Once you become a homeowner and have a foot firmly on the property ladder, for many the next step is to try and move their way up rung by rung. Maximising the value of the property that you hold now is one of the fastest ways to start your journey towards a bigger and better home.
Although it helps, you don’t always need vast amounts of cash to make a real difference to what your property will fetch once it hits the market. Taking care of some minor tasks can give your property’s value a shot in the arm, too.
Here we take a look at a few of the best ways to add value to your home. Some are big jobs, others are small, but all will help you maximise the amount of money you can make out of your property and set you on your way to your dream home. Shall we start?
1. Transform your garage
One of the key drivers in a home’s price is how much living space the property has, so getting rid of your garage can add serious value. Claim that space back and transform it into something truly useful, such as a utility room or a play area for the kids. After all, the vast majority of garages in the UK don’t actually contain a car anyway, so they really are a waste of space.
2. Paint the exterior
This is one of those small jobs that make a big difference, especially if you do it just before you’re ready to sell. The return on investment (ROI) from carrying out this task can be huge if you go down the DIY route, but even if you get the professionals in to give your home a lick of paint you’ll be adding value to your home.
3. Add central heating
While homes without it may be few and far between these days, if yours is one of them adding central heating can give your property a boost. It’s likely that you’ll spend anywhere between £1,500 to £4,000 to get it done but it will probably add £5,000 to £7,000 to the asking price. More importantly, however, it will make your property easier to sell when the time comes to move on.
4. Convert your loft
Going for a loft conversion is probably the simplest way to get your self an extra bedroom, something that definitely adds value to any property. While it may cost a pretty penny to have done, it will likely see a ROI of 200% if completed correctly - not bad! Two key points to remember when going for a loft conversion are:
- Make sure that you have easy access to the new level in your home. Opting for a proper, full-size staircase will make the new area seem more like part of the home rather than an afterthought.
- Ensure that it fits the style of your property. Nothing looks worse than a loft conversion that is seemingly plonked on top of a home without any thought to how it will blend in. It looks cheap and can be off-putting for buyers.
5. Take care of any structural issues
Things such as cracked walls and missing roof tiles may seem like small beer in the grand scheme of things, but they can really make a difference to how a buyer perceives a home – and how much they’ll pay for it!
Don’t try and hide these problems, fix them instead. Canny valuation experts will be able to see through your attempts to disguise things like rising damp, so you’ll be wasting your money. It’s far better to address the issue and get it sorted properly.
6. Add a conservatory
Another fantastic way to give yourself an extra room – and therefore add value - is to build a conservatory. While you will have to give up some of your garden space to do so, living space is far more important when it comes to valuation day. Conservatories also provide a great connection between home and garden, and a well built one will add around 5% to the overall value of your home.
However, balance is important, too. If your garden is a little on the small side in comparison to your home, then adding a conservatory may not necessarily increase the value of the property. Similarly, if you already own a large house with plenty of space, adding a conservatory simply because you can may also be unwise. Striking a good balance should always be the key driver in your decision making.
7. Put in new windows
New windows can make a huge difference, especially on properties at the lower end of the market. Double glazed PVCu windows are extremely easy to maintain, good when it comes to energy efficiency and one of the most secure options available. However, they are not always the best option, particularly when dealing with older, more valuable properties.
In period properties such as these, replacing windows like for like is probably the safest way to go. So, if your home has wooden windows that add to the aesthetic of the property, opt for wood when you make your replacements.
8. Freshen up your front door
Paying attention to your front door can make a surprising difference to the overall look of your home. If it looks dated or is damaged in any way, replace it, but usually just a fresh coat of paint can do wonders to liven things up from the outside. Other finishing touches such as a new letterbox, doorknob or elegant contemporary house numbers can also make the world of difference.
9. Give the kitchen a makeover
Nothing adds value more than a beautiful kitchen, so if you are ruminating over where to invest your money, it’s always wise to start here. Kitchens have become the focal point of the home and many of us literally live in them these days.
Therefore, it makes sense to treat updating this part of your property as a priority. Go for the latest models when choosing white goods, as this will help future proof the kitchen for a while, and make sure that your upgrade has parity with the rest of the home.
Spending vast amounts of money on a kitchen in property at the lower end of market isn’t going to work out well. Equally, not spending enough in a more expensive home can have disastrous results, too, so make sure that what you spend fits what your property demands.
10. Brighten up the bathroom
The bathroom is another part of the home that can produce a tremendous ROI, and the work doesn’t have to major to get some extra value for your property. Sure, a complete overhaul would be fantastic, but even small changes such as new taps or fitting a heated towel rail can make a big difference, too.
Light is important in a bathroom as well, so be sure to paint or tile with colours that make the most of whatever natural light you have (if any). Freshly painted, white bathrooms always look great, and with the help of a big mirror your natural light will be accentuated nicely.
11. Get planning permission
Securing planning permission on a property can be a brilliant way to add value to your home, even if you have no intention of using it yourself. Simply by having the agreement in place, your home will become significantly more attractive to buyers who are willing and able to extend or convert the property. For what it costs, gaining planning permission can be a great way to add a little extra to your asking price.