During July this year many homeowners would have submitted a tax return and possibly received a lump sum of money back from the South African Revenue Service. Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that getting a tax refund is an ideal opportunity for homeowners to invest in their home and make some changes that could add value to their property.
“There are several ways in which homeowners can use their tax refunds to make home improvements, regardless of the amount of money that they receive. They don’t have to undertake large expensive renovations to see the benefits as there are relatively inexpensive home upgrades that can boost both the look and value of the property,” says Goslett.
He provides homeowners with a few ideas to improve their home with their tax refund:
- Update kitchen fixtures: They say that the heart of a home is the kitchen as it is normally a room in the home where the homeowner will spend a lot of their time. Goslett says that in order to upgrade the kitchen there is no need to redo the entire space to give it a fresh new look. Simple changes such as new cabinet handles and knobs or new taps will go a long way to a whole new look and feel.
- Freshen up the bathroom: Again, there is no need for the bathroom to be given a complete overhaul to have it looking fresh. “One or two key changes can make a big difference,” says Goslett. “Try replacing old shower doors or the tiles in the shower, re-finishing the bathtub or replacing the toilet and basin. All of these changes will freshen up the bathroom’s look and add to its aesthetic appeal.
- Replace the garage door: Very often the garage door is the first feature of the home that is seen as soon as a person arrives. Replacing the garage door can upgrade or modernise the entire look of the home, as well as being an excellent investment. Goslett says according to a property cost versus value analysis around 80% of the costs of replacing a garage door are recouped when the home is sold.
- Garage shelving: Another fairly inexpensive addition to the garage is shelving. Aside from being an excellent selling point, the additional storage space will make it far easier to keep the garage neat and tidy.
- Replace the front door: Much like the garage door, the front door to the home is one of the first features that people see when approaching the home. “The front door is what welcomes the homeowner, guests and potential buyers to the home, so it is an important element in the overall first impression,” says Goslett. He notes that the homeowner can expect to recoup more than 90% of the cost of the front door when the property is sold. Along with the front door, the homeowner can also look at upgrading the doorbell and the lighting.
- Plant a tree: A beautiful tree in the garden will enhance the look of the property and the best part is that it is good for the environment. Homeowners who wish to restrict their water usage could opt for other landscaping enhancements instead, such as some stepping stones or water-wise plants for the garden. As a general rule, only indigenous plants and trees should be used as they consume very little water and require minimal maintenance.
“For homeowners who are not looking to make home improvements, they can still make use of their tax refund by paying it into their bond. Paying lump sums into the bond will reduce interest charges and will help to cut time off the period on the loan,” Goslett concludes
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