Blog - Cooper & Co

How to add value in the kitchen without breaking the bank

If you’re planning on selling your home, the kitchen is a great place to start to add value. The kitchen is one of those spaces that can make or break the sale for many buyers, but before you make the decision to totally gut your kitchen and start again, here are some tips on how to get the best out of your existing kitchen without breaking the bank.

1. Ease and flow
First ask yourself if your kitchen functions well or are there some things about it that have always driven you crazy. Is the pantry too small, is the dishwasher too far from the sink or the rubbish bin, is there never enough storage or are the cupboards too high? Consider whether moving an appliance or rejigging those cupboards could significantly improve the flow of your kitchen. Also, think carefully about what you are going to include as chattels in the kitchen. Anything difficult to replace that is a key part of the kitchen should be included in the sale if possible.

2. A good clean and a lick of paint
One of the simplest ways to freshen up your kitchen is with a coat of paint. Keep it light, airy and neutral – be sure to pick a shade that works with your existing counters and cabinets. Ask for advice at your local paint shop or when in doubt, white is usually a safe bet. A professional clean is a worthwhile investment and should include ceilings and walls. Fly spots and food splatters are big detractors to an otherwise sparkling kitchen.

3. Update your hardware
Updating your cupboards with new handles can give your kitchen a more contemporary feel, but make sure they are still in keeping with the overall style of the room. A country style kitchen with traditional wooden cupboards for example won’t suit the same hardware as a sleek minimalist kitchen.

4. Declutter storage spaces
Make sure your cupboards and open shelves are clean, orderly and decluttered. Potential buyers will be looking inside your cupboards, and if they are overflowing it gives the impression that the storage space in your kitchen is inadequate. The same goes for the pantry. Pare back the contents until you have some open space on each shelf. Organise what’s left into a set of matching food storage containers rather than lots of open packets. To make space you may need to remove items from your pantry and store them in a box out of sight during open homes.

5. Let the light in
Consider the lighting in your kitchen – you’re looking for that bright, airy feel. Good lighting will make your kitchen seem bigger, brighter and will make  it more functional too. No one wants  to cook or entertain in a dark, poorly lit kitchen.

6. Help buyers imagine it as their own
Your kitchen may be very personal to you and your tastes, but now is the time to make it clean, simple and neutral. Buyers may not share your love of bright colours or ornate accessories. They’ll want to stamp their own personality on their new kitchen, so give them a clean canvas to work with if you want to appeal to a wide range of buyers.

Does your kitchen tick all the boxes?

☐ Looks and smells clean and fresh

☐ Appears spacious, light and airy

☐ Provides a neutral canvas and avoids out-of-date features

☐ Makes it easy to imagine working and entertaining in

☐ Is tidy and uncluttered yet still  feels welcoming

Landlords and Property Managers: We are in this together – Exemplary Damages

In recent Tenancy Tribunal cases, adjudicators have awarded exemplary damages against both landlords and property managers when there has been a failure to provide and maintain premises in a reasonable state of repair. This will be extended to include failure to meet the new insulation standards from 1st July 2019.

This means that landlords and property managers can be held joint and severally liable for fines awarded by the tribunal when they feel that both parties have failed in their duties. That is, property managers cannot hide behind the excuse that a landlord won’t perform repairs on a rental property.

The Chief Executive, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) can make a claim to the Tribunal on behalf of a tenant. MBIE have an investigation team that monitor and enforce compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act, Healthy Homes Guarantee Act and associated regulations. They are also the team that will be ensuring that all rental properties meet the insulation standard by 1st July 2019.

That being said, there is nothing for good landlords and property managers to be concerned about providing that:

  • both property managers and landlords are acting within a reasonable time frame to conduct repairs
  • inspections are performed on a regular basis and maintenance requirements are addressed
  • the property meets all new regulations such as insulation.

