The current housing market is a difficult and confusing place to navigate and appraise at the moment. Many reports say that house prices are rising, but does this really mean that if you put your house on the market today, you would realistically get more money than doing so a couple of years ago?
These are cautious times and no-one wants to be selling their property for less than they bought it for. So, investigating practical ways to increase the value of your property is a good idea, and could even result in a small profit if you’re savvy with your budget and invest in the right choices.
If you know you want to sell your property in the future when the time is right, renovating and improving your living space can make your home more saleable, but also a much nicer place to live in while you wait for the market to improve. So, here are my top 7 ideas for adding value to your property:
1. Add a conservatory
Adding extra square footage to your property is one of the best ways to also add value. If you have space for a conservatory, this is a cost effective way to add another room to your home. An extension can drastically add to the floor space in your house, but is extremely expensive, and you’re unlikely to recoup the costs when you sell.
Conservatories can be purchased for as little as £3k, but try to ensure that you also add blinds and a heating system or the extremes of temperature within your conservatory may mean you don’t use it as regularly as you could. If you build a small conservatory then you won’t need planning permission, (in England) but if you’re opting for a very large conservatory, or extension then you will need to contact your local planning authority to discuss your build.
2. Convert your loft
If your roof space is large enough, converting your attic into a living space is a great way to add value to your property. The renovation won’t be cheap, but can add significantly to the value of your home. Bear in mind that if you’re planning to use the loft as a bedroom, fire regulations are very strict, and you will have requirements which you are legally obliged to meet. You will also need to check what planning permission is required from your local authority.
Turning this space into an office or even a bathroom can often be a cheaper option. Think carefully about what will add the most value to your home and investigate if anyone else in your street has done the same.
3. Convert your garage
Most garages in older properties are extremely small and impractical for the larger modern cars of today. If your garage is currently a dumping ground, rather than a useful space, why not consider converting it into an extra room? It’s also a great way to add space to an existing room if your kitchen or living room is a bit cramped.
4. Fix anything that needs fixing
This may sound obvious, but sorting out any DIY disasters will definitely add value to your home. Any potential purchaser will want to see a property that looks well maintained and organised. If they are given the impression that you regularly fix any problems and are proactive about maintaining the boiler, electrics, roof, garden etc, this will give them more confidence that the house isn’t hiding any bodged issues waiting to rear their ugly heads after the sale’s gone through.
5. Address dated decor
If your living room has psychedelic wallpaper and woodchip walls, this can seriously deter potential buyers. Likewise, if you have eccentric taste in paint colours or carpets, toning it all down a bit will add value to your home. Buyers want to see a neutral colour scheme so that they can visualise how they will add their own taste to the property. This doesn’t mean that everything needs to be painted white, it just means your decor should be understated and not too bold.
6. Pave the front garden
Unless you live in a listed building, or a conservation area, paving over your front garden can add significantly to the value of your home. Most households these days have more than one car, so having somewhere to park is one of the top features potential buyers will be searching for.
Block paving can really lift the overall appearance of your property, although an average driveway can cost between £4k to £10k, so it’s quite a substantial investment.
7. Improve your kitchen and bathroom
The most important room to focus your efforts on is the kitchen, and then the bathroom. These are the rooms that buyers place more value on, and a nicely fitted high quality decor can really add to your property. Bear in mind that any renovation needs to be in line with the cost of the house to make it a wise investment; there’s no point spending £20k on a new kitchen if your house is only worth £100k!
You can also spruce up your kitchen or bathroom rather than completely replacing it; some nice new taps and door handles can transform the look of the room for little outlay, and if I needed to sell my house fast, this is what I would consider doing, as the new owner may rip out your brand new kitchen if it’s not to their taste anyway.