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As the Australian economy continues to recover and house prices remain strong, there is growing speculation that interest rates are also going to be rising soon. We’ve already seen a number of the major banks increase rates on their fixed interest rate products, which implies that they believe rates are headed higher.

Does that mean you should now fix the interest rate on your mortgage?

Here are a few things you should consider before fixing your rate:

renovate

Whether you are planning to rent out your house, live in it or sell it, your home is an investment. Strategic renovations can help you to maximise your investment, but it is important not to overcapitalise. Overcapitalising refers to renovations that cost more than the value they add to the property.

Universal Design
During COVID-19 Australians took to renovating like never before. According to Realestate.com.au, the average spend on renovation was around $63,000. In the ACT the average spend was $58,5001. Most of the renovations have focused on general living areas, which makes sense given families have been spending more time together and combining this with work and schooling. The statistics also show that kitchen and bathroom renovations continue to be the most expensive.
An interesting trend in the midst of this has been investors updating their investment properties. The key difference is that many owners are doing the renovations themselves - not only to save money but to keep busy during periods of restrictions. When you take into account that many of these houses were built during the 1980s the types of renovation you can do may be limited unless you are talking about doing some major work.

Universal Design
The laundry is the workhorse of the family home, especially if you have a young family. It is also frequently the least accessible room in the house, designed as an afterthought rather than a priority.  Some of the common problems in laundries include

• Laundries are often tucked into narrow rooms with inadequate floor space especially for people who use walkers or wheelchairs.
• There can be insufficient task lighting - washers and dryers are often tucked away in poorly lit utility closets or dark spaces, making it hard to read dials.
• Top loading washing machines with rear-mounted controls can make them hard to reach, especially if you are short or using a wheelchair or walker.
• Cupboards are very often too high for many people.
• Knob door handles on cabinets are difficult to use if you have arthritis.
• Work counters that lack knee space make it difficult for someone in a wheelchair. There is also no space to sit if you have lots of sorting or folding to do.