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Renovating for Student Accommodation

Renovating property to suit students specifically is a task that if done expertly, will reap an investor real long term rewards. Different to renovating a property for sale, or even a property to rent to a ‘standard’ tenant or family, student accommodation design must be, more than anything – practical.



Renovating property to suit students specifically is a task that if done expertly, will reap an investor real long term rewards. Different to renovating a property for sale, or even a property to rent to a ‘standard’ tenant or family, student accommodation design must be, more than anything – practical. Practicality does not have to be boring or plain however, and designed well, a student house or flat will reward you with a higher (and consistent) rental income.

Think about renting each room out individually rather than as a whole house. You can often get an additional 10-20% income from doing it this way. However, there is a down-side – managing the individual students and ensuring each persons rent is paid on time every week.

The ultimate goal is to provide your tenants with a good’ ‘living experience’ so that they stay (and pay) long term – and this can be achieved by following some simple guidelines. It may sound an easy thing to do once you’ve read the following pointers, but every property is different, so take guidance from fellow investors and professional renovators (such as Hotspace Consultants) to give you expert, independent advice that will, in the end, make you more money from your property.


  • Create a completely hassle free, low maintenance garden and include the maintenance of it in the rent. Avoid feature gardens, bark and flowers if possible and remove any existing plants that cause excessive untidiness as they lose their leaves.
  • If possible, provide several spaces for bicycles to be locked up – under cover is preferable – and somewhere easy enough to carry to. Providing such spaces will help avoid bikes being stored in hallways and balcony areas which can prove unsightly and detract from the appearance of the property.
  • Extra off-street parking is a bonus but can be expensive. Consider this as important as long as it fits within your budget.
  • Provide an under cover smoking area where possible to discourage tenants from smoking inside the house. This should ideally be at the back of the property where the sight and smell of these activities does not impact on the aesthetic quality of the property. Providing large ‘butt bins’ will help eliminate the lawn becoming littered.
  • A suitable washing line in direct sunlight will help avoid tenants drying their clothes over balcony handrails and out windows – relocate the existing if necessary or provide new to avoid this potential negative visual impact on the property.
  • Provide good quality entry mats to save the flooring from inconsiderate wearers of dirty footwear.


  • Ensure each student has a private personal space – not only to sleep but also to study
  • Bedrooms that are large enough to fit a bed (double preferably), desk, chair, bookcase, wardrobe space and a pin-board are ideal.
  • Fitting insulation within the wall cavities will reduce the sound transfer from one bedroom to the next, so consider this a priority.
  • Think about fitting locks to each of the bedroom doors too, as this is a very inexpensive ‘bonus’ – especially for female students.
  • Paint walls a neutral colour to create a blank canvas for your tenants to add their own personality.
  • Carpet should be hard wearing and reasonably dark in colour. Consider an inexpensive commercial grade carpet especially if your accommodation houses three people or more.


  • Hard wearing, practical bathroom fixtures and fittings will ensure a space that will last for a longer period.
  • Create a fresh look by cleaning or replacing dirty grout around existing tiles and clear coat to prevent further penetration of mould.
  • Shower door glass can be clear coated to make it easier to clean and prevent unsightly discolouration.
  • Joinery should have robust fixtures and hinges to further increase life-span of the property
  • Replace shower or bath curtains in between tenants and remove any window coverings in the bathroom areas.
  • If necessary, fit textured glass or frosted film to the inside of exterior clear glass windows.
  • Always install extractor fans to eliminate dampness and eventual deterioration of the interior finishes.


  • Cabinetry made of a low pressure laminate (Laminex etc) is an ideal finish for high wear kitchens. Steer away from 2-pac/lacquered style kitchens which can damage more easily and are expensive to repair.
  • Be sure to install good quality hinges and handles.
  • Bench tops in a high pressure laminate (such as Formica) are as good as any – and reasonably inexpensive.
  • Remove the waste disposal unit if there is one as these cause more maintenance issues than they’re worth.
  • A dishwasher is a bonus – and again buy the best one you can afford (with a good warranty) if there is space.
  • Avoid tiled flooring if possible and instead install timber/vinyl/linoleum instead. Tiles when damaged, are expensive to repair and often impossible to match. Vinyl and timber are warmer under foot and vinyl in particular is inexpensive and quick to install. Cove it up the cabinetry kick strip to allow more effective cleaning of the floor.


