Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Why the Mini-Makeover Is HOT

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Why the Mini-Makeover Is HOT

Article excerpt

Carolyn Boyd is a property journalist and keen follower of Australia's housing market. Teaming up with Domain.com.au, Carolyn discusses the merits of a mini-makeover.

ONE of the biggest trends in renovating we might be about to see emerge is the mini-makeover.

Think: paints, cupboard handles, tap fittings, wallpapers (yes, wallpapers going up, not coming down) and the polishing of timber floors. Also light fittings and window treatments. Anything that changes the feel and adds a bit of pizzazz without costing big bucks.

If that sounds like the 70s revisited, perhaps it is. Hopefully not with such garish results, though.

And yes, if you are thinking: aHang on, hasn't everyone been doing this all along?a In part you are right. But the difference is the mini-makeover will be used by householders to make do for much longer than in recent years.

Why will we see this replace bigger aspirations a at least for now? It's a meeting of several forces.

First, the property market isn't going anywhere in a hurry at present a so the belief that you can do a big reno and flip the property to make a good quid is quickly dissolving.

Second, Australians are saving more than we have in years and there's a propensity to pay down debt. That means making do with what we have and not taking on huge loans to expand our lifestyles.

It's also dawning on some people that one way to make money off housing in this current market is not to buy and sell in a hurry, but to shake the housing debt as fast as you can and that way lower your overall costs of acquiring an asset that is free from capital gains tax.

More broadly, employers continue to report that the biggest thing employees are chasing isn't dollars but work-life balance. Money is still important, yes, but there's a greater focus on living a life outside the office, and people aren't jumping ship for an extra $5,000 or $10,000 like they were a few years ago.

So if they are working less and aren't prepared to move for a bit more cash, it's a fairly reasonable conclusion that people will be looking to make their dollar stretch further by extending the life of their current home.

There's another force a again related to the slowdown in the property market. Industry talk says there's been a general shift in the mindsets of homeowners a people now expect to stay in their homes for longer. And if you're in for the long haul, you've got the luxury to plan and think: aRight, I'll paint that old laundry for now and make it last a few more years before we get around to building a new onea.

After all, you've got years to live in the house, and you're not in such a hurry to get it sorted to flick it back onto the market.

It's all happening at the same time that we are hearing of the re-emergence of the three-bedder as the house to have a but this time with a second toilet attached. …

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