How to Renovate for Profit: Step by Step Guide

October 19, 2023

Key takeaways:

  • Many employ the Buy, Renovate, Rent Out, Refinance, and Repeat (BRRRR) method when renovating for profit.
  • Financing a renovation can be achieved through various means such as personal savings, home equity loans, or exploring government grants, each with its own merits and drawbacks.
  • Make sure all renovation activities adhere to local regulations and that all necessary permits are obtained prior to commencement.

This article unfolds a step-by-step guide on how to renovate for profit in Australia, diving deep into the BRRRR strategy, avoiding common pitfalls, managing your budget effectively, and exploring various financing options.

Embarking on a renovation project in Australia with a focus on profit involves a meticulous blend of strategic planning, astute investment, and a keen eye for potential.

We’ll also delve into practical tips, expert insights, and actionable steps to ensure your renovation not only adds value to the property but also amplifies its appeal in the competitive Australian market.

The BRRRR Strategy: A Blueprint for Renovation Success

The BRRRR strategy, encompassing Buy, Renovate, Rent Out, Refinance, and Repeat, stands out as a robust approach to ensuring your renovation ventures are not only profitable but also scalable across multiple properties.

Let’s dissect each component to understand how they weave into a successful renovation for profit journey.


The initial step involves identifying and purchasing a property that holds tangible potential for value addition through renovation.

This involves thorough research, understanding the local property market, and identifying properties that are priced below their potential market value post-renovation. It’s vital to consider the location, existing property condition, and the scope for enhancement through renovation.


This step is where your vision comes to life. Implementing a well-structured renovation plan that focuses on both aesthetic and functional upgrades is paramount.

Consider aspects that significantly boost property value, such as kitchen and bathroom upgrades, flooring, and utilising the space efficiently to enhance the property’s appeal. It’s also worth evaluating whether to renovate or rebuild based on the existing condition and potential of the property.

Rent Out:

Post-renovation, the property becomes a source of steady income through renting. The enhanced appeal and functionality resulting from strategic renovation should allow you to set a rental price that not only covers your mortgage and maintenance costs but also generates a profit.


With the property now upgraded and generating income through rent, it’s plausible to seek a refinance option on the property’s new value. This can provide you with additional capital, which can be reinvested into further property ventures.


The final step involves replicating this strategy across multiple properties, leveraging the capital and experience garnered from the initial ventures. This systematic approach allows you to build a portfolio of renovated properties, each contributing towards generating a steady stream of income.

An 8-Step Guide to a Successful Renovation Process

Embarking on a renovation project demands a structured approach to ensure each step contributes towards enhancing the property’s value and appeal.

Here’s a detailed 8-step guide to navigate through your renovation journey effectively.

1. Establish Clear Objectives: Define what you aim to achieve through the renovation, be it enhancing the property’s market value, improving rental yield, or preparing the property for sale.

2. Set a Realistic Budget: Align your renovation goals with a budget that reflects your financial capacity and the project’s scope, ensuring a balance between expenditure and anticipated ROI.

3. Develop a Renovation Plan: Outline the renovation activities, prioritising tasks that significantly impact the property’s value and appeal, such as kitchen and bathroom upgrades.

4. Legal Compliances and Permits: Ensure all renovation activities adhere to local regulations and that all necessary permits are obtained prior to commencement.

5. Hiring Professionals: Engage with skilled professionals, such as contractors, designers, and tradespeople, ensuring quality and adherence to the planned timeline and budget.

6. Material Procurement: Choose quality materials that align with your budget and the property’s aesthetic, ensuring durability and appeal.

7. Managing the Renovation: Oversee the renovation process, ensuring tasks are executed as per the plan, and manage any unforeseen challenges effectively. This might involve managing various costs, such as the cost of stairs, to ensure they align with the budget and do not lead to overcapitalization.

8. Quality Check and Final Touches: Upon completion, ensure all work adheres to quality standards and add final touches to enhance the property’s appeal.