  • Provide adequate power-points and data outlets to all areas to avoid and ‘over-load’ situation – and arrange a broadband internet connection in all cases.
  • Ensure lighting is adequate in all areas – particularly study spaces. Sufficient light levels can be achieved using energy efficient fluorescent light bulbs and have the bonus effect of being cost effective for the tenants long term. These however can be harsh and bright, so consider a softer lighting option in communal living areas. ‘Bug rings’ (for suitable fittings) are an additional cost but worth the extra expensive to help maintain a fresh, bright emittance of light.
  • Fitting door stops to all doors will help with eliminating damage to walls caused by knobs and levers from careless closing and opening.
  • Install good quality curtains (ready made selections are ideal) rather than budget versions which are cheap to buy but difficult and usually expensive to have commercially cleaned.
  • Consider supplying a good sized fridge, a large washing machine and a clothes dryer. These are items students are less likely to own and will increase the demand and rental income on your property. Ensure they are serviced regularly. Tip: laminate a small note on the dryer to remind the tenant to clear the filter after each use.
  • Repair and paint any holes in walls caused by picture hooks and insist (and include in the contract) that any artwork etc.. be hung using removable adhesive hooks.

What’s important is that you don’t let the ‘practicality’ aspect of your renovation to over-shadow your opportunity to create a property with a more modern edge – with a distinct advantage over other rentals in the area.

You can easily combine the two (modern looks and practicality) to create a fantastic property that will help you harvest some great gains. For minimal cost you can create a ‘custom’ designed dwelling that suits students to a tee and adds a valuable piece of real estate to your portfolio. Create one that your student tenants will respect and stay in long term – even over holiday breaks!

To discuss getting the best return from your property renovation – no matter who your tenants or target market are, please send a ‘Preliminary Enquiry’ via the Hotspace website –


Five easy steps to boost the appeal of your home



painting tools

It is not an uncommon fact that a well styled and well maintained house is sold easier and quicker in comparison to the one which is dirty and not looked after. Supplementing the resale value of your property may sound like a difficult task, but in fact it is a very easy thing to do. We have highlighted some of the most effective tips that will help you in improving the value of your home.

1. Proper planning

It will get a lot more easier for you if you do things in a planned and organised manner. Make a list of all those things you want to change or upgrade. Go through the list and evaluate how much are the renovating and repairing services going to cost you and plan accordingly.

When you have made an arrangement, conduct a thorough research and converse with the companies that provide renovation services in Auckland to perceive what kind of return those enhancements may bring. A few changes will enhance your home pretty effectively.

2. Paint the walls again

Painting the walls of your property using neutral colours such as beige, tan, grey etc can instantaneously enhance the overall look of your home and thus its resale value. Newly painted walls will add vibrance and exuberance to your room and make it smell fresher.

Keep in mind about outside paint, especially if your current paint is chipped, peeling or worn out. An excessive number of colours could make the home to seem uneven as opposed to coordinated by a typical sense of taste. Pick not more than three shades for the exterior of your house.

3. Keep it clean

Think from the perspective of a buyer, if your home is available for purchasing, a brilliant and sparkly home can draw in purchasers like a magnet.

A perfect spic and span property can offer a lot of benefits at once. To begin with, you don’t have to worry about maintenance issues, it becomes easier to identify potential issues before they transform into costly expenses. Also, you don’t allow dirt and garbage to develop if you keep the cleanliness of your property up to date.

Think past your standard vacuuming schedule. Contract a company that can offer profound cleaning services. You may need to contract a different company to steam-clean the carpets, as not every single home cleaner offers this service.

4. Modernize your kitchen

On the off chance that your cupboards are in great condition however obsolete, you can enhance their appearance by applying a new coat of fresh white paint and replacing the pivots and handles. You could also procure contractual workers to replace the cabinets, while leaving the cupboards themselves intact.

