7 Priceless Ways to add Value to Your Property
Helping your bricks and mortar make more on the market
When you’ve invested in property, chances are you’re probably expecting to see its value increase over the years. For more and more homeowners, watching the price of your home rise seems to have become an expectation rather than a surprising added bonus. Hardly surprising when that’s just what’s happened to most property owners over the last decade and is still happening. In fact, July 2017 figures from the Government’s House Price Index show that house prices rose by 1.1% in the previous month and increased by 5.1% in the previous year.
But this increase is in no way guaranteed, and as the man is often heard to say, the value of your investment can go down as well as up; a fact that many of those stuck in negative equity years ago will confirm.
Room for improvement?
But there are some proven ways to boost the value of your bricks and mortar that don’t rely on the vagaries of the housing market or global financial conditions.
Home improvement is a sure-fire method to maximise the return on your property whilst making it a nicer place for you to live into the bargain.
The financial benefits are clear, with peer-to-peer loan gurus Zopa finding that a home improvement can add up to 10 per cent to the value in a recent survey.
So just how can doing up your house also push up its asking price? Here are the seven best ways we’ve found to add value to your property.
Doing it Yourself
Okay, we’ve all seen examples of DIY GBH. Plastered plastering, lax laminate and cockeyed cornices are all classic ways to knock zeros off the sold price. But DIY done well (would we suggest anything else?) and you could be quids in. A top-to-toe redecoration can put up to £5,000 on your house price but be prepared to spend around £1,000 – £2,000 to get this return (or a little less if you are prepared to do the work yourself). Also, make sure you follow these simple rules: Avoid personal touches. Keep it simple. Use the best materials you can afford.
We’d recommend certain jobs are always left to the pros, though. Things like installing new central heating when installed by a competent Gas Safe registered heating engineer will always give you a nice warm feeling. That’s because it will pay for itself by topping up your price by between £1,500 – £3,000 (depending on what you spent).
And make sure these DIY jobs get finished and don’t lurch to a standstill. According to a report, 2.8 million homes still have uncompleted kitchen refurbishments and 2.5 million have bathrooms where workflow has slowed to a drip.
According to a survey by the National Association of Estate Agents, 92 per cent of agents said they believed that adding an extension can increase the value of a property. It’s an old but very true adage that square footage equals cash, and extensions are a good, if pricey, way to do just that.
Whether you go sideways, back or even up, you can add two rooms or more that should put around 10% on to the value of your property and give you loads more space to enjoy into the bargain. That’s for an outlay of around £25,000 for a small side extension, or £100,000 plus for a large two-storey side extension.
Don’t forget a conservatory takes a lot less work and outlay and can count also count as a useful extra room. A bright idea if you want to put between 5% and 7% onto your home’s value if you choose a high quality option that’s installed by trusted professionals.
The sky’s the limit
When it comes to cash in the attic, things are certainly looking up for home improvers with an eye on the bottom line. Most of us have a capacious unused area right above our heads that can relatively easily convert into a comfortable living space for between £10,000 and £40,000.
The even better news is, most homeowners will fly through planning permission as it’s classed as ‘permitted development’. That means if you’re changing the exterior of your house, or making other changes or your building is listed, you shouldn’t need to get permission.
So what do you get in return? Expect a good loft conversion that’s not too cramped and follows building regs to add between 15 and 20 percent to your house price.
Can you dig it?
More and more people are digging deep to add room and value to their abode by utilising their cellar or basement space
If you live an older Victorian property, you may well already have such a space, albeit one that’s dark, damp and more suitable for housing old paint tins and spiders.
And if it’s not there, why not dig it out? This has become a viable way of extending for many people in property hotspots such as London where the cost of building is cancelled out by the value it adds.
If you have an existing cellar, making it into a liveable room should cost around £200 per square foot. To dig out a new space and create a new basement will cost £300 per square foot or more. Expect your excavations to top up the price of your property by around 7% – 10%.
You don’t need planning permission if you are converting an existing basement, though if you’re creating a new cellar that could affect your or neighbouring structures, this will be required.
These days, house buyers expect a lot more bathroom for their buck. Most families now want at least two bedrooms to go with their four bedroom property. So if your home is lacking in lavatorial excellence, it’s a good idea to try and install a downstairs loo at least to help it sell at the right price.
And of course, if you’re living with a seventies nightmare, then it’s high time to flush it away and treat yourself to a bathroom makeover.
Make sure to keep the designs clean and simple with neutral colours. When planning, pipe work is the expensive element so try and keep toilets, baths and sinks in the same positions if possible. Add new touches such as safe thermostatic mixers that help prevent scalds, demisting mirrors for a touch of ‘wow’ and heated towel rails to keep the room extra cosy.
We spend a lot of time in the kitchen so it’s hardly surprising that it’s one of the most popular areas for renovation. And it’s not a cheap option with figures showing that us Brits spend an average of £4,344 on each kitchen upgrade.
If you’re improving your kitchen to watch your house price rise like the perfect soufflé, think like a top chef. Insist on the finest ingredients, don’t get too fussy and make sure your masterpiece is the height of good taste. Gadgets are all good and well but become obsolete fast, so invest your cash in high-quality fittings and focal points like granite work tops.
Remember, many buyers put the kitchen at the top of their list when viewing, so if you are going to invest in any one room make it this one and tasty returns will be yours on a plate.
How does your garden grow?
Your growing space is not the place where a little investment can yield a bountiful return. If you’re upgrading your exterior, think like a buyer and wonder if a well-stocked garden would look like a lot of hard work to them, or verdant trees and bushes could be seen as an obstructive and potentially costly nuisance.
Keep any makeover low-maintenance if you’re looking for younger buyers. If you go down the decking or paving route, don’t do things on the cheap as they can rapidly deteriorate and actually have a negative impact on your property price.
The golden rule with gardens is that you will be the person who reaps the benefit of any investment by enjoying the space you’ve created.