How to Put Value on Your Home
On the Up
Building your Investment
Apart from market trends outside of your control, the sale price of your property will depend on how well it's been looked after over the time you've owned it.
Take several identical new build homes on the same block or street; a few years on and some will have been vastly improved upon or even extended, a few will look much the same as when they were built and others may even have fallen into a dilapidated state. You can't now expect these houses to be worth exactly the same as each other.
Some owners will have been meticulous with an ongoing program of repairs and maintenance and upgraded their homes accordingly thus they will have maintained their value whatever the highs and lows of the property market. Other less dedicated homeowners may have let the general condition of their properties lapse and this will lower the overall value.
Don't allow yourself to become complacent in your attitude to repairs and home improvements if you want your home to increase in value. In order to achieve the best achievable price when you come to sell, you'll need to keep it 'In good decorative order throughout' as estate agents like to say.
A Brand New Kitchen Will Always Add Value
Bathroom Installations Can Add Value Too
Where to Start?
If you don't know where to start, then watching some property makeover programs will give you the inspiration you need or take a look at some real properties for sale and see how they compare to yours. A quick search on the Internet will lead you to the best sites.
A lick of paint may be all that's needed to give your home a fresh new look but for anything else, a trip to your local DIY superstore will introduce you to a wealth of products and information on how to improve your home for the least possible outlay. B and Q in the UK or The Home Depot in the USA are both a great source of information to homeowners.
You'll need to differentiate between work that's purely decorative and that which is necessary to maintain the fabric of the building, but once this is done you can decide on a budget and a timescale for getting the tasks completed.
Be careful to get sound advice from a property professional regarding any structural changes. Certain upgrades may not add value at all and others may even damage the building if not implemented properly. Projects like the removal of load-bearing walls and chimney breasts can prove disastrous if carried out incorrectly.
Remember not to be too exclusive in your improvements. Most purchasers won't be tempted by highly individualised features such as Jacuzzis or wet rooms so you'll need to appeal to the requirements of mainstream purchasers.
Cash-conscious homeowners who want to sell may be happier to improve on what is already there rather than embark on a project that's too ambitious. Tackling one room at a time will also help confine the uproar to a particular area that can be sealed off so that your entire household is not disrupted.
Quality laminate or wooden flooring can be a great way to transform the whole appearance of a room and give it a more modern feel. Together with neutral décor, attractive lighting and a few classy ornaments, this is one way to make a significant improvement.
Tired and worn fixtures and fittings can easily be replaced with stylish up-to-date counterparts at very little cost. The trick is to make the most impact with the smallest expenditure and if you implement this method you won't go far wrong by the time the estate agent calls to value your home.
Don't forget the exterior and any outside areas. The frontage of your house is as important as the interior. Prospective purchasers will drive straight past if your front elevation is in a bad state of repair, perhaps wrongly assuming the interior is just as bad. Cast a critical eye at your home from the opposite side of the road and decide what needs attention. Curiously, the roof and surrounding features are areas that are often neglected the most, but these need to be maintained regularly to protect the rest of the building. The rear garden or yard will need attention if it's overgrown and untidy. Again, make the best use of available space and ensure that all outbuildings are in a good state of repair.
Once you've become used to your initial improvements and realise the impact they're likely to make on prospective buyers, you can endeavour to learn new design and decorating techniques and build on these skills so your house commands the best possible asking price.
© 2015 Stella Kaye