Auckland's property market is a hotbed of rising prices and intense investor activity.

QV's residential index shows that numerous regions around the city have seen phenomenal value growth, with places like Papakura and North West Manakau seeing respective increases of 29.8 and 29.3 per cent in the year to September 2015. The Auckland region as a whole saw a 22.6 per cent annual value increase.

The city continues to be a battleground for investors with no signs of relenting. With this in mind, it's important to make the most out of your property investment and make your rental home stand out. Here are three simple ways to add value to your real estate:

Wet paint

Some of the most effective ways to make a residential investment property more appealing, are also the simplest. A fresh lick of paint to a worn-looking home can do wonders to help bring in the tenants you need. Plus, finding the right colours for your walls isn't just about aesthetic value. Psychologists have long talked about the mental and emotional responses that certain colours can draw out.

Colour Affects notes that shades of green have a relaxing, calming effect on viewers. Furthermore, painting walls in certain hues of blue give people a sense of calm as it emulates a view of the sky or sea. It sure isn't a bad alternative to spending that extra half a million dollars for an ocean-facing home.

Kitchen upgrade

Kitchens are often cited as one of the most crucial areas inside a house. Why wouldn't it be? It acts as the central hub of a home and is the space responsible for getting food in our bellies.

It also happens to be a good place to put your property investment renovations. Gary Caulfield from Construction Cost Consultants says that every dollar spent on kitchen upgrades will net you back around $1.50 in value. This means you can make some serious returns from even simple alterations like replacing the sink or kitchen cupboards.

Curbside swagger

The first thing people see when they arrive outside your home is just that – the outside! These include potential tenants or home buyers, which means you'll want to make a good first impression for your property investment

Upgrading the look of the letterbox and adding charming plants around the entrance all help to give it a facelift. Furthermore, freshening up the look of your door by giving it a paint job or replacing it altogether with something more modern or striking can also leave a lasting memory in renters and house hunters.

So keep these tips in mind and turn your investment property into a real looker.

Here's to your financial independence!

Daniel Carney
Authorised Financial Adviser / Investment Property Expert

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