How To Increase The Value Of Your Home And Make Thousands
A house is a realllyyyyy big purchase – probably the biggest one that you will ever make in your life – and it’s something that a lot of us are aiming to achieve.
I personally have a house, but it is a shared ownership one which means I own a percentage and a housing association own the other part of it (you have the option of buying all of it).
When it comes to any investment, what you really want to do is to increase the value of it, especially if you are planning on selling it on in the future. Many people buy only one property in their lifetime, but many people buy and sell several. With that in mind, it makes sense to make sure that you make money on whatever you buy, not lose it.
If you’ve ever watched TV programmes about selling homes (usually with Kirstie and Phil in them!), you will know that there are certain things that you can do to increase the value of your property, and you don’t always need to spend thousands in order to do so – although that can obviously help!
You could look now at how the value of your house has gone up by/increased, and then after making some improvements, check it again and see how much it has improved. It IS possible to add value to your home on a budget, although there are some things that you can do which mean paying out initially, but you will get your money back on them.
Look From A Buyers Perspective
This sounds really obvious, but when we are living in our home for so long, we can be a bit blind to how it looks, after all, we love it how it is, so why wouldn’t anyone else?
I remember when my mum was selling our family home (due to divorce) and I was totally offended when the estate agent who was valuing it recommended changing the kitchen, because I loved it. But the kitchen cupboards were blue – he was definitely correct in his advice!
What do you look for when you are browsing potential new homes? Whilst a lot of people do enjoy a fixer-upper, the majority like to have some things already in place, especially if they would be an additional expense on top for them to change.
For me personally, I would want a white gloss kitchen (sounds fussy, but they are very common nowadays), a nice bathroom – and I’m not too fussed about the rest. You may think that your wild garden is charming, but a potential buyer would prefer to see a well looked after garden. What is it about a house that makes you think, I love it, and could really live here? This will help you to see what you may need to work on in order to improve the value of your property.
Give It A Fresh Lick Of Paint
This has got to be one of the cheapest ways of improving your home, and will have a huge impact even if you don’t really realise it! Unfortunately we are very visual people, and will often judge something based on how we perceive it when we first look at it. The first time that someone will look at your home at all, will be from outside of it, or a photo of the outside of it. Therefore, the outside needs to look nice!
You can either do this yourself or hire a decorator to do it for you (it will be hard work, so money well spent if you choose to go this way). You probably won’t want to go a wacky colour, although this can depend what area you live in!
The aim of painting the outside of your house is to get it looking fresh, clean – and better than all of the other houses that are surrounding it.
Don’t just stop on the outside though – many houses on the inside are transformed when they are freshened up with a lick of paint within their rooms. Again, you don’t need to go for wacky colours – neutral works really well, and personally I prefer white over the standard magnolia that seems to be popular. Woodwork can go yellow/faded very quickly, so that’s another great way of making a room look more fresh.
Improve The Kitchen Above All Else
As previously mentioned, a lot of people want a modern kitchen – the most popular being white or black gloss cupboards, with an all-singing all-dancing oven. As we all know though, kitchens can be very expensive – which is why not a lot of them get updated – not many of us have thousands of pounds just lying around to splash out on a kitchen!
Please don’t get into debt (e.g. loan or credit card) to take out a kitchen – if you can’t afford it then it is not worth it. There are some ways that you can get cheaper brand new kitchens than if you just go down the standard route.
But how much value does a new kitchen add to your home? Most experts say up to 6% of your house value – which is a lot when you work out the maths!
A great place to get a new kitchen for really cheap is IKEA. You can design your own kitchen, they have really good value and quality products, and come highly recommended by anyone that I have spoken to who has used them. They have a great range of products, such as worktops etc (you could call your local builders suppliers and see if they have any offcuts though).
Another option if it’s mainly the kitchen cupboards that are bugging you, is to cover them instead. There are wraps that you can buy and DIY yourself – eBay has some under ‘car vinyl wrap’ and just make sure that you measure how much you need so you don’t get too much.
If the tiles need freshening up, there are tile stickers that you can purchase from places such as Poundland.
Next, The Bathroom
Bathrooms are another room which are rated very highly and of great importance, so it’s a good idea to focus on improving this room as well.
Bathrooms tend to be one of the smallest rooms, so make sure that you paint it in a light, fresh colour (white is great for the illusion of space) and you have a good light fitting.
You don’t need to re-model the whole bathroom, but it will certainly help if you change certain things such as:
- Taps – Screwfix, Bathroom takeaway, tool station
- Heated towel rail (I LOVE these)
- Shower head
- Glass screen instead of a shower curtain, or a plain white shower curtain
You can probably DIY a lot of it yourself, but get a plumber in to do your fittings. Ring around for some quotes, and when you finally narrow it down to one person get a written quote saying exactly what will be done, how long it will take and costing of each stage. This will save you any hassle in the future. It’s generally best to use just one person for all of it so that they cannot blame another labourer for a certain part of it failing.
Front Door – First Impressions Count
What is the very first thing that you see when you are entering a house? The front door (generally speaking).
Now, new front doors are crazy expensive, but you don’t necessarily need to buy a whole new front door, just make the current one look a bit better! Some ideas could be:
- New doorknob
- Letterbox (you can get the ones that go on the wall as well)
- Posh looking house number
- Wooden door ledge – I painted ours with a tester pot from B&Q.
This is a great way of adding value to a property, and it’s something that a friend of mine does – he buys land, gets planning permission for it, and then sells it on for a big profit.
Many buyers have thoughts of expanding the house in the future, so if you get planning permission in advance they will know that it can be done, which makes it more appealing to them, as you have already done the hard work for them!
Some things that you could apply for could be a conservatory or an extension.
Change The Windows
I don’t know about you, but windows are more important to me than I originally consider – because if the windows are no good, it will be very, very cold in your house (I am no good with the cold!). Double glazed windows are one of the best inventions, in my opinion, and although they can cost quite a bit, if you don’t have them you could end up with a lower valued property.
However, make sure that you get windows that look right for your house in terms of the age and style of the property.
Man, I love conservatories. We had one in our family home growing up and I loved going in there because it retained so much heat so it was like going into a little oven. My mum has many photos of me asleep in there because I had felt so cosy and sleepy in there…I do miss it!
Conservatories can be really expensive, but will add value on to your house, dependent on how much you spend of course (don’t spend crazy huge amounts if you don’t need to!). Make sure that the conservatory feels a natural part of the house, and not just an after-thought that’s plonked down randomly at the back of the house.
You will need planning permission depending on how far out it will come, so make sure you look into all of the regulations before you go ahead. There are many conservatories sold second hand on eBay etc if that’s an option for you.
Make Sure It’s Structurally Sound
Whilst all of these are great ideas, they aren’t going to be of much use if you have structural defects which can halt a sale in its tracks. Some of the things that you will need to fix if you have them can include:
- Rising damp
- Missing roof tiles
- Leaky roof
There are of course other defects that could be going on, but these are some of the most common, and will certainly put off a potential buyer, and cause your house to be worth less.
Put In Central Heating
I cannot imagine moving into a house without central heating – how did they cope in the olden days?! Although central heating can cost a pretty penny, the value that it will add to the property will be more than the initial cost of getting it fitted.
Have you made any improvements on your home?
SunLife sponsored this post, but all opinions are my own.