Depending on the housing market and individual potential, real estate agents sometimes recommend more permanent improvements than just a coat of paint, decluttering and some hired furniture. Dated kitchens and bathrooms, stained carpets and  disintegrating pergolas are just a few areas that can alienate a lot of prospective buyers.

For properties at the higher end of the market, it can be worth completely renovating a bathroom or kitchen for that high end look, while properties at the lower to middle sections of the market can also improve their appeal through less costly improvements. It's all about finding the balance between perceived worth and future investment possibilities.

In the example of the Ringwood property showcased here - the almost 40 year old property was still functional but looking decidedly tired and showing its age. It sat in a wonderful location, but in its original state, was more likely to attract developers than a family willing to invest for the future of the house itself. A combination of cosmetic repairs, cabinetry overhauls and carpet removal brought it into the 21st century and made it almost literally a million dollar property.

 

Wallpaper, carpet and window treatment removal were the first steps for this property's transformation. The preserved hardwood floors looked stunning once polished up.

Wallpaper, carpet and window treatment removal were the first steps for this property's transformation. The preserved hardwood floors looked stunning once polished up.

A half completed attempt at renovating 10 years ago left no opportunity to salvage the timber veneered kitchen, but offered the opportunity to freshen the space and relocate the sink from directly opposite the cooker. The bank of cabinets where the sink had previously been was also given extra depth, allowing room for a future dishwasher under the bench.

A half completed attempt at renovating 10 years ago left no opportunity to salvage the timber veneered kitchen, but offered the opportunity to freshen the space and relocate the sink from directly opposite the cooker. The bank of cabinets where the sink had previously been was also given extra depth, allowing room for a future dishwasher under the bench.

The master bedroom had seen little change since the first roll of peach floral wallpaper was applied, except an accumulation of add on wall shelves and ongoing wear on the beige shag carpet.

It was astonishing to see just how big this room actually was once it was stripped to a blank canvas. The never before seen floorboards rose to the occasion with a lick of varnish, and the walls receded into the distance with a few coats of Dulux Natural White. The dated ensuite was rescued with some new white floor tiles, new mirror and some timely regrouting. The owner barely recognised her house and commented that it brought back memories of it being newly built!