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James Goren: What would I do if I have $20K to spend on my first renovation?


With a $20K budget, I would recommend cosmetic renovation with a particular focus on the most visible objects.

Starting from the cheapest and easiest:

1. Upgrade all the “you touch” items. Old and worn-out items like door and kitchen handles do not look good and are not pleasant to touch.

Budget for $200 – $1,000  

2. Replace old window dressings with new curtains or roller blinds. Go for neutral colours.

Budget for $500 – $1,500

3. Flooring. Carpet/flooring is arguably the most visible feature of a property. Old carpets that are stained and smelly should be replaced (not just cleaned)
to give a brand new look and feel. The best hard-wearing carpet type is solution-dyed nylon.

Budget for anything $2,500 – $4,000 depending on the floor area

4. A fresh coat of paint always lifts a house.

Budget for $5,000 – $9,000

5. Go for a let-there-be-light upgrade. There is nothing worse than a dark room. Replace old single lightbulbs with bright LRD downlights. Don’t forget
to upgrade the switches and powerpoints for a modern feel. 

Budget for $2,000 – $4,000

6. For the bathroom, consider upgrading the vanity and tap, replace the toilet seat (or the toilet entirely) and change the shower slider to a new and
fresh one.

Budget for $2,000 to $3,000

7. The kitchen could really benefit from a new benchtop, sink and tap.

Budget for $2,000 – $3,000

8. Non-negotiables – ventilation, heat pump and insulation

Budget for $4,000 – $5,000

9. Don’t forget the exterior! The garden could always benefit from a simple tidy up and maybe even a new letterbox?

Budget $200 – $500

A nice and tidy place will appeal to a good tenant who will pay better rent, on time, and will look after your place. This will also improve the value
of your property. Do it once, do it right and get it over with.

If you hit on any questions during a renovation or would like to know how The Renovation Team can massively increase the return on your rental with a full-service
property upgrade, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected].



James Goren

James is the Director of The Renovation Team that combines his extensive experience as a property investor and engineer to delivers excellent returns and
value increase for property investors Aucklandwide. 






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