For those of you who are buying with the intention of letting out to a tenant, you should consider renovating in order to make your property more attractive on the rental market. If on the other hand you are planning to make this your home, you can treat renovation as a way of increasing Long Term Value.
It all starts with a minimalist design concept in mind, and it is possible to still be cozy and comfortable. If you look at other big cities abroad, a smaller home is the new trend to sustain a lower cost of living due to the increasing population. It is also important to consider how much time you actually spend at home and what you really require in terms of living standards.
What types of renovations can i do?
Due to space being the key obstacle here, the ideal option is to have built in partitions which separate the sleeping area from the living/dining area. These often feature a built in wardrobe as well as storage space allowing you to maximise your floor area effectively. If you are on a budget then you can look at cheaper options such as using a free standing wardrobe as a partition. A 200cm wide wardrobe from Ikea will do the trick and having mirrors on the outside of it will also create the feeling of more space inside your room. IKEA PAX + 4 Mirror Doors will cost just RM1,425 which compared to RM3,500 for built in wardrobe, it is a huge saving indeed.
If you design the interior wisely, you can convert a studio condominium of 500 square feet to have a kitchen plus wall storage with a partitioned glass sliding door. Although the partition and sliding door is considered as a built in renovation so keep in mind about the higher costs. This type of renovation will instantly change the feel of your studio and give the feeling of more space.
To extend your work top area in your kitchen, getting a loose kitchen island will do the trick. By using a cheaper version of book shelves as your shoes cabinet, you’ll simply save another RM1,000 for a built in shoe cabinet.
It’s wise to get a sofa bed in the living room area for overnight guests and a coffee table for dining instead. The goal of this minimalistic concept is to gain space with less furniture, so you don’t need an extra dining table. Just add 2 more footstools (with storage space inside) for your guests, and you’ll be able to hang out comfortably together.
As for additional storage, try to install wall cabinets only to keep the ground area free. Your kitchen will need a lot of these and you can convert any empty wall to become wall storage with an affordable price from IKEA wall cabinets.
Last but not least, it’s a good idea to invest in laminated wood flooring because it will retain the presentation for decades and add a great deal of value to the property! You can choose the more affordable range from FloorDepot, it’s easy to maintain in the long run and it completes the modern home concept. If in any case that you don’t like the balcony tilings, you can always replace them with artificial grass for just a few hundred ringgits from Buildscape.
So how much will all of this cost for renovation, including kitchen partition, laminated wooden flooring and loose furnitures from IKEA? According to our recent renovation case study for this fully furnished 500 square feet condo, the costs are:
Renovation RM15,000 + Loose Furnitures/Kitchenwares from IKEA RM10,000 + Artificial Grass RM500, total of RM25,500.
If you can add more value to your studio condo by designing the interior, it will create more demand for renting or even selling in the future. Just imagine your potential tenants who have been viewing countless old-fashioned and simple units, and you show them your hidden gem. Since the overall presentation plus comfort will be what your potential tenants are looking for, this smart move will top your competitors instantly even though you may ask for a slightly higher rental or selling price.
What is the best way to finance this
When buying your studio condominium, you can consider taking a ‘Renovation Loan’ at the same time which will allow you to borrow from the bank and make changes early before moving in. This is ideal if you are planning to rent out the property. If your aim is to make this your home then the wise option would be to make a budget of your finances and see how much you can set aside to fund this. If you see it as a long term goal then you can make small changes over a period of time. If you prefer the idea of creating your dream space as early as possible then you can consider taking out a personal loan which will give you access to funds and allow you to create your dream space faster.
Renovating your studio condominium can be done in many ways depending on your objective and reason for purchasing the property. When it comes to installing partition walls and making fixed changes to the interior of the property, try to focus on quality whereever possible as it will bring long term added value to the property if you choose to sell. For those of you who have bought with the intention of putting on the rental market, first you should research the expected rental rates for the property. Calculate how long it will take to get back your investment in renovating the property before you decide.
With dedication and effort put into it, a smart renovation can be seen as an investment. It’s a small risk to take on but if it pays off, you’ll get to enjoy long term returns!