The year 2020 has been pretty depressing so far. You hear news of retrenchment and bankruptcy everywhere; the vibe isn’t exactly cheerful. But, here’s a good one – if you aren’t on the buying end, that is: HDB resale value has risen by 0.2% in the second quarter. So, if you’re looking to sell some properties, now’s a good time to start engaging buyers, since physical viewing has also resumed on the 19th last month.
Nevertheless, are you aware that your interior design decisions could affect HDB resale value? We all know that HDB age and market trends could influence its price, but you can’t control these factors. Instead, take note of some do’s and don’ts of renovation to ensure a higher resale value down the road. You can also perform a few simple tricks for your property before listing – you’d be surprised by what a little facelift could achieve.
Hacking down walls
Be careful with altering the floor plan, as most buyers prefer the unit to be in its original state. It’s tempting to tear down walls: the open structure feels much less claustrophobic. But your buyer likely has a different intention for the space than you, so they might not appreciate that you sacrificed a bedroom to accommodate a home office in the living room. In fact, demolishing kitchen walls sits far better with potential buyers. Fewer bedrooms translate to less perceived utility and lower rental yield. If you must, try utilizing sliding or folding doors rather than hacking down the entire wall. This way, it’d be easier to restore the wall if need be.
Built-in furniture is a popular solution for odd corners. However, it has the downside of being costly to modify. As a fixture, it is also factored into the resale price. Once again, buyers may not envision the purpose of a space the same way you do, or they just don’t share your taste. It’d be frustrating to have the built-in furniture define a space for them. They wouldn’t want to pay for the furniture, only to pay more to have it replaced or removed later.
Many homeowners opt for a false ceiling to hide messy electrical wirings. While they look posh and elegant, false ceilings can lower the height of a room by as much as 15cm. Not only does this compromise the square footage, it could also hinder ceiling fan installations, which require a minimum of 2.4m from the lowest part of the fan to the ground. In hindsight, you may realise that a downlight and cove light combo is wiser. It keeps the false ceiling to the edges, and retains most of the ceiling height.
Keeping up with the trends
If reselling your HDB is part of the plan, forget about that trendy industrial cement screed floor (which by the way, isn’t that practical). It’s more advisable to keep your renovation generic, like a blank canvas that future buyers can easily customize. Avoid bold colours as well: neutral shades, like white and soft grey, tend to fare better in terms of buyer appeal. When it comes to kitchen cabinets – one of the few pieces of furniture that has to be built in – focus on high-quality carpentry rather than highly stylized designs.
If it’s a little late for you to learn these tips, there are still things you can do to salvage your HDB resale value.
Repaint the walls
Okay, so you went for the bright red wall. In that case, you’d benefit from giving your walls a fresh coat of paint. As a matter of fact, this is a good idea regardless of your previous stylistic choices. You might not have noticed, but paint jobs inevitably show wear and tear after years of use. Repainting the walls freshens their appearance while making the unit look cleaner. In addition, white and neutral hues create a visually bigger room and help buyers conceptualize their plan for the property.
Cleaning and repairs
Homes that seem well-maintained sell for better prices. Identify minor defects that you’ve gotten used to over the years, be it a leaking tap or a creaky door, and fix them. Check your flooring, especially in bathrooms and kitchens. Hire professional cleaning services to thoroughly clean your property. The costs of all these could add up, but they are a comparatively small investment in exchange for maximum resale value.
Decluttering is a quick way to free up space and make the unit appear larger. Recycle the piled-up newspapers, donate items you’ve outgrown, and throw out old appliances that you promised to fix three years ago. A tidy and organized home contributes to the impression of being well-maintained, thereby boosting your resale value.