Mackay couple reveals secret to renovation game

FINISHED PRODUCT: One of the houses Sonia and Adam have worked on.
FINISHED PRODUCT: One of the houses Sonia and Adam have worked on. Jonathan Reichard

A COUPLE who make a living out of buying, renovating, then selling properties have shared their secrets about how to make the process work.

Booth Property Group valuer Ryan Booth said this week the change in median house price in Mackay was in part driven by renovators, like the Zahners, increasing the value of their property and putting it back on the market.

Adam and Sonia Zahner say that one of the most important factors is choosing a house that is structurally sound, yet in need of renovation.

Mr Zahner said they look for a house that is a solid build, in a good location, with a floor plan that flows and works.

"You can change certain aspects of a house, but if you go changing 90% of the house, you're going to do your budget. You've got to keep your budget down so you can come back into the market at the right price.

"You've got to look around in the vicinity and work out what sort of income people have."

He said the highest demand was in West Mackay, South Mackay and Mount Pleasant.

"We've just started a house in Ooralea. We did one at 22 Novar Ct near the airport.

"You've got to find a house that's reasonably priced, and you've got to have a good idea of what you're going to spend on that house before you start making offers to buy.


RENOVATORS: Adam and Sonia Zahner buy houses, restore them, then sell them on.
RENOVATORS: Adam and Sonia Zahner buy houses, restore them, then sell them on. Contributed

"It takes us about eight weeks to turn a house around with two of us working on it full-time."

The Zahners said they put together a team of professionals to work with them.

"There's no point in trying to sell someone a house for $300,000 when it's had a Bunnings or a home handyman renovation. It just looks cheap and nasty, that's what everyone's doing.

"You have to use professionals. You have to use a professional kitchen installer, you have to use professional painters. you need to use licenced and professional plumbers and electricians.

"You need to get yourself a good team that you can rely on, because if you're there every minute of the day having to micro-manage them, it doesn't work, it takes so much of your time.

"You've got to have cash flow. There's no point getting halfway through a house then running out of money and having to wait until you get some more cash."

Mr Zahner also said that it does not matter what sort of market it is, buying and selling turn-around needs to be fast.

"The longer you hold onto the property, the more you are paying in interest, you have to keep maintaining that property, you want to get it done quick. You want to buy and sell in the same market," he said.


Topics:  houses mackay property property market real estate renovation

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