This article is the second in a two-part series on how to upgrade your home and increase its value.
The property market is very unpredictable nowadays – sales are slower and buyers more demanding. It can therefore be difficult to make a profit on selling your home unless you think carefully about how to make it more marketable. Increasing the living space is always the best way to add value to property, for example by building an extension or conservatory or converting a loft or basement, but this can involve major work and a large outlay. For those who can’t afford to make such big changes, simply renovating or redecorating can make a difference, and it needn’t be expensive. In fact, you should be wary of splashing out too much money on cosmetic changes as the increase in property value that they will achieve is normally quite limited. Having said this, if you spend wisely, you can make your home more marketable and increase your profit when you sell.
The key selling features of most houses are the bathroom(s) and kitchen, and updating them can make a house much more attractive to homebuyers.
A bathroom is no longer a functional room – it’s now a place of luxury, a sanctuary within the home where we can relax from our busy lives. People are looking for stylish design and luxury features – heated towel rails, whirlpool baths, multi-jet showers, fitted furniture, and sink vanity units. You don’t always need a large room to achieve this – there are many clever space-saving options available, such as combined furniture and suite units, wall-mounted towel rails, a shower over the bath or corner sinks and toilets. An it needn’t cost the earth either – DIY stores have a wide range of bathroom furniture, suites, fixtures and fittings. Always play it safe though – neutral white is the best option, as it can be co-ordinated with any colour of décor to suit all tastes.
Ensuite toilets are very attractive to homebuyers and will add value to a home, as long as they’re in a good location in the bedroom and don’t detract too much from the bedroom space.
The same is true of kitchens – people want style, luxury and space. Kitchen design is very important and there are many modern ways of maximising what room you have. New fitted kitchens can be very expensive though, especially if you’re having all the work done by a professional company, so you may not recoup the value in the short term.
A major turn-off for homebuyers is a home with no central heating as it can require a great deal of work and expense – installing a boiler, laying pipes and fitting radiators. However, if you have the work done yourself before putting your house up for sale, you’ll increase the marketability of your property and you’re certain to make your money back when you sell.
Replacing windows can make a big difference too. Aside from the fact that old window frames can make a property look unsightly, they make not provide effective insulation. New windows can reduce heating bills dramatically and can be easier to maintain, particularly the uPVC variety. Beware of fitting uPVC windows in period properties though – they can look cheap and out of place. New double glazing units on all your windows shouldn’t cost more than a few thousand pounds.
Even just a lick of paint and a few new soft furnishings can make the world of difference to freshen up a room and make it look more attractive. Redecorating isn’t expensive and it’s easy to do yourself. Choose fairly subtle or neutral colours to try to appeal to most tastes.
Here are some useful tips to consider whatever work you decide to carry out on your home:
Do a cost-benefit analysis – is it worthwhile? Are you likely to make your money back?
Hire a plumber, electrician or joiner for some of the tricker parts – or at least consult someone for advice. They may be able to provide you with useful guidance on how to carry out the work.
Before you start, always work out a budget and decide where you will get the money from to finance the work.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew – only do as much work as you can afford in terms of both time and money.