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What Will Home Buyers Be Demanding In Five Years?

By Silvia Wei

Building your own home offers you a rare opportunity: giving your house the exact look and features you want, and exactly where you want them.

But how can you make sure your home still has the same appeal for whoever buys it in, say, five years when you’re ready to sell it and move on?

Here are the some of the things you might want to consider in order to future-proof your build.

(Literally) give your home a lift

Nelson Alexander Carlton North agent Charlie Barham says Australia’s ageing population should be factored into your thinking if you’re building over multiple levels.

Barham says for properties spanning two or more levels, you should consider installing a lift, or you’ll automatically alienate “downsizers” from your potential market.

“Generally, downsizers won’t look at anything over two or three levels unless there’s a lift,” Barham says.

“Having the downsizer market involved in your auction is massive because they’re often coming from bigger family homes and they’ve got deeper pockets.”

“In townhouses, we find that the three-bedroom ones that have lifts do really well,” he says.

Focus on quality

Buyers are becoming increasingly discerning when it comes to the standard of property builds.

And nowhere is that more evident than in the apartment market, where some of the cheaply constructed blocks of smaller apartments are struggling to find favour.

“If you look at a lot of the new apartments, they’re selling for less than what people paid off the plan a few years ago,” Barham says.

“A lot of them aren’t of a great quality. The newer builds in the apartment space that sell well are those that have been constructed well and are of a good size.”

Builders and developers are a dime-a-dozen, so do your research, find one that’s been in the game a while, and track down a few former clients to ensure you’re getting the best person for the job.

Connect it up

It seems like only a matter of time before all homes will feature some form of electronic automation.

So getting ahead of the game could save you having to retrofit something to attract buyers in five years, according to HomeBuyers Centre’s Victorian general manager Simon Mongan, who says controlling elements of your home wirelessly is the way to go.

Invest in wireless communication now to save on having to retro-fit technology later. Picture: Getty

“There’s definitely got to be some consideration with how you can connect your home up and keep up with technology with a wireless solution,” Mongan says.

Melbourne and Brisbane Management Rights sales director Benjamin Selby-Hele says many buyers will, at a minimum, expect automated security.

“It’s being able to access your phone to see what’s going on in your apartment and in the common areas. So the intercom is integrated and can talk to the front gate access,” he says.

“A lot of the time you’ll have a security system for the front gate, a security system for the elevator, and another key or fob to get into your actual apartment. But now it’s synching them together so they all talk to each other.”

Avoid big statements

That eye-catching façade or latest and greatest kitchen layout might look great now, but will they hold their appeal when design trends change?

When it comes to the interior design, don’t go too trendy. The decor in this room is modern but won’t date any time soon. Picture:

Barham says major design statements will often be jarring in just a few years, so you don’t want a property that looks like it came “straight out of the latest architecture magazine”.

“Don’t make it ultra modern, in the sense that it’s going to date in a few years,” he says.

“A lot of the new builds from five to 10 years ago, they’ve all got that distinctive boxy shape and style that looks great for a year or so and then quickly becomes dated.”

“Try to keep it modern without going over the top and making it too polarising so people are either going to love or hate it.”

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