Editor's Note: December 2015

Renovation rock-stars

When it comes to renovating, I wouldn't consider myself a rock-star. In fact, I probably resemble one of those amateur singers on a reality TV show who turns up with high hopes but alas only moderate talent.

I recently completed a modest cosmetic renovation of my apartment and gave the kitchen and bathroom a lick of paint, installed a few new shelves and organised the landscaping of the overgrown and previously neglected courtyard garden.

In total, I probably spent less than a week over a few leisurely months and certainly spent less than $5,000 in costs.

While the property was pretty nice to start off with, modernising the ugly brown '90s laminate kitchen into sparkling white made a huge amount of difference and also served to make the space look much larger, too.

I was quite chuffed when the valuation came back $45,000 higher than the previous one a few months before, although market movement may also have helped a little. 

In this month's cover story, however, we speak to renovators who are making serious returns from their hard work.

In Renovation Rock-Stars, API talks to a clutch of renovators who either put in their own sweat equity or project-managed with aplomb for maximum returns.

Whether they're flipping or holding and renting out, these keen renovators certainly know how to squeeze major profits out of tired properties. We'll show you their secrets.

Also this month, we meet our Investor Profile Jeff Feng, who started out with nothing and now has an international portfolio worth more than $5.5 million with more than $2 million in equity.

Keeping up the renovation theme, this month's How To… story looks at the important legal ramifications of renovating a unit. We reveal the ins and outs that will keep you on the right side of your owners corporation or body corporate long before you pick up the tools.

We take a look at satellite cities, too, which may be neither pretty nor in the headlines but can often herald solid returns for investors.

Also, in the next part of our special 120 Years of Property series, Kieran Clair delves into property from 1910-1920 to discover whether they make good investments.

Until next month then, may your next renovation project (whether big or small) cost you little in time and money but make you a very big return.


Nicola McDougall


Nicola McDougall