Use Stainless Steel. The frosty feel of steel is a hot ticket for purchasers. Replace your equipment as it becomes outdated and pick a similar metallic look in your light switches.

Replace your countertop with granite, for it will supplement the overall look of the kitchen greatly.

5. Update your washrooms

Of all the rooms in your home, the washroom is the most used one. There is a lot of wear and tear and damage involved, so you need to keep it well maintained and make attractive updates if required.

Keep it clean. Dirt and grime can end up accumulating on washroom surfaces rapidly. Spruce it up with new grout.

Exchange your standard showerhead with a more noteworthy looking choice. Include a builder grade granite or marble ledge to your shower vanity at a moderately minimal effort point, as the material expenses won’t be too high.

In the event that your washroom is in good working order, these updates aren’t important. In any case, if your washroom is outdated with obsolete ledge with dings, chips and stains, replacing this could enable you to draw in a purchaser.

Last but not the least, it is advisable to take a proactive approach towards renovating your house by hiring a reputed company that provides professional builders who will do the job for you in a more efficient manner. There are a number of renovating companies in Auckland like Your Builder Ltd who provide such services at very reasonable prices.

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Maximising your outdoor living for year round use

Properties which are orientated to maximise sunlight are at the top of priority list for home buyers, according to So investing in an attractive, liveable outdoor space, with good flow between indoors and outdoors, is money well spent. Not only will it make your home feel more expansive, but it will also pay dividends should you decide to sell.




Properties which are orientated to maximise sunlight are at the top of priority list for home buyers, according to So investing in an attractive, liveable outdoor space, with good flow between indoors and outdoors, is money well spent. Not only will it make your home feel more expansive, but it will also pay dividends should you decide to sell.

What do I need to consider when creating indoor/outdoor flow?

Depending on the current layout of your property and how you intend to use your outdoor space, considerations will vary. However the consistent factor with all outdoor living areas in NZ is climate. While the summer months lend themselves to socialising outdoors, our inconsistent weather and varying temperatures throughout the middle of the year means your outdoor living space needs to work to combat these elements and minimise their effect.

Incorporate shade & shelter

It’s hard for a Kiwi to catch a break when we are trying to enjoy ourselves outdoors. We are either being roasted by our harsh sunshine, rained on by a passing shower, or blown away by random wind gusts. No matter what the weather – your outdoor space needs shelter. Fortunately you have a lot of options – including awnings, umbrellas, gazebos, pergolas and sails – depending on your budget.

Outdoor Heating Solutions

Outdoor heating allows you to get the greatest value out of your investment in an outdoor living space as it lets you utilise the area all year round. While there are many options the most cost-effective, energy efficient solution is roof mounted, electric heaters.  Auckland based outdoor heater manufacturer, Kelray Heaters produce a range of outdoor infrared heaters which are specifically designed for NZ’s salt-laden air.

Unlike traditional gas powered heat lamps which simply heat surrounding air, infrared heaters act similarly to the Sun’s rays, with heat waves being absorbed only by solid objects.  This makes them the most efficient patio heating solution.

Lighting your outdoor space

Outdoor lighting needs to be practical as well as decorative. By illuminating certain features of your yard such as paths, plants, ornaments and seating, you create an aesthetically pleasing night time environment.  The two main options for landscape lighting are 12V and solar powered each of which can be LED or halogen.  The solution you select will be based on the intended use of your outdoor area as well as any limitations.

When it comes to creating an attractive, liveable outdoor space in NZ the items highlighted above – shelter, heating and lighting, are really the bare minimum. When it comes to other considerations such as outdoor furniture and appliances, this really depends on what you intend to use this space for. Be sure to closely define what you want to get out of your newly created space, before undertaking any significant project.

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The Most Cost-Effective Renovations for Improving Property Values

No matter what they want to tell you, it’s not just ‘location, location, location’ anymore. People looking for new homes are actually looking at the home itself these days, not just where it’s located. The term ‘curb appeal’ took off in the 80s, and we all know about it, and yet particularly among new owners, using the concept is a challenge.



