Home improvements often rank highly on our list of new year’s resolutions, but when it comes to changes that might affect the value of your home, which rooms or features should be a priority? Although house prices may have fallen for the first time since 2009, it’s still a good idea to consider the impact that a home improvement will have on a home’s sale price. Some tricks, such as enhancing natural light by using plenty of natural light, or a new lick of paint, can add to a home’s worth, without breaking the bank. Yet other touches, notably hot tubs and swimming pools, barely cover the costs of installation, and sometimes even detract from a home’s value.
- Natural Light is a Top Priority
With space at a premium in London and other major cities, prospective buyers are increasingly showing a willingness to pay more for homes that feel more spacious thanks to an abundance of natural light. There have been a number of excellent ideas already featured on this site, but here are a couple more for you. Instead of blocking light on staircases with a bulky balcony, a thin balcony or a glass balustrade can have a wondrous effect on the amount of natural light in your home.
When it comes to natural light, it’s the feeling that it creates which is most important. With that in mind, automated shades are another item that can really boost your home’s appeal. Imagine the look on your prospective buyers’ faces when the shades raise automatically when you walk into the living room.
- Kitchen: The Most Important Room in the House?
Many people will march straight down to the kitchen when they are inspecting a new home, and their opinion of the kitchen will be reflected when you come to agreeing a price. Remember that the kitchen, or dining room, should be the communal heart of the home, so make sure that there is plenty of space for entertaining. People expect more from their dinner parties these days, so including a nice touch like an integrated speaker system could be a the kind of thing that gets you noticed by the neighbours. Lastly, if you’re determined to sell, it pays to be conservative when it comes to choosing a style for your kitchen. You can’t guess the tastes of the next occupant, so keep fancier flourishes for when you’re not showing buyers around.
- Add a Home Cinema Room
Among those in the market for a luxury home, more and more clients are expecting to buy a home that is fully automated. That means doors that unlock automatically when your car pulls into the garage, or sound systems that know what time you like to wake up and what your favourite tune is. According to Chris Cortazzo, a top-grossing estate agent, “With the luxury buyers becoming increasingly tech-savvy, the demand for networked or ‘smart’ homes continues to grow.”
If you live in a more modest neighbourhood, having a home cinema or a media room won’t necessarily add an extra 10% to the value of the home, but it will certainly help you stand out from the competition. When it comes to selling a home, those with the home cinema or media room are consistently beating their rivals to a deal. Not only that, but you’ll get to enjoy a home cinema right up until the moment you decide to move!
- Fitting Double Glazing is an Excellent Idea
Double glazing is a make or break feature for many buyers, and they’ll expect the frame to be in keeping with the rest of the home. That means if you live in a period home, you’ll have to fork out a little extra for a wooden frame. Spending a large sum on a plastic frame could end up being a costly mistake, as many buyers will see that as something they’ll have to fix themselves.
- There are Good Loft Conversions and Bad Ones…
Attempting a loft conversion is a high-stakes move that isn’t for the faint of heart. When it comes off, a loft conversion could add a huge amount of value to your home, but if the buyers decide that it was unnecessary, then you may have just wasted a whole heap of money. The do’s and don’ts of a loft conversion are endless, but here are some basics to consider when thinking about a loft conversion:
- Is it in keeping with the rest of the home? Think about who will live there next and whether they might actually want a loft conversion. If the downstairs is pokey, then a loft conversion might not be enough to convince a growing family that they’ll have enough space.
- What purpose will it serve? If it’s going to be a bedroom, is it warm enough and close enough to a bathroom to be convenient? If it’s going to be a rec room, is it going to be possible to do all the necessary wiring?
- Do you have planning permission? Sometimes you’ll need it, and sometimes you won’t, but it can be an expensive mistake if you don’t have the correct paperwork.
Home improvement isn’t easy, but if you do your homework then it’s possible to enjoy the benefits of living in a more comfortable home and recoup the spendings when you move. Remember that while you may be a fan of your own DIY, the next owners might not be, so steer clear of doing it yourself unless you are confident that you can get it to a professional standard. Good luck!