Understandably, you might be quick to jump to the conclusion that only one “L” matters in the real estate game……and that’s LOWER interest rates.
With current borrowing levels sitting at an all-time low, I’ll concede it’s a very enticing stage of the property cycle that we (as buyers) should definitely be taking advantage of.
But for mine, there are another three L’s that I think are even more important, because they will stay just as relevant as the years roll on (and interest rates inevitably climb once more).
I’m pretty sure you’ll know them already, but if you focus on bringing together all three you stand a much better chance of finding your dream home (or attracting more buyers and selling for a greater profit when you do decide to move on).
So, what are these magic L’s?
Number 1 – Light:
Good light in a home is often an overlooked feature, but trust me – it’s not missed by buyers.
If they find a house dark and dingy, subconsciously they will have negative feelings towards the residence………..and even if they can’t put a finger on what has turned them off about the property they’ll soon move on to the next lighter and brighter offering.
All too often, emotion sells houses and getting a “bad vibe” about a gloomy residence will have potential buyers keeping their cheque books firmly hidden in the back pocket.
While quality light fittings can add character and brighten even the most dungeon-esque of rooms, they’re no substitute for natural light.
Anyone lucky enough to have a north-eastern aspect to their home knows just how warm and inviting that morning sun can be.
It turns a frosty kitchen or living area into a cosy, central hub for your home – providing a great start to the day as you enjoy a morning cuppa and catch up on the news.
So, be sure to incorporate good lighting into your design when building and you’ll add great value to your finished property.
But, regardless of the orientation of your home, you can still take a number of inexpensive steps to bring it to life and make it brighter and more welcoming.
Adding a skylight transforms a dark hallway or bathroom instantly (and will save you a fortune on electricity bills).
Similarly, adding an extra window (doesn’t have to be big) or French doors will let the light flow in to darkened corners and can make all the difference.
But, if the budget is tight and you don’t have funds for even minor building alterations, all hope is not lost.
Changing your curtains or blinds from a darker, heavier material to a lighter fabric can do wonders – your murky room suddenly opens up, but you still maintain your privacy.
Number 2 – Location:
I have no doubts that you know this “L” all too well.
It’s the mantra of real estate agents and savvy buyers the world over – Location…Location…Location.
But even though it’s a common catch-cry, it’s still worth keeping it front of mind whenever you inspect a property for purchase or you’re looking to build new.
Obviously, “a choice location” means something different to different people.
Young urbanites may crave the buzz of the social scene and seek properties close to restaurants, bars and coffee houses. Reliable public transport (or having everything within walking distance)will be a priority.
On the other hand, a young family may be more interested in having quality schools and daycare near-by. For them, neighbourhood parks, convenient supermarkets and a general sense of safety and wellbeing will be high on the wish list.
For others, a quiet, private setting (away from the rat race and the constant assault of towering steel office blocks, overcrowded footpaths and bumper-to-bumper traffic) will always win out.
Just remember, if there’s a chance you may be selling at some point down the track – be sure you’ve chosen a good, solid location that will retain its appeal.
If it’s close to quality amenities and infrastructure, you can’t go wrong.
Number 3 – Leaves:
A lush, green garden (whether small or expansive) is a wonderful feature in any home.
Being surrounded by magnificent, lofty trees, colourful flower beds and emerald shrubbery is something truly special. We can’t help but love that calming, tranquil connection with nature……..it’s a great stress-buster.
There are a number of factors to consider when establishing a garden – what plants should you buy, what variety and number? Do you want to include mature plants right from the start or let new seedlings flourish with each year that passes? What are the best plants for the local climate? Do you want to include paved walkways, water features, rockeries and sitting areas in your garden design?
The possibilities are endless – so, talk to your neighbourhood nursery and get their input then let your imagination run wild and create a relaxing oasis that you will cherish forever.
But, there is a word of warning.
Quite often we confuse our love of greenery with a love of gardening – and the two can be quite contradictory.
As grandiose as your backyard dreams may be, always remember the upkeep needed to make it a reality.
If, like so many of us, you’re pressed for time just keeping up with life, then hour after hour of weeding, watering and general maintenance will turn your dream garden into a nightmare.
More often than not, a neglected garden can look worse than no garden at all.
Even getting a gardener in once a month during summer can save you a tremendous amount of time and help keep the jungle in check, allowing you to relax and enjoy your oh-so precious leisure time.
Or better yet, find a property with an established, easy-to-care-for garden that still provides a lush, private setting, but without the back-breaking upkeep.
A great garden will not only improve your outlook each day – it will definitely enhance your property price when you go to sell.
“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.”
Well, that was my three L’s – I’m sure you’ve got a few to share as well…….and I’d LOVE to hear them (so please feel free to say hi in the comments section).
Until next week – take care.