When making improvements to a house it can be very easy to get carried away. Doing work on a property you are planning to live in for a while is a different prospect to making alterations to try and sell a house.
Whether simply redecorating or carrying out more extensive building work, it is always worth spending time researching the market before you begin any work – including looking at the ceiling price of similar properties in the area.
Here are five more tips of different ways to add value to a house.
Extending a property is one of the most popular ways of trying to add value to a home. An extra bedroom, a larger kitchen, or an additional bathroom can all lead to an increased valuation. Along with loft conversions, these are some of the most popular forms of residential building projects. A word of warning – although it usually follows that an extension leads to a higher property valuation, you do need to be careful of spending in accordance with the ceiling value of the house. After all, a great deal of disruption is usually involved with an extension so if you are extending with a view to increasing value for resale, you want to be sure that the investment you make will be worthwhile before commencing any work.
Modern day living is often focused around the kitchen, where we eat, cook, socialise and even watch TV. As such, a kitchen-diner is often by far the most desirable configuration. If you have a separate dining room, taking down the dividing wall to create an open plan space can make a dramatic difference to the feel of a home – also making more useable living space and in turn attracting buyers and increasing a property’s value. Before launching into any work, be sure to check whether or not the wall between the two rooms is load-bearing; seeking advice from a professional if necessary.
Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. A modern kitchen and/or bathroom will go a long way in attracting more buyers – people often view tackling these rooms as a big job and so when they are already done, it’s one less job for any prospective buyer to take on! Upgrading a kitchen or bathroom can add value to a property but much like an extension, it is important to keep expenditure within the price bracket of your house. There is no justification for installing a £20,000 kitchen in an £80,000 house. Remember, if you are replacing the kitchen to sell your house, try to remove personal emotions; keep it simple and use neutral colours. Whilst you may love a bright yellow kitchen, most people won’t!
When selling, taking a bit of time to add thoughtful presentation touches to your home and having a thorough spring clean can help you to achieve the highest sale price. You also need to consider who the target market is for your home and present it accordingly. If you have a spare reception room, consider what you call it and what furniture it should contain. If you want to attract families call it the ‘playroom’, if it’s professional couples you are trying to sell to ‘dress’ it as a study or office. The same applies if you have a spare bedroom – presenting it as a ‘dressing room’, ‘snug’ or ‘library’ can increase the property’s appeal and value.
Adding value can be done very simply by improving the outward appearance of a property. Maintaining the gardens to a high level, painting the house, or carrying out routine maintenance – such as clearing the gutters, power washing the paving and cleaning the windows – can all be done relatively cheaply and really make a difference. As the front of a house is often the aspect that people first see, giving a house good ‘kerb appeal’ will prevent negative first impressions for a potential purchaser, leading to a higher sales value being achieved and a reduced likelihood a buyer will ‘chip’ the price.
Seeking advice from a property expert is always worthwhile before making significant investment in home improvements.
Similarly, when buying a house, a Chartered Surveyor from Lea Hough can provide an accurate property valuation report so you can be sure that you are making a sound investment.