In pics: Nadene Anderson's renovation
After thirteen years in corporate marketing Nadene Anderson was searching for a new career. Having renovated and sold a two bedroom apartment in Sydney's Rose Bay in 2010, Anderson had a hunch that renovating for profit might be a viable career option but she needed a larger project to prove her ability.
The confidence gained from the earlier renovation combined with the desire for a new career drove Anderson to what she says was an obvious end; an immense and complicated structural renovation of a forlorn deceased estate, "just to test whether I could do this on a much larger scale," said Anderson.
"I was at a point in my life where I was dissatisfied with my corporate career and I wanted to do something different I wanted to try renovating as a business and this was my first proper test," she said of the five months spent renovating the property in Matraville, Sydney.
It took Anderson about five months to find the property and the renovation saw the old home transformed from a crumbling three-bedroom, one bathroom abode into a magnificent home with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, an entertaining deck, a garage and a swimming pool.
From the outset, Anderson approached the project with a business mindset and a financial partner.
"It was a huge job in every capacity but also financially. I needed a financial partner to make it happen. In the end we only made about $56,000 after interest payments and stamp duty," Anderson said of the exercise which was ultimately a test case for a future career.
"The profit wasn't huge but we were thrilled with the result. I consider it incredibly successful because it kick-started my current business," said Anderson referring to her new venture First Impressions Property Consulting which sees her acting as a project manager for clients' renovations.
Managing renovations for others provides Anderson with a perfect environment to practise her project management skills, learn new ones and minimise the financial risk that comes with investing in her own properties.
But the idea wasn’t one she chased rather, the idea chased her.
"After the sale at auction, the under bidders approached me and asked me if I would help them renovate an old house to create the same style of finished product using my design," said Anderson of the initial enquiry that led to her new venture.
"Obviously I love renovating but it can be very stressful dealing with deadlines, budgets and a huge array of people from tradies to clients. Sometimes I lie awake at night and panic about how it will work out, but it does. The advantages of being my own boss and not having to be in an office far outweigh the bad points."
When pressed for tips for novice renovators Anderson offers some sage advice. "It’s not as easy as it looks it’s really very difficult. Personally, I think you need to either be the PM [Project Manager] or do the renovations work but not both," warns Anderson.
"Just managing the budget and keeping to your timeline is a fulltime job. The best advice I can give is to surround yourself with people you trust, stay on top of your budget, negotiate hard and when you need to, spend time and money on experts."