A renovation such as a new kitchen or bathroom can transform your day to day life dramatically and it may seem like a good idea when you have more time at home – however the bigger the project, the more critical it is to get things right and put aside a fair amount of time and effort, particularly in the planning stage.

While we don’t have a crystal ball on what the future holds, it’s important to keep property values in mind. You don’t want to overcapitalise, especially if you’re planning to renovate and sell shortly after as you may not recoup your money the way you expect to. However, if you intend to stay in your home for a while, this may not be a consideration.

Again, a lending specialist can be a great resource here. One service they provide is access to free property data to help you understand what homes are selling for that may be comparable to what your home will be like post-renovation. LJ Hooker Home Loan lending specialists can also link you to a local real estate agent. An agent can give you a free property appraisal pre-renovation, and an estimate post-renovation. If the renovation is to ultimately help your sale value, this can be important as a good local agent can guide you on what home features are important to buyers researching your area.

Finding the right tradespeople

This can sometimes be a challenge. Some tips to consider:

  • If a substantial project – always ensure your tradie is licenced – and has insurance. It’s ok to ask to see their qualifications
  • Social media sites like Facebook can be a good resource to look at local tradesperson reviews and ask for recommendations. People often post pictures of renovation work they have done so you may even pick up some ideas!
  • Ask friends and family – but sometimes it’s a good idea to politely say “no thanks” if dad puts his hand up!
  • And you can always ask google!

If your renovations are substantial you may need to get local council approval. A tradesperson with a building licence may be required and they can guide you on obtaining council approval.

If you’re doing a big project and need to increase your home loan to access funds a lending specialist will be an important support person for you. They will guide you on the paperwork required as typically the lender will want to see your full renovation plans before approving your extra funds.

We’re here to help

When renovating it’s really important to get your budget spot on – and even have a contingency fund. Expected upcoming government stimulus support may help fund your next big renovation project, but if you also need to borrow there are a number of options to consider.

And renovations can be expensive! So if you’re tweaking your home loan, maybe a refinance at the same time can also assist you. A refinance may provide you with a lower interest rate (and repayments) or better features that make your renovation easier.

Our local lending specialists can start with a planning session, which details your options and how they can help turn your reno dreams into reality!

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This article is prepared based on general information. It does not take into account individual financial objectives or needs and is not financial product advice.