Do you want to add value to your property?
Your house is probably your largest and most valuable asset so it pays to either increase its value by improving it, or doing work or changes to the house that will at least HOLD its value in the market.
It seems everyone these days are talking about house prices going up or down. Back in the 1970′s or 1980′s any rises or falls in property prices in the UK were minor and property represented a good investment.
However since the last property boom (and later bust) of the late nighties up to mid noughties, the subject of “How much is my house worth?” seems to be on everyone’s lips now, not just chatter amongst realtors and estate agents!
So having established that your house does at least need SOME money spending on it, if only to keep it in good condition, we show a few ways that you can add value to your house, without breaking the bank.
Some of the things you can do yourself fairly cheaply, and some would need the help of a contractor or builder (etc) but if you follow these handy tips, you should be quids in!
Add value to your property
Firstly, and if you want to be scientific and exact about it, you should get a feeling of the value of your house at the moment. There are various ways to estimate the value, such as looking in estate agents windows or online to see what similar houses in your street have sold for, however if you want to measure whether taking these steps will work, then you need to get your house professionally valued.
Many surveyors will do this, although to be honest, the cheaper way is to get an estate agent, or several agents in to value it, although I am not suggesting that you waste their time on purpose!
They KNOW the market and what is selling and what is not selling, because if played right, you could end up improving the house, then adding that to the mortgage because the house is a now worth more, thus in theory, making you some money!
Or the more preferred option is that you can ask them if you can PAY for them to value the house, as a professional service.
Many estate agents are hard up for sales in some areas and would welcome the chance to help someone, network for new custom with the neighbours, and maybe pick up the odd lead or two, plus you get a realistic appraisal of the value of your house. .
A win win situation!
Once you have established the value, do the work we suggest below, and then get the person back in to revalue the house and see how much money you have put onto the price of the house.
You never know, you might be tempted to sell it after all!
It is important to note that any money spent on the house in improving it, should reflect in a higher value upon selling or re-mortgaging.
Be aware there are also things you can do to your house that will LOSE you money but if you follow this, it may rise so much that you decide to sell anyway!
Ten ways to add value to the price of your house.
Go for a loft conversion, a single story extension at the rear or convert the garage, or maybe even drywall the basement. There are specialist firms who do this type of work, but your local general builder may be able to help you too.
2. Have a Conservatory fitted.
A well built, good quality conservatory, placed in the right area for maximum benefit, will add space and light to your home as well as value. If you get a good deal, this can add the amount of money you spend on getting done, plus a bit more, onto the value.
Quality is the key. Get it wrong and your poor quality characterless conservatory which was badly fitted and looking out of place may LOSE you the money spent on it.
3. Get a durable exterior wall finish.
It goes without saying that if your house LOOKS bad, with cracks, mould, bald pebbledash etc, it will lose a significant part of its value. Therefore having a weatherproof exterior wall coating, with a 15 year warranty, will reap rewards in adding much more value to the house than what you ended up paying for it.
Spending an average of £5,000 on a high quality wall finish and repair system can add between £7,000 and £9000 to the selling price of your home.
4. Add parking to add value!
This is especially for city, town and urban houses where parking can be either at a premium, or non existent. Recently a town in Cornwall sold 5 parking spaces in a seaside location for £50,000 each!
Although I would not suggest this on a rural property, only town houses etc, but think about the fact also that although you may need planning permission, and may have to spend £10-£15,000, the value this can add to your home, especially in a nice inner city area, or even some of the posher locations in holiday villages by the sea, can be as much as £50,000!
5. Clean up and de-clutter!
Easily the cheapest thing you can do, but with almost instant results! Not every home improvement costs money, and apart from basic cleaning items to buy, all you need to invest is your time and elbow grease.
Of course if you have money and/or want to get the job done quickly, then you could hire a professional cleaning company, but as far as the cost that depends on whether the garden just needs a tidy up, or you generally live like a pig and should be ashamed of yourself.
Cleaning and tiding your home will make it feel cosier, more friendly and more appealing to buyers and as far as the value added, that depends on how much cleaning is done. It can surely can make the difference, if you are selling, between getting an offer, or the potential buyer walking out the door holding their nose, retching at the smell of the cats litter tray that you never cleaned.
6. Get a new front door!
The front door of your home says a lot about the rest of the house. At least that is what most visitors think when they see your property for the first time. It may be a snap-judgement but nevertheless countless studies have shown that first impressions count!
If you don’t fancy paying out for a new front door, which would cost anything between £200 and £800, and especially if it is an old door with bags of style and character then it is certainly worth your while to get the door refurbished and repainted, or if you know what to do, you can paint it yourself.
Choose the colour to paint the front door very carefully, there is a whole load of colour psychology that you can use, in fact chosen carefully, just the front door alone can really change peoples expectations about what they think they are going to find when they view the inside of the house.
7. Insulate the house.
No-one likes to walk into a freezing cold house, especially in the summer time (!) so to maximise the FEEL of the house, rather than the LOOK. We need to make sure our house is insulated well.
This can include pipe lagging, loft insulation, exterior wall insulation, cavity wall insulation, or something as simple as draught proofing around doors and windows. The value of the house will be much lower than you would expect to get because the new owners have to pay a lot of money to buy all the insulation that you didn’t do!
If selling your house, it’s not just about how big or small the place is, or what it looks like, it’s what it FEELS like.
How many times have YOU viewed a property, but thought that it just didn’t have “the right feel” to it?
8. Concentrate on the Kitchen.
The difference between and sale and no sale when marketing your house, is the kitchen. It will make or break the deal, or will at least, lose you potentially up £25,000 off its value!
A kitchen, a good one, often doesn’t come cheap, but for the cash-tight, a quick scour of ebay and other local advertising sites you can find good quality, 2nd hand kitchens, ovens, flooring, at a fraction of the price they were brand new.
The only catch is sometimes that you have to go and dismantle out of the old house and into your place, but sometimes end of line flat pack bargains can be had if you look around.
It is THE room that people think about the most.
“If YOU think about parties, Christmases, and things or events at peoples houses like family meals and so on, where does everyone seem to always congregate?”
The kitchen of course!
Spend £10,000 on a new kitchen and, depending on the rest of the house of course, you could expect to see a 50% return on that investment, which should net you a tidy house price increase of between £13,000 and £25,000!
9. A house in good condition will hold it’s value longer
….Which is really is what most property surveyors have been saying since the early part of the 20th century and probably before then too!
If you believe your home is at least worth money, or at least, if you think your home is worth a certain amount based on neighbouring homes, then fixing those major cracks, damp patches, cracked rendering, scruffy pebbledash and mould on the walls will raise its value, and its chance of selling, considerably higher!
10. Don’t outgrow the street!
Our last tip to add value to your home is…..knowing when to STOP adding value to it.
You can only do so much to a house, and each home has its limits and its restrictions. People generally move up the ladder into larger homes, as their family grows, or as they become more affluent.
If you own a small 3 bed terraced house, let’s say for example, in Brighton, and it is worth £130,000. Its no good spending another £200,000 on the house because it will outgrow the street it is in. You would make more money spending £30,000 on it, to get back £200,000 when it sells after being improved.
Location is also a major factor in house values, and we cant give you advice on that!
Only you, the reader, know where you want to live, but hopefully this article has given you some ideas about how to add a bit of value to your home, and how to not waste money on poor home improvement decisions.
Get your home valued, do some improvements to it, and then get your home revalued and you should, if you are wise, have raised the value of your house.