With all the new legislation that has been introduced over previous years, the intention is to improve our rental housing stock which is good for New Zealanders. Having a Government department to enforce this is necessary as unfortunately there are landlords and property managers who do not abide by rules and regulations, leaving our most vulnerable at risk. Property management companies must ensure that they are reporting back to their landlords with an honest and accurate account of the property and ensure that landlords fully understand what their obligations are under the Act.

Harcourts property managers are professionals in their field. They conduct regular inspections of all our rental properties, reporting any maintenance required. In the rare case that a landlord does not share Harcourts’ values and refuses to meet their obligations under the Act, the management contract may have to be terminated. This will be the case for landlords who fail to meet their obligation to insulate their property by 1st July 2019.

Harcourts property managers are your eyes and ears and will advise you of what is needed to keep your property well maintained. With the new standards for rental homes, Harcourts looks forward to managing warmer, drier, healthier homes and being part
of this reform for the benefit of New Zealanders. With MBIE’s team enforcing compliance, a higher standard across the property management industry is welcomed.

If you have any questions about compliance for a rental property, contact your Harcourts Property Manager.

Two Lucky Homeowners Win $10,000!

Scott Landon receiving his cheque for $10,000 from Shane Prasad – Harcourts Northern Region Manager; Andrew North, Louie Caunter and Jin McAllister from Harcourts Cooper & Co Albany; Martin Cooper Managing Director Harcourts Cooper & Co.

Two lucky homeowners are $10,000 better off after listing their homes with Harcourts. To celebrate 20 years of the Auckland Lantern Festival, Harcourts gave homeowners the chance to win one of two $10,000 prizes when they listed their property with one of its offices between 1 February and 7 April.

The winners Len and Yvonne Williams and Scott Landon were absolutely thrilled when they were contacted about their $10,000 windfall.

“Nothing like this has ever happened to us before,” said Len, who was in a state of disbelief for several minutes after receiving the call.

“Harcourts did a very good job of selling our home for us,” he continued. “We listed our property on the Tuesday and got a call to say we had people coming to view it that day. The paperwork was in front of us with an offer the following morning, which made us very happy indeed.”

Winner Scott Landon said, ‘I can’t believe this has happened to me. I have a hunting trip planned and now thanks to Harcourts, I’ll able to helicopter in and out from my hunting spot. I’m absolutely stoked!”

Congratulations also to Jacky Brock and Karl Hodgson from Tandem Realty Snells Beach, and Jin McAllister and Louie Caunter from Cooper & Co Albany, the Sales Consultants involved in marketing the homes of the delighted winners.

The winners all spoke very highly of the service they received throughout the listing and sales process, a testament to the people-first approach of the sales consultants and the great results they achieved for their clients.

“This is the second year that Harcourts has sponsored the Lantern Festival,” said Bryan Thomson, Managing Director Harcourts New Zealand.” It’s a wonderful way to celebrate the cultural diversity of Auckland and connect with our community.”

“We are thrilled for Len and Yvonne, and Scott, and it is very gratifying to hear that they experienced the highest levels of service from our people.”

Held at the Auckland Domain in February, the Auckland Lantern Festival attracted over 150,000 over the four day event.

Prices hold steady despite low volumes

April 2019

By General Manager – Robert Carter BBS

Last week’s Official Cash Rate (OCR) cut combined with confirmation that capital gains tax has been axed all bode well for the New Zealand property market.

Prices continue to remain stable, although with more choice and less urgency from buyers it is vital that properties are well promoted, well presented and vendors price expectations realistic.

The uncertainty surrounding a multitude of factors at play effecting the property market is resulting in reduced sales volumes.  It is yet to be seen if the further reduction in the OCR and abandonment of potential capital gains tax will assist in reigniting the market.  At Harcourts Cooper & Co we have experienced a notable surge in activity following these announcements and only time will tell if this continues.

April volumes were some of the lowest on record, however there were several accentuating factors referred to above and the extended holiday taken by many around the Easter & Anzac Day holidays.

In April, Harcourts Cooper & Co had 117 properties that settled.  Whilst volumes remain low, the current market is providing a stable & fair environment for purchasers & vendors to buy & sell with less pressure.