7 Common Renovation Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Renovating for profit, while a lucrative venture, is peppered with potential pitfalls that can derail your project and erode your profit margins. Awareness and strategic planning are your best allies in avoiding these common traps.

1. Overcapitalisation: It’s essential to ensure that your investment in the renovation is proportionate to the value it adds to the property. Avoid overcapitalisation by aligning your renovation budget with the property’s post-renovation value and the prevailing market rates in the locality.

2. Neglecting the Target Market: Tailor your renovation to meet the expectations and preferences of your target market, whether they be potential buyers or renters. This involves understanding their needs, preferences, and budgetary constraints, ensuring that your renovated property resonates with them.

3. Underestimating Costs: A frequent misstep in renovations is underestimating the associated costs. Ensure a buffer of around 10-20% above the estimated budget to manage unforeseen expenses, such as unexpected repairs or price escalations.

4. Ignoring Legal Compliances: Ensure that all renovation activities are compliant with local regulations and that all necessary permits are obtained. Non-compliance can result in fines, delays, and in some cases, undoing the completed work.

5. Compromising on Quality: While budget adherence is crucial, compromising on quality can adversely impact the property’s value and appeal. Invest in quality materials and skilled professionals to ensure durability and aesthetic appeal.

6. Inefficient Project Management: Effective project management is pivotal to ensure that the renovation stays on schedule and within budget. This involves coordinating with contractors, managing timelines, and ensuring that all activities align with the renovation plan.

7. Overlooking the Property’s Fundamental Issues: Address foundational issues, such as plumbing, electrical, and structural integrity, before focusing on aesthetic upgrades. Ignoring these can lead to significant problems and expenses in the future.

7 Ways to Manage a Budget During Renovation

Budget management is the linchpin that holds your renovation project together, ensuring that expenses are aligned with your financial capacity and the anticipated return on investment.

1. Detailed Budget Planning: Begin with a detailed budget that outlines all anticipated expenses, including materials, labour, permits, and additional costs. Ensure that this budget aligns with the property’s post-renovation value and your financial capacity.

2. Prioritising Spending: Allocate your budget according to the impact each aspect of the renovation will have on the property’s value. Focus your spending on areas that significantly enhance the property’s appeal and functionality, such as kitchens and bathrooms.

3. Contingency Fund: Establish a contingency fund, ideally 10-20% of the total budget, to manage unexpected expenses and ensure that the project remains financially viable even when unforeseen challenges arise.

4. Regular Financial Tracking: Implement a system to track expenses regularly, ensuring that spending aligns with the budget and that any deviations are identified and addressed promptly.

5. Strategic Sourcing: Explore various sourcing options for materials and services to ensure quality without overshooting your budget. This may involve bulk purchasing, leveraging discounts, and comparing quotes from various suppliers and service providers.

6. Value Engineering: Identify areas where you can achieve the desired outcome at a lower cost without compromising on quality. This may involve exploring alternative materials or methods that offer similar durability and aesthetic appeal at a lower price point.

7. ROI-Focused Spending: Ensure that every dollar spent contributes towards enhancing the property’s value and appeal, thereby ensuring a healthy return on investment upon sale or rental.

7 Financing Options for Your Renovation Project

Embarking on a renovation project necessitates a robust financial strategy, ensuring that you have the requisite funds to see the project through to completion without straining your finances.

1. Personal Savings: Utilising personal savings is the most straightforward financing method, eliminating the need for loan approvals or accruing interest. Ensure that using these funds doesn’t jeopardise your financial stability.

2. Home Equity Loan: Leveraging the equity in your home can be a viable financing option, allowing you to borrow against your property’s value. Ensure to understand the terms and ensure that the loan enhances, not hinders, your financial health.

3. Construction Loan: Specifically designed for renovation or building projects, construction loans provide a flexible financing option, often allowing interest-only payments during the construction period.

