The house faced north, so natural light and winter warmth were fabulous and awnings and cross ventilation provided a natural cooling system in summer. I had also renovated the bathroom, but had not touched the kitchen or laundry areas, in the back end of the house, where there was room for a great deal of improvement.
Initially, when I began speaking to agents they were unsure quite how my property would perform on the real estate market, given there was little to compare it with.
The house was a Californian bungalow, retaining many of its original features, but the layout at the back of the house left much to be desired.
I gave the picket fence and interior rooms a coat of paint, as well as painting the dated mission brown spouting a more appealing green.
I also rearranged rooms to appeal to prospective buyers, maximising the sense of space. I displayed plans for a renovation to the back of the home a friend had drawn up.
The good news is that a wreck of a home, still on the original quarter acre block, sold for only $30,000 above the price I got for mine some weeks later.
That my home, on half the original block, sold for not that much less, than a falling down property on a huge block two doors away, says much about the value of investing in both gardens that support sustainable living and create an aesthetically pleasing oasis of edible plants, as well as in renewable energy utilities!
Essentially, I had put in the work that made my place a desirable property to a buyer who saw genuine value in sustainable living.
The buyer has done little to change the garden I established since purchasing the property, other than adding an apricot tree to the fourteen fruit trees I had already put in!
Given my Melbourne house sold for not much under the property still occupying all of an original block, albeit in an extremely rundown state, it seems to speak volumes about the value of retrofitting your home to live as sustainably as possible!