Top 10 ways to add value to your home
Chris Jessup, Partner at Fenn Wright’s Ipswich branch explains: “Being able to buy in the next price bracket may depend on whether you sell your current property for much more than you paid for it. However, annual house prices are not increasing at the huge rates they have done in the past. For example, Nationwide’s latest housing report states that annual house price growth slowed down to 4.7% in May 2016. This means relying solely on capital growth to aid your next ‘property upgrade’ isn’t always feasible.
But homeowners could create some extra worth themselves. And help their property stand out from the crowd and sell quickly, for every penny it is worth. However, you do need to be very careful where you spend your money as not all improvements will increase the sale price. Just because you add various ‘extras’ to your home, doesn’t mean that you can transfer those expenses onto the selling price. It doesn’t work that way.
Here are my top 10 ideas to help add value to your home:”
1. Fix basic structure faults
It’s so important to fix basic structural repairs BEFORE you do the usual room upgrades, extensions, improving soft furnishings and so on. A valuer will pick up on any faults right away. Although they will be expensive to fix, in terms of adding value, they are essential. Such disrepairs include a leaking roof, damp, cracks in walls, rotten joists, unstable chimney stack, missing/broken roof tiles and rotten joists.
2. Add or fix central heating
You would be amazed at how many people don’t have central heating. This is guaranteed to add value to any property — especially if you live in a period house where the energy performance is low. If you already have central heating, but the boiler is struggling or your radiators aren’t working properly, now is the time to fix them.
3. Build a loft conversion
This is a relatively straight-forward way to add an extra bathroom and bedroom to your home. Make sure it has a traditional staircase for easy access and suits the rest of your house.
4. Build a conservatory
Again, it is very important to make sure conservatories blend in with the rest of the house, rather than looking like they have been ‘stuck on’. Conservatories are an excellent way to extend living spaces considerably.
5. Convert the basement
This will most likely be the most expensive extension you could do, and is probably only worth doing if your home is worth more than £300 per sq. ft. This is because the digging costs are around £200 per sq. ft. And another £100 per sq. ft. to build the conversion. It will also cause a lot of disruption as it is going to affect the structure of your home, meaning you will most likely have to move out for a few months. However, basements create fantastic living spaces and could even double the size of your home. Just make sure you hire specialists to do the design and installation as you don’t want your house falling down because it can’t cope with the open space beneath it! Basement conversions are taking off in central London, but values will need to increase significantly in other areas before the idea has broad appeal.
6. Turn the garage into a room
This is an interesting point as it’s not a very obvious one. Did you know that about 90% of people don’t put their cars in the garage? This can have a 50/50 advantage, whilst adding additional space, 50% of the audience prefer the garage for storage to store everything.
7. Create a home office…
More and more people are working from home, especially with vast improvements in technology. We receive a lot of requests for homes with offices/studies now so it’s worth pursuing. If you’re going to build one outside, for example in the annexe, shed or workshop, remember they do need to be set up for broadband, telephone lines and so on. Sticking a desk, a chair and a potted plant into a room and calling it an office isn’t enough I’m afraid. Some people offer bedroom 4 or 5 as a small study as well, when they sell. This works just as well as a buyer can choose to either have that extra bedroom, or an office, or combine both together.
8. Improve the parking
If you live in an expensive urban location this is quite a useful perk to have. Parking in a built up area can be very limited, so converting part of the front garden to additional parking can add some extra value to your home! You may need planning permission to do this.
9. Enhance the kerb appeal
As a potential buyer approaches your home, the first thing they see is the front of it. Tidy up, weed and mow the front garden, remove dead flowers and trim the bushes. Pay attention to the window frames, driveway and pavement too. A fresh coat of paint or a pretty potted plant could also add further appeal to your front door.
10. Upgrade the kitchen
If you were to improve any room, make sure you do the kitchen first. Kitchens have become the hub of the home for many households, not just for cooking but for homework, hosting guests and hanging out. Install modern equipment, ensure the new kitchen blends in with the style of the rest of the house and allow enough room between the sink, kitchen and cooker. Make sure the price of the kitchen matches the value of the house. i.e. don’t put a cheap kitchen into an expensive house, or fit a kitchen that is too expensive into a cheaper house.
If you can do it, don’t forget the bathrooms too. Keep it simple — new taps and a power shower with a big new shower head always goes down a treat, as does a heated towel rail and a glass shower screen.
A contemporary kitchen with lots of space for entertaining – £895,000 – Ipswich