Location, Curb Appeal, Value for Dollar, Location. That’s more like it.
No matter what they want to tell you, it’s not just ‘location, location, location’ anymore. People looking for new homes are actually looking at the home itself these days, not just where it’s located. The term ‘curb appeal’ took off in the 80s, and we all know about it, and yet particularly among new owners, using the concept is a challenge. We’re going to make that a little easier — only we’re not stopping there, because prospects walk through a house, too. We need to add a little value inside the home as well with these cost-effective renovations.

Curb Appeal

Clean Up
We’re hoping that this is a no brainer for most of you, but just in case there’s someone out there who intends to rent out a property that’s exterior has junk laying around and the interior is cluttered with crap…don’t unless your goal is to be a slumlord. We’re not talking about construction materials, we mean whatever previous tenants left behind. If we can’t fit the debris in the back of a truck or the garbage men won’t take it, we’ll rent a dumpster. Now we have shown properties to tenants that we’re eager beavers to see them when they weren’t ready & on the market, and there are exceptions to every “rule”, but our goal is not to market a property until it’s cleaned up.

You don’t have to have an actual landscape to do some landscaping. Cut & trim the grass, add a few pavers or garden logs to define (empty) ‘planting beds’, and maybe some planters under the kitchen windows will do the job. The point, however, is that if you don’t take care of these basics, it looks like you don’t care about the house — and if you don’t, why would they?

This is the real ‘first impression’ — literal curb appeal is good, but the prospect is going to start looking critically at the home as they walk up. A fresh coat of paint on the front door and frame, some new address numbers, and (if relevant) some solid, good-looking stairs go a long way.


Now You’re Cooking
The kitchen is the heart and soul of the American home; most modern kitchens are designed to be used while hosting, with guests seated within sight and earshot. That means that some clean & matching appliances (no white fridge and stainless steel oven), scrubbed kitchen cabinets and counters, and no burnt out lightbulbs are the minimum. Be sure the paint on walls & ceiling, especially around the stovetop (where grease splatters), looks good. For a few hundred bucks you may want to put down a new floor – if you use peel & stick tiles don’t use the cheapest ugly stuff and be sure to use specific floor contact cement so they stay down and your new tenant isn’t calling and complaining after a month that the floor tiles are coming up! Make sure the kitchen is bright and inviting with light fixtures that aren’t just the cheapest you can find. Find a Habitat Restore or other resale shop for inexpensive, nice-looking used ones. Also be sure to address the area under the sink – if it looks crappy and dirty what’s a potential tenant going to think? For $20 we install a rubber mat that looks good, is easy to keep clean and protects the particle board base.

…and Giggles
The next area that draws an excessive amount of consumer concern is the bathroom. Like the kitchen, a few small changes can really turn a bathroom from a dingy place where you wouldn’t want to touch anything to a place you wouldn’t mind doing a crossword puzzle. A new toilet seat, fresh tub surround caulk and the cabinet mat we mentioned for the kitchen are easy to do. Going further, an updated vanity, light fixture and mirror shouldn’t cost more than a couple of Benjamins, but the value they add is huge.

Let There Be Light
The last great (cheap) home upgrade that will get your rental filled quick is brightening up the living areas. If you don’t have a massive window, add lights with daylight bulbs. Tip: don’t show a property with all the blinds/shades closed (unless you need to hide an eyesore next door). If the carpet is dingy, replace it with something light-toned (but not so light that it will make dirt stand out). A coat of paint slightly less ‘off’ and slightly more ‘white’ can help quite a bit, too. Some contrast is also good, so don’t paint the ceiling & trim the same color as the walls! Bright rooms feel like big rooms, and you can completely change the feeling of the living space for less than a hundred bucks if you play your cards right.

With these cost-effective renovations in place, you can make almost any home feel like a place you’d want to live — and if you want someone to live there, you should strongly consider doing just that.

This article has been contributed by RoyalRoseProperties – and found in a discussion on

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