4. Personal Loan: Depending on your financial health, a personal loan can provide a quick influx of funds. However, be mindful of the interest rates and ensure that the loan terms are conducive to your financial situation.

5. Credit Card: For smaller renovation projects or specific purchases, a credit card can be convenient. Be mindful of the high-interest rates and aim to pay off the balance as quickly as possible to avoid spiralling costs.

6. Government Grants and Incentives: Explore any available government grants or incentives for renovations. These can provide valuable financial relief, but ensure to understand the eligibility criteria and application process.

7. Investor Financing: If your renovation project is an investment property, consider seeking external investors to finance the project in exchange for a share in the profits.

7-Step Strategy For a Beautiful, Functional Renovation

Strategic renovation goes beyond aesthetic enhancements, focusing on augmenting the property’s appeal and functionality, ensuring that it resonates with potential buyers or renters.

1. Focus on High-Impact Areas: Kitchens and bathrooms often sway purchasing decisions. Ensure these spaces are not only visually appealing but also highly functional and in line with modern design trends.

2. Curb Appeal: The property’s exterior creates the first impression. Invest in landscaping, a fresh coat of paint, and ensure that the property has a welcoming facade.

3. Maximise Space Utilisation: Ensure that the layout maximises usable space. Consider knocking down non-structural walls to create open-plan living areas and utilise mirrors and light colours to enhance the perception of space.

4. Energy Efficiency: Modern buyers and renters are increasingly environmentally conscious. Implement energy-efficient fixtures, appliances, and possibly solar panels to enhance the property’s appeal.

5. Quality Fixtures: Investing in quality fixtures, especially in areas like the kitchen and bathroom, not only enhances the property’s aesthetic but also its perceived value.

6. Neutral Palette: Utilise a neutral colour palette to appeal to a broader audience, allowing them to envision their belongings in the space.

7. Smart Home Features: Integrate smart home features, such as security systems, lighting, and thermostats, to enhance the property’s modern appeal and functionality.

Suggested reading: After you’ve finished this guide, deepen your understanding of the expenses by exploring our detailed analysis on the cost of renovating a house.

FAQs on How to Renovate for Profit

How much do renovations cost Australia?

The cost of renovations in Australia varies depending on the size and scope of the project. However, according to the Housing Industry Association, the average cost of a renovation in Australia is $63,500.

What home improvements add the most value Australia?

The home improvements that add the most value in Australia are those that increase the functionality or appeal of the property. Some of the most popular home improvements include:

  • Kitchen renovations
  • Bathroom renovations
  • Adding an extra bedroom or bathroom
  • Finishing a basement
  • Adding a deck or patio
  • Making energy-efficient upgrades

Can I renovate my bathroom for $5000?

It is possible to renovate a bathroom for $5000, but it will depend on the size and scope of the project. If you are on a tight budget, you may want to focus on cosmetic improvements, such as painting the walls, replacing the fixtures, and updating the flooring.

Question: How do you renovate and sell?

Answer: To renovate and sell your property, you will need to:

  1. Plan your renovation. This includes setting a budget, choosing the right renovations, and hiring a contractor.
  2. Complete the renovation. This may take several weeks or months, depending on the size and scope of the project.
  3. Market your property. Once the renovation is complete, you will need to market your property to potential buyers. This may involve listing the property on a real estate website, holding open houses, and advertising in local newspapers.

Can you make money renovating?

Yes, you can make money renovating properties. However, it is important to do your research and plan carefully. Avoid overpaying for properties and focus on essential renovations that will add value to the property.

What is the tax on flipping houses in Australia?

If you flip houses in Australia, you will be taxed on the capital gain. This is the difference between the purchase price of the property and the sale price. The capital gain tax rate is calculated based on your income tax bracket.

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Our AI match engine will match you with over 150,000+ properties and you can swipe away or shortlist easily. Making your home buying journey faster and easier.