Increase the Value of Your Home with Home Improvements
Going up the Property Ladder
Buying a property for the first time can be challenging yet exciting. Getting it right means finding the balance between a home you'll love and looking at the possibilities of ever selling in the future.
Your house or home is going to be the place you will spend time, so your surroundings are important. Personalising it to suit your needs and taste offers comfort and satisfaction. Looking at the practical side also means taking an outsider's view point and evaluating whether it is in a sought after area and if the property can be upgraded or extended.
Of course buying a property and going through the mortgage process demands cost to all parties involved. Fees to surveyors and solicitors can mean deciding when you can afford to change the interior and to what extent.
But starting at the bottom rung of the property ladder helps you to aim upwards. Having stylish home decor and a desirable living space can add value to a property when it comes to selling. Making a few adjustments will make a big impact on your space and comfort, as well as the actual value of the home.
- Put nice pictures in frames and hang them up
- Put shades on all light fittings and lamps
- Fill holes with filler, sand them down and refresh with paint
- Hang up shelves and mirrors
- Clean or paint skirting boards to look like new
- Wash your voile or net curtains
- Clean mildew from window panes and bathrooms
- Replace missing handles from cupboard doors
- Change old curtains to update a room
- Change your shower curtain for a new clean one
- Paint window frames, outside and in
- Add fresh flowers and new cushions and throws in your living room
- Mow the lawn, trim hedges and pull out weeds
- Keep on top of housework to keep your home clean and dust free!
Starting Small and Affordable
Making some improvements and adjustments to a home can take time, especially deciding on changes. If you are unsure of what colours go together, or what type of flooring to go with, start with one room at a time.
If the room just needs a lick of paint or fresh wallpaper, colour charts can inspire you. Look at the colours you like and what will suit the room. Small rooms may be cosy, but dark colours make them look even smaller. Fresh light tones open the room and give them a lift.
Strong colours appeal to some but can be off putting to buyers. Keeping the room neutral and having an accent colour with throws, cushions or a rug can keep it simple. Without overpowering the room with a lot of bright things, ensure the permanent fixtures are easily changeable to suit new tastes. Buyers may not use their imagination when looking around for the first time, so keep walls and floors simple. Rich deeper colours may look good in some homes, depending on the size of the room or style. Avoid it looking too dark with light furniture, flooring and lighting.
Fix up cracks in the walls and worn out carpets to upgrade the home. Having your walls skimmed or re-plastered if they are in need of it is vital for decorating and attracting buyers. For walls that are just a little uneven, use thick wallpaper or lining paper. Address any damp problems if there are any in the home. There may be different reasons for its cause such as rising or penetrating damp. But a musty smell or the sight of mildew won't go down well. Damp proofing can be done by a professional and condensation can be reduced with good ventilation, so get this sorted before decorating.
Checking the condition of your floor boards if the carpets need pulling up may be worth considering. You never know what is under there, especially in an older house. Original floor boards or parquet flooring may be revealed. If it's in good condition try sanding it down, staining with wood stain and varnishing to leave a nice sheen. A thick rug can make it feel warm under your feet.
Accessories can make a massive difference to a room. Curtains, blinds or voile in the style of your choice can go with the walls and furniture. Ensure your sofa and chairs match the room or change the look of the throws. Use pictures and mirrors to go with the theme, using the right colours and materials. Light shades, bookcases and side boards can update the look and improve your home.
Update Tired Rooms
Kitchens, bathrooms and cloakrooms can become dated quite quickly. When looking for a new home, these can be a selling point. Kitchen worktops which are worn and old, and an old fashioned bathroom will turn away potential customers.
Look at exposed pipes and boilers and get them covered with an artificial cupboard or some MDF. Clean lines and tidiness can make a big difference.
Old counters can be replaced with new worktops and cupboards can be painted to make them look new. Kitchen and bathroom tiles can also be painted to avoid having them redone, with new grouting and sealant hiding unsightly mould and grime. Again, new flooring will give the room a new look and bathroom rugs can add some colour or warmth. Update toilet seats, taps and showers, and get a new bathroom suite if needed. Again, blinds, colour on the walls, mirrors and pictures can be replaced.
If you are willing to spend money on your kitchen, opt for new cabinets, appliances such as your cooker, sink and worktops. Only replace what is necessary to make the kitchen and bathroom look modern and clean.
Make Good Use of Space
Clutter can be off putting for someone coming into your home. When you are selling, your mess will be noticed before anything else. If people cannot see beyond it, they may lose interest. Storage is also a good selling point. If you have good cupboard space or clever ideas to store things, you will inspire others.
Invest in cabinets for your kitchen and bathroom if they limit storage space. Have high cupboards on the kitchen wall to give you room, or have pull out cupboards and large drawers. If you have space for free standing storage, have a sideboard and free standing stylish drawers for the bathroom. Link the style in with the rest of the room. Shelves can also save space but provide somewhere to keep your items. Make them look neat, or hang cooking utensils in the window for effect.
Creating new space can be done in walk in wardrobes or under the stairs. Clear the area and put in shelving to create an office with a built in desk which can be shut away when you are done. Or make use of a built in cupboard for storing towels and linen, books, DVD's or children's toys. Buy cabinets to keep trinkets, glassware or china, and have furniture with hidden storage. Beds with drawers, sofas with storage and coffee tables with lids can hide away clutter and make your home clean, tidy and very stylish.
Spending Money on Your Home
If we want a decent price for our property, making sure it is up to a good standard may increase its value. Over time extending the kitchen or dining area, fitting a downstairs toilet or knocking through walls to make more room will make it livable for you and the next owner.
Buyers look for spacious modern kitchens and bathrooms and potential to put their own stamp on the place. By making an extra bedroom up in the attic or putting on a kitchen extension will push up value and is great for a growing family.
Make Your House Good on the Outside
First impressions are everything when you are buying and selling. You also want your house to look good when you are simply living there. Making the outside of your home look attractive is as important as keeping it good inside, as the outside will be viewed first.
By keeping the garden free of weeds and moss, and cutting down over grown shrubs you are creating a clean space. Remove any junk from the property and ensure fencing is intact and secure. Make a space for living and for gardening. Clean up patio areas, replace flags or decking, get rid of broken sheds and greenhouses and keep the grass short. For a keen gardener you may enjoy making tidy flower beds or creating a vegetable patch. Or you may just want to make an outdoor area look appealing with tubs of flowers or window boxes.
As long as the gate is in good working order, your windows are clean and not cracked and paving areas treated with moss killer, you can show the potential to do more with the outdoor space too.
© 2013 Emma Kisby