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5 Reno Tips to Boost Your BTO’s Resale Value after MOP, according to a Property Agent

It was revealed by HDB that the proportion of BTO flats sold within a year of meeting the minimum occupancy period (MOP) doubled between 2016 and 2020, from 6.5% to 13.4%. It’s a trend that looks to continue, as homeowners seek to upgrade to private homes and as delays in the construction sector drive up demand for resale flats.

Image: Ambient Walking from Pexels

If you are in the midst of planning your BTO renovations with the mindset to sell your flat after it reaches MOP, we thought it would be helpful to learn how to boost your BTO’s resale value by looking at what a potential buyer looks out for. And who best to understand how a home buyer thinks than a property agent?

We spoke with Kenneth Tan, a property agent with ERA, and asked him about the importance of home renovation when it comes to the resale value of a MOP BTO.

“There are a lot of factors in play when determining the resale value of a home, such as location, cardinal directions, which floor your unit is at, amenities, number of units per floor and even the corridor space you have,” explains Kenneth. “When in comes to home renovation, it is but one aspect of it. In general though, you are able to go for a higher asking price than your estimated valuation if your home renovation is relatively new, or has an amazing interior design.”

With this in mind, he shares a few tips when it comes to planning for your BTO renovation with the intention to sell after five years.

Tip 1: Don’t do too much

Doing a lot for your home renovation doesn’t necessarily translate to a higher selling price in the end. It’s more important to maintain your home in good condition in the five years, says Kenneth. Not everyone has the same taste or like the same things.

Design: Lemonfridge Studio

It’s best to stick with a neutral colour palette that is easy on the eye and is generally accepted by most people. Scandinavian, Muji and minimalist themes are well-liked and can help to keep your renovation budget affordable. “In general, older folks and retirees like clean and simple designs, while younger buyers are looking to overhaul everything so don’t do anything too complicated that would be difficult to remove,” advises Kenneth.

Tip 2: Focus your renovation on the kitchen and the bathrooms

“The kitchen and bathrooms are two areas of the home that buyers will tend to look at, as any rectification work can be costly and a hassle,” says Kenneth. As such, focus your BTO renovations in these two areas.

Look at functionality. Plan for enough storage and countertop/vanity space in both of these areas. In the kitchen, having quality built-in appliances that are maintained well can earn you some brownie points when it comes the time to sell.

Design: Key Concept

When choosing materials, go for durability and easy upkeep since you will have to make sure they last and look good for the next five years. Quartz is a good option for counters since they are stain-resistant, not prone to scratches and easy to clean. For tiles, pick ones that are smoother with fewer grooves and require fewer grout lines. Avoid materials like cement screed or marble; the former cracks and the latter stains.

Tip 3: Avoid hacking down all your walls

Thinking of combining two bedrooms into one, or knocking down all the walls to create one large open space? Don’t. Open concept may be trendy, but most people will still want a level of privacy.

With work from home, home-based learning set to stay thanks to the pandemic, privacy is more important than ever. Kenneth sheds light on this new phenomenon: “More buyers are looking for bigger units, just to have an area to work from home.

Design: The Local Inn.terior

“Families in Singapore are on the average of 3.22 persons, so you would think they won’t need all that space. But that extra space and by extension privacy keeps them sane when everyone’s at home at the same time.” You may be able to get a higher selling price if you keep all your bedrooms intact.

Tip 4: Stick to functional built-ins

Not all built-ins are necessarily evil, although you may want to reign in on overly elaborate or unconventional ones. These may not sit well with potential buyers since they will have to factor in the cost of tearing them down if the built-ins don’t catch their fancy.

Design: Linear Space Concepts

Prioritise functional built-ins, especially storage. Channel your budget to building proper kitchen cabinets and wardrobes, which are staples in a home and tend to be costly to replace for a buyer.

Tip 5: Pay attention to your flooring

According to Kenneth, another aspect of the home a lot of buyers look out for is the flooring and skirting. It makes sense, as it’s one of the largest surface areas of the home and it tends to make up a big bulk of a renovation budget.

Design: Ascend Designs

Having more expensive flooring materials like marble and timber can usually fetch a higher selling price, but they will need to be maintained well e.g. no dull spots, scratches or stains and they aren’t the easiest to upkeep. It will thus make more sense to go for a more economical flooring option like tiles or vinyl.

 

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