It’s easy to get carried away when inspiration strikes and you’re eager to start renovating your home.
But what improvements will make the biggest impact on the value of your property? Our Fine & Country experts have the answers.
1) Extend your square footage
For immediate improvements, Janie says that square footage is key. “Adding an extension to your home gives an instant boost to your property’s value. However, if you plan to move house shortly after completing the building work then it may not be the best idea as you won’t get maximum enjoyment out of it. If you do choose to extend, self-contained annexes are very popular and often have accommodation for family members or fun cinema rooms. Or you could extend upwards into the loft to create a beautiful master bedroom with a slanted roof.” A two bedroom self-contained annexe could give your home a 20%* value boost.
2) Family space
Janie O’Shea from Fine & Country Grantham believes that adding value to a home can only be assessed on a case by case basis. “Remember that the primary function of your house is to be a home, so the places to spend time together are the most valued. It’s a good idea to focus on improving rooms that the whole family can use together, so garden rooms and kitchen enhancements are an obvious choice. Varied rooms to relax with your family are also very appealing to buyers, so it can be a good investment,” she says. Adding a garden room could give your home a 15%* value boost.
3) Redesign your kitchen
“A new kitchen can really make a difference to the house. Potential buyers tend to spend the most of their time inspecting this room when they are viewing a property, and high quality finishings can help persuade them that it’s the right house for them,” explains Simon Bradbury from Fine & Country St Neots. Stripping out a kitchen and starting again can have high costs, however Simon points out that improving a kitchen doesn’t have to mean an expensive redesign of the whole room. “If a brand new kitchen isn’t going to be time or cost effective, consider just replacing the cupboards or reconditioning what you already have. People spend so much time in the kitchen that, whatever you do, it’s important that it looks appealing.” A brand new kitchen could give your home an 8%* value boost.
4) Break down walls
Open-plan living is becoming increasingly popular. Stephen Binder from Fine & Country Grantham says: “People love to see light and space when looking around properties, so open plan is the way to go. Buyers are particularly fond of open-plan interiors paired with older exteriors, so knocking down a few walls to create large living areas could maximise the added value.” Open plan living spaces could give your home a 5%* value boost.
5) Kerb appeal
“Around 10% of a buyer’s interest can swing on how the front garden and approach to the house looks,” explains Simon. “Investing time and money to make sure driveways are weed-free and windows are sparkling clean ensures that anyone visiting the house, whether buyers, friends or family, has a good first impression. Never underestimate the importance of a good first impression, as buyers often decide if a house is perfect or not within the first few minutes of a viewing.” Great kerb appeal could give your home a 5%* value boost.
6) Value for money
Adding value to your home doesn’t always require a job that requires detailed plans, builders and months of planning. Don’t underestimate the impact that a good lick of paint and some stylish wallpaper can bring to a room. A neglected room can come to life very easily when some attention is paid to the design, and it only requires minimal effort. “It’s best to stick to clean, neutral colours if you’re decorating while looking to sell as potential buyers will want to be able to put their own mark on the house when they move in,” explains Janie. Decorating run down rooms could give your home a 5%* value boost.
7) Professional homestaging advice
If you are stuck for ideas, then enlist the help of a professional home stager. Not only will they be able to help you improve the overall look and feel of your home, but they also know what will make a property endearing to house-hunters. Simon Bradbury says: “As much as friends, family and estate agents will help you get your home viewing ready, they can often shy away from being brutally honest to avoid offending you. For a few hundred pounds, a homestager can come and be completely truthful, which will vastly improve the value of your home as a result.” A professional homestager could give your home a 5%* value boost.
8) Check out your neighbours
Take a look at comparable properties in your area. Take note of what your neighbours have done to improve their homes, and find inspiration in what has worked for them. Janie O’Shea adds: “It’s particularly useful to look at properties nearby with similar price values to your own. This shows what buyers in your market are most likely to be attracted to. In higher end properties, this is likely to be the addition of luxury items like gadgets in the kitchen, or remotely controlled lighting all the way up to a swimming pool complex.”
9) Don’t overlook the hallways
The first impression is the most important, and yet most people forget to make it as beautiful as they can. “In everyday life hallways are places to kick off shoes, keep your keys, and have a glance in the mirror on your way out,” points out Simon. “But when you’re selling, it sets the tone for the whole house, making it the ideal place to focus on. A tidy, neatly decorated hallway will welcome a viewer into your home, making them feel comfortable and at ease in the property right away. ”
10) Clean your home
Chris McGinnis, Fine & Country French Riviera, says, “Taking pride of ownership when presenting their property and reflecting that in the presentation of their home is essential. To show that, you will need to do a full spring clean before every viewing. No-one feels welcome when they are surrounded by other people’s dirty laundry or rubbish, so allow them to feel at home by reducing clutter and making everything clean and tidy.” This also extends to clearing away everything unsightly, such as pets toys that are around the house or in the garden, and children’s toys also need to be put away. A dust-free spotless home can increase the chances of selling your home quickly and for the asking price. *Percentages will vary a lot from home to home, but our experts have given their best educated guesses at the most common increase that each addition will give to a property.
Are you looking to buy or sell a property? Get in touch with your local Fine & Country office. Visit fineandcountry.com/uk/contact-us/contact-us or call 020 7079 1515.