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Renovation Skills: Five Steps To Turning Your Passion For Interiors Into Wealth

You may be surprised how you can turn your passion for interiors into useful renovation skills to build your wealth. Here are five key steps to help you realise your dream to transform your passion into profits.

Are you a closet interior designer or an interior tragic? It’s easy to diagnose, just check your phone, if it is full of screenshots and insta feeds of gorgeous rooms, homewares, houses and gardens, it’s confirmed!

The passion for beautiful interiors is an obsession that strikes many women and, used wisely can be the secret to building incredible wealth.

Bernadette Janson, founder of The School of Renovating shares her secrets on how you can become a savvy renovator and live the life you love…

As mothers, we are hardwired to be homemakers. What about converting that passion into a substantial income?  It is easier than you think.

I am going to walk you through the key steps to channelling your flair for creating beautiful homes into wealth.

Step One: It all starts with your family home

Robert Kiyosaki once famously declared that the family home is not an asset, a concept that has been echoed by plenty of so-called property gurus since.

They are all wrong!

For most Australians, the family home is their biggest and sometimes only real asset and represents the bulk of their wealth.  Having a home to call your own is important for many mothers. If you can make rational decisions with the purchase and improvement of your family home it can also be a magnificent launchpad to building substantial wealth. This is where your passions and innate renovation skills start to shine.

What if you don’t have a home yet? Well, that is the first place to start. If you. don’t have a deposit, here are a few tips to get you there quicker.

Once you’re ready, buy a home that you can add value to with renovation.

The perfect renovation property is 20-30 years old, built using relatively modern building practices and with a good structure. Dirty, stinky houses with good bones often have many thousands of dollars hidden as profit potential.

Step two: Apply renovation skills to add value to the home

If you have bought the right property at the right price, you should be able to increase the value of your home with a renovation by 10-20% after costs. This extra value can often be equal to or more than what you could earn in a year.

Rational decisions are important to bring into play.

Unfortunately, decisions we make when renovating a family home are often coloured with emotion. 

Common areas where overspending occurs are kitchens and bathrooms. Unless you are doing a structural renovation, you should limit your spending to 5-10% of the purchase price. A profit-making renovation would include some or all of the following:

  • Minor floor plan changes for more open plan living or flow
  • Upgrade the kitchen
  • Upgrade the bathroom
  • Convert a large laundry into a second bathroom
  • Create an area to entertain outside
  • Upgrade light fittings
  • Upgrade floor coverings, window dressing
  • Improve storage
  • Install heating and cooling
  • Improve street appeal

Step Three: Your renovation skills include presenting the home for revaluation

Once you have completed your renovation, it is important to style for two reasons.

First, as part of your interior design aspirations, it will give you a huge sense of satisfaction to have your home be a reflection of your passion.

The second is to have the home revalued. You want to present the home in the best way possible in order to secure a good valuation.  I would not presume to influence a valuer’s decision but a freshly renovated home that is perfectly presented is a good start.  You could also gather some examples of local sales that will support the valuation you hope for.

Hopefully, your expanded renovation skills will enable you to extract the equity you have created to launch the next stage in your journey. Here are some tips to help

Step Four: Start building a reno portfolio

Take that equity you have created and use it as a deposit to buy your first investment property. The sooner you can do this the better, particularly when the property market is growing so vigorously. Every property you own can be like a little money-generating engine, adding thousands in equity to your bottom line with organic growth. 

And you also have a secret weapon, so the same rules apply to your family home.

Buy a property with the potential to add value. This time you are not just renovating to add value but also to increase yield.

You might also consider a high cash flow strategy such as short term rentals like Airbnb (depending on location).

Step Five: Develop your renovation skills to rinse and repeat

Once your investment property is up and running and producing income the next step is to repeat the process. Keep developing your renovation skills, revalue, refinance and go again. Building your skills, experience and wealth this way means that you only ever have to produce one deposit, to begin with, and then your renovations produce the funds for subsequent purchases.

Expand your love of renovating to create your dream life

Of course, it is not for everybody but if you love renovating, it can contribute to your dream life. Start with small steps and grow your renovation skills along with your portfolio. You will be well placed to channel your flair for beautiful spaces into incredible wealth.

Bernadette Janson is the founder of The School Of Renovating. She has been passionate about renovating since she completed her first project as a 13-year-old.

Renovating enabled her to retire from nursing at 29, pay off a mortgage, help her young adult children with their first home deposit and earn a serious six-figure income while still having time to pursue her personal interests. She personally completes an average of  2- 3  renovation projects per year using her signature 100k renovation system

Bernadette also has an interest in the financial empowerment of Australian women. She believes that many are financially vulnerable, especially when approaching retirement due to their tendency to sacrifice their own ambitions and financial security in order to be the main caregivers in families.

She now helps women channel their creativity and flair for homemaking into renovating for-profit and Airbnb so they can earn a six-figure income working part-time. She is also the host of the She Renovates Podcast, community and Annual Conference