When we decide on how to design, renovate or decorate our homes, we are primarily guided by our lifestyle, personal taste and style. However, to ensure that our homes stay relevant and competitive in the property market, both now and in the future, certain considerations need to be kept in mind.
Property professionals agree that when it comes to what potential homebuyers look for in a home, there are some definite commonalities.
Make your home’s first impression count. Ensure that your home’s curb appeal has guests and eventually, potential buyers excited to enter. A clean well-kept front garden, easy access and an inviting front door are so important to make visitors feel welcome.
People are looking for a home layout that allows residents to be together while doing different activities i.e. dad making dinner in the kitchen, mom watching TV in the lounge and kids working on a school project on the dining room table. This open-plan layout suits our modern lifestyles and is something home buyers look for.
Another layout choice is a seamless indoor-outdoor flow to and from outside entertainment areas such as patios, balconies or pool decks. It is part of our South African way of life and homes that open up to the outside are sought after.
Bright pinks, moody blues and vibrant greens are not to everyone’s taste. People are more comfortable with a neutral colour palette. Although paint colour is quite simple to change if and when you choose to sell your property, changing floor and wall tiles, sanitary ware and other permanent fixtures such as lighting is not that easy and can be costly.
Kitchens and bathrooms
Kitchens and bathrooms are often the dealmakers or breakers in the sales process so they are worth careful consideration and investment early on.
Homebuyers want practical, clean, stylish bathrooms with quality fittings and sanitary ware. The preference is for neutral finishes. “Shutters are the perfect choice for bathrooms,” says Karina Palmer, interior designer and marketing director of AMERICAN shutters. “They enable complete control of natural light, ventilation and privacy.”
Your kitchen needs to have a practical layout with strategic plumbing and electrics. Good quality cabinetry is a must as are practical finishes that are easy to clean and maintain. “Good ventilation in a kitchen is not only important for comfort, but also air quality and health,” says Karina. “The louvres of shutters can be opened and tilted to direct natural airflow and they pose less of a safety or fire risk than flapping curtains and blinds.”
As important to you now as it will be to any homebuyers looking at your home in the future, home security is an ever-increasing imperative in South Africa. From your home’s access points to how it is laid out, from security barriers to electronic monitoring systems, any investment in your home’s security is an investment in its financial value.
“Although a must-have, home security barriers need not be unsightly, unattractive industrial-looking burglar bars and gates,” says Karina. “Our Security Shutters have all the style and elegant design features of our timber shutters but offer the same strength and durability as other traditional security barriers on the market.”
If you keep the above in mind when making interior design decisions now or in the future, your home will be market-ready if and when the time comes to sell it; requiring very little work to stage if for potential buyers. But keep in mind that your home also needs to stand out from others for sale, so create unique and memorable scenarios that you can enjoy and others can imagine themselves enjoying i.e. an armchair in a sunny spot perfect for lazy afternoon book-reading, a comfortable deckchair alongside a pool with a cool drink nearby.