We commit to a lot of things when we buy a home. They’re places to raise a family, relax after a long day of work, and all-around settle down. But they’re also something else, too: probably one of the biggest investments we’ll ever make! As such, we need to protect that investment, and if we can, to make sure that it yields as high a return as possible when it comes to cashing in and moving on up to a different house. While there are some things about your home’s value that you can’t control – such as how trendy and well-connected the area is – there are many things that you can influence, and many of them don’t take all that much effort. Below, we take a look at fifteen of the best ways to move your home value in the right direction.
Talk to an Expert
It’s unlikely that you have all the knowledge you need to identify the areas of your home that you should improve. And while the internet and articles – such as this one – can help, every home is different. As such, consider recruiting an expert to take a look at your home and suggest what would add value to your home. If you’re thinking about selling, then have an estate agent come around and take a look. If you’re not, then hire a home planner – you’ll need to pay for the service, but it’ll only take an hour and may be the best money you’ve ever spent if they give you advice on how to boost your home’s value by a significant amount.
Go Beyond Cosmetic
A home can look amazing, but like most things in life, it’s true value will be determined not by what’s on the surface, but what’s going on “behind the scenes,” as it were. If your home has fundamental issues, such as deteriorating infrastructure, then it won’t matter how beautifully decorated your living room is – the value is going to be severely compromised. Before you get to work on making your home look at its best, make sure that everything else is in order. Rotting floorboards or floors that slope to one side might not be the most fun things to correct, but they’ll be money well spent when it comes to selling.
Get Smart With the Spare Room
If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room, then have a think about what you do with it. To understand what will attract buyers, try to uncover what kind of people will be looking at properties like yours. If you live in a young, professional area, then turning it into an office may be a good idea. If you live in a family zone, then an extra bedroom may be the right way to go. If it’s a large room, then a home gym or cinema room will showcase the potential of the house.
Redo the Front
First impressions count for a lot in all aspects of life, and this is also true of home values. A home would have to be pretty special on the inside to make up for an outdoor area that makes it look like the house should be demolished! Painting the home or rendering the external walls will greatly increase the home’s curb appeal, which is one thing that many home seekers look for. Painting is relatively inexpensive, rendering less so – but you can typically double the amount you spent on rendering in home value.
Focus on the Garden
It’s not just that physical front of the home that you should focus on, either. You’ve got a garden there: make the most of it! Typically, people like there to be a semblance of decoration and care. Flower beds, trees, a well-groomed hedge are all aesthetically pleasing. And there are also two other benefits to taking care of the garden in the front: it’s easy to do, and can be therapeutic!
Add Extra Parking
Parking is less important if you live in a rural area, but if you live in the UK, then the chances are that you live in an urban area, where parking is premium. People much prefer to have parking on their property rather than off-road, so if you have the space, consider paving over your front garden and creating a place to park a car. It’s not like anyone sits out in their front garden anyway, so it’s not as if anything will be lost.
A Summer Room
People want to be outside, but alas, in the UK the days when we can sit out in the back garden are few and far between. Even if the sun is shining, the heat seldom reaches the “it’s warm enough to sit out” level. When you have a conservatory, you’ll have the perfect place that allows you to sit outside (in effect) and stay warm. They can be put up quickly, and don’t cost all that much, but are attractive to buyers. Just make sure that it will fit the style of your home before you give it the go-ahead – they’re not suitable for all home types.
You may have another room in your house, and not even realise it. A loft conversion is one of the most sought-after rooms in a house and is hugely popular with buyers. It can quickly turn a three bedroom home into a four bedroom home, and what’s more is that you lose nothing in the process – even the building process is relatively peaceful.
The Showpiece Room
Of all the rooms that a homeseeker looks for in a house, none are quite as important as the kitchen, which can rightly be the regarded as the home’s showpiece room. If your kitchen is looking dated, then it’ll be worth looking at your kitchen refurbishment options and find a solution that maximises cooking and social space. The only word of advice would be to make sure you have a kitchen that matches the style of the rest of the home; a hyper-luxurious kitchen will not necessarily add value if it exists in a non-luxurious home, for instance.
Make it Efficient
The homes of the future will be ones that have energy efficiency to the max. As such, ensuring that your home is as efficient as possible will be money well spent, in more ways than one. A simple loft insulation and efficient central heating is inexpensive but adds several thousand to the value of your home. It’ll also decrease the amount of cash you spend each month on your bills, which is something that should be considered when you’re thinking about how much your home costs you.
Focus on the Flaws
Some problems in the house are less to do with the home, more to do with what it is – or isn’t – letting in. An overly noisy house will dramatically reduce the value of the home, as will a lack of natural light. You can get around this by looking at ways to reduce noise pollution, and by adding more windows/doors with windows into your home. Essentially, focus on the pet peeves you have about your own home – and then try to eliminate them.
Don’t Underestimate Cleanliness
Having a quick tidy up is not going to affect the value of your home (though it may make it look more appealing to visitors). However, the deep cleanliness issues really will affect the value. A carpet or curtains that have never been cleaned will make the room look grimy – and give it a corresponding dip in value to match. Stay on top of the really cleanliness issues of your home – they’re hard to recover if they’re allowed to go too far along.
Knocking through Walls
People like to have large homes, but they’re less enthusiastic about having many rooms, especially if they have a family. If your ground floor is large but divided up, consider knocking through some walls and creating a much larger space. It shows the potential of the home.
Avoid Overdoing It
Sometimes, the best way to increase the value of your home is to avoid overdoing it. For example, spending money bringing your bedrooms to perfection would be a waste of money – they’re about the first things people change when they move into a house. Also, adding things that aren’t in fitting with the rest of the home may actually hurt the value of the house, no matter how much they cost. The extreme example is the swimming pool, but it’ll be true of most anything extravagant, too.
Brighten it Up
Finally, keep in mind one of the oldest tricks in the book: making the home look brighter, more spacious, and all-around more inviting. Nail the lighting to show off the space, and use mirrors in those small rooms and narrow hallways to make them look bigger.
Do any of the above, and you’ll be adding value to your home – whether you’re selling or not, it’s also good to know your investment is in safe hands!