Those looking to sell their homes should know that its value is by no means permanently fixed. Getting a home valuation is just the first step in selling your property, and it’s not a hard one. The next step is to improve that value and make as much as you can out of your investment. Adding value to your home could help you step foot on the next rung of the property ladder, allowing you to sell for a profit and buy a new home that is better than your previous one, therefore bringing you one step closer to living in your dream home!
There is no one way
The value of a property is of course down to a number of different factors, some of them more well known than others. Not all of them require pricey renovations or huge extensions. Ultimately, it all comes down to making your home more desirable for a certain target market. This means thinking about what your buyers want and making the necessary changes for them.
Your estate agent will likely have some strategies in mind for increasing your property’s value, so it’s best to ask them if a certain change is worthwhile before potentially wasting your money. After all, you want your investment to make a profit not rinse your wallet, so always check with an expert in home valuation if you’re not sure.
Whether you’re thinking about selling soon or you’re just setting yourself up for the future, improving your home, upping its value, and making it more desirable is a great investment regardless of circumstances. Creating that extra value is not only a profitable and efficient task, it can also prove to be a fun and creative experience – even if it does take some elbow grease and extra costs from time to time. So exactly what are the best ways to add value to your home? The truth is that there are many viable ways to increase property value, so we’re going to look at a few of the more popular options available to the average homeowner.
First impressions count
Estate agents know that first impressions are very important when determining property value.
When your property boasts a luscious exterior that bursts with curb appeal, your buyers will be more impressed and ultimately willing to pay more from the very moment they set eyes on it. This means that bolstering that first impression given off by your property is a simple and relatively quick way to add value to your home. There are several ways of doing this:
- Freshen up your front door with a lick of paint.
- Brighten up your entrance with a warm glow from lanterns and porch lights.
- Spruce up your front garden greenery with some potted plants and hanging baskets.
- Finish off your door with impressive numbering and elegant door knobs and knockers.
- Fix up any tired brickwork or masonry with any necessary repainting or repointing work.
Extend and convert
One of the absolute best ways to add value to your home is to get an extension or conversion, increasing floorspace and adding new rooms in one fell swoop. Nothing says ‘impressive’ quite like a brand new home extension that is decked out with the latest features and furnishings. Especially when the space is decorated in trendy contemporary stylings. For modern buyers, buildings with new and improved spaces will often be high on their list of potential homes. Homeowners should look to capitalise on this, ideally long before they sell their properties.
According to GoCompare, loft conversions and home extensions were among the top ten most common home improvements for homeowners in 2017. This will probably come as no surprise to estate agents and valuation surveyors who understand the value of such improvements. Although extensions and conversions are obviously a huge structural and financial undertaking, the benefits are undeniable. Not only do they have the capacity to increase the value of your home by over 10 per cent, but those who don’t plan on selling their homes anytime soon will benefit from a completely new space and a more impressive property for years to come.
Loft conversions are popular as they increase living space (creating a new room or two) and usually don’t require planning permission (although they must accord with certain regulations). While they can set you back between £30 and £60,000 in building costs you could earn back twice as much through the value that your home gains as a result.
Extensions will require increased costs, more building work and planning permission, but ultimately they can be worthy investments too. The additional floorspace from extensions immediately brings value and appeal to your property, and turning a two-bed house into a three-bed house could increase its value by over 12 per cent. Even if selling is way down the line, have a think about what buyers in your area would want from their new home to make the most out of any extensions and conversions you undertake.
Let there be light
Properties are perceived as less desirable when its rooms appear dingy and starved of sunlight. But every home looks fresher and cleaner when it has a great deal of natural light pouring through windows and skylights. A lack of natural light is often due to the location of windows in the property or the position of the property in relation to the sun. But it’s certainly not unfixable. Adding value to your home by improving its lighting takes only a few simple additions.
Many properties have plain walls and ceilings which would act as ideal spots for openings. Homeowners can capitalise on these spots by installing large glass windows and opening up the room to healthy natural light. Likewise, installing an appropriately designed and positioned conservatory can increase a property’s value by up to 10 per cent – more than enough to cover (and exceed) the costs of building the extension in the first place. Don’t underestimate the power of good lighting, fresh colours, and wonderful views to boost the way your property is perceived by buyers and valued by surveyors. Find those darker spots and brighten them up!
Keeping things up to scratch
While admittedly less exciting than elaborate home renovations and brand new extensions, undertaking any necessary maintenance and fixing any structural problems is perhaps one of the best ways to add value to your home. Nobody wants to buy a property that is falling apart, so you should tend to any problems that put your home at risk. This could be anything from fixing up a leaky roof and filling in a cracked wall, to removing damp and replacing entire floors. These solutions may be harmful to your wallet, but they are absolutely essential if you want to maintain any chance of selling your home for a reasonable price.
Do not simply hide these problems beneath temporary solutions: your surveyors will find out. They will always take major structural problems into account in their final valuation report. Cosmetic fixes will not protect you from being valued down. Still, appearances do mean a lot. While you should take care of the big maintenance jobs before fixing the less serious problems, superficial blemishes and defects throughout your property have the capacity to reduce its market value too (even if by a smaller margin). While they may not put your property at risk, such problems can affect how it is perceived. Necessary maintenance jobs may include:
- Painting walls and finishing floors.
- Filling cracks and holes in the plasterwork.
- Oiling squeaky doors and fixing noisy flooring.
- Replacing loose or damaged tiles and redoing the grouting.
The list goes on but most people already know which parts of their home are defective, unattractive, irritating, or otherwise requiring maintenance. The benefits are not just for buyers but also for you and your family, at least for as long as you decide to live in the property.
It pays to be green
In 2018, more and more buyers are considering the impact of a property on our environment when looking at potential homes. They are willing to pay more for a home with all the necessary eco-friendly credentials and your home will be valued as such if you make the right changes. Energy efficiency is a top priority for many buyers for both environmental and financial reasons, so you should improve the way in which your home uses up gas and electricity on a daily basis.
Large additions such as solar panels and condensing boilers are of course great energy savers, but you can make a big difference even on a small budget. Adding insulation to loft / wall space, fitting double glazing, installing LED light bulbs, and updating your utilities provider are just a few of the affordable options with the capacity to improve the market value of your property. Read our blog on how to achieve an energy efficient home for a more comprehensive lift of energy efficient (and value adding) changes you can implement in your property.
If you are a homeowner currently looking to sell your property in South West London with a reliable and personable estate agents, please don’t hesitate to have a chat with a member of the James Anderson team about the services we can provide for you.