Homeowners across the land can attest to staying up late at night and doing those calculations. You know, the ones where you’re trying to figure out ways to add extra value to your home without breaking the bank. It’s all a bit of a balancing act: is it worth spending £5k on a new kitchen before selling? Or should you focus on the outside of the property? Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.
If you are thinking of making a few improvements to increase the value of your home, it’s essential to know what adds the most value. While you might think that adding a laser tag room is the best idea ever, potential buyers will probably look on and think, “you did what?”
Laser tag aside, there are many ways to add some extra value to your property (and some ways not to). That’s why we’ve put this post together, which looks at how you can increase your home’s overall value and which solutions add the most mullah.
Gimme some structure
Making snazzy changes and re-doing rooms in the house isn’t the only way to add a few extra pounds to the value of your home. Improving structural issues can be more appealing to new buyers than a fancy bathroom or tip-top kitchen.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much value structural issues add, but sorting out nagging problems could prove to be invaluable and prevent any nasty surprises cropping up when potential buyers carries out surveys on your home.
Rising damp, bulging walls, a leaking roof, rotten roof timbers, and subsidence and movement issues are all worth looking at and fixing if need be. Implementing structural changes is often cheaper than aesthetic upgrades too – though they can be costly if there are any underlying problems.
Look into getting a surveyor round, who will be able to tell you whether or not any structural fixtures need upgrading.You can find them for around £350.
Cost of upgrades: Prices can vary depending on the issue, but expect to pay at least £350 for a surveyor
A sure-fire way to add some extra value to your home is by increasing the overall size of your property. An extension means a larger property, which equals a more expensive property. Makes enough sense, right? After all, the value increase is linked to cost per square metre.
The average square metre price in the UK is around £2,395, while an extension is likely to set you back by at least £20,000. However, the increase can see your home value rise by 23 percent. Some properties will require planning permission before you can increase the size or extend the length, so it’s best to check before making any changes.
Cost of upgrades: Around £20,000
Value increase of your home: Up to 23%
What’s cooking good looking?
Improving the kitchen is one of the most obvious ways to add value to your home. A nice kitchen is also one of the most popular features for homebuyers – everyone loves a modern kitchen. They say the bedroom is where the magic happens, but we’d argue the kitchen is the place for potions and the like.
The average price to improve a kitchen is just under £5,000, and the options for how you do it are plentiful. You can go open plan, create an island or make a breakfast bar. Whichever option you choose, adding a new kitchen can increase the value of your home by as much as four percent.
Cost of upgrades: Around £5,000
Value increase of your home: Up to 4%
Mirror mirror on the wall, who has the best bathroom of them all?
If a new kitchen doesn’t take your fancy, how about sprucing up the bathroom? Why not go all designer with your vanity mirror and rain shower? Or how about going one step further and adding a hot tub? Everyone loves a luxurious bathroom, and people viewing your property will surely be wowed by your underfloor heating and decadent bathtub.
Other bathroom options include adding an en-suite to the master bedroom if there’s not one already. Perhaps a full bathroom isn’t on your agenda, but you want to add a downstairs toilet? If you go down the route of redecorating the bathroom, expect to pay between £2,500 and £4,000. A high-end bathroom could add as much as £25,000 to the value of your property.
Cost of upgrades: Starting from £2,500
Value increase of your home: Up to £25,000
It’s getting lofty
If you have a loft that is gathering dust or acting as a storage room for your copious DVD boxsets, it might be time to consider turning it into another fully-functioning room. Unlike an extension, a loft conversion rarely requires planning permission and is another way to increase the size of your property.
There are other factors to take in when thinking about a loft extension: will adding stairs eat into the current square foot of the property, and will a loft conversion create more square foot overall and make your house bigger?
Expect to pay between £20,000 and £45,000 for a loft extension, which can increase the value of your home by a fifth.
Cost of upgrades: Between £20,000 and £45,000
Value increase of your home: Up to 20%
It’s all about how you look on the outside
Fixing up your interior is one thing, but first impressions are vital – and it’s the exterior of the property that potential buyers see first. Whether it’s your driveway, front garden or adding a new lick of paint to the outside of your home, improving the exteriors of your property can also help provide a good first impression.
Upgrading the outside is often cheaper than interiors fixes, yet can still add as much as £13,000 to the value of your home. Not only do you get to make a great first impression to potential buyers; you also increase the overall price of your property. Now, that’s a win-win.
Cost of upgrades: Starting from £500
Value increase of your home: Up to £13,000
How to de-value your home
Believe it or not, there are some things that we commonly associate with increasing the value of our home which in fact cause our property to decrease in value. Here are some of the things you might want to think twice about before building in your home.
It turns out that taking a dip at your home can also cause the price to go in the wrong direction. While the idea of owning and indoor or outdoor pool might seem appealing if you’ve got some extra cash (and space), plenty of home buyers view swimming pools as a hassle they don’t need.
Swimming pools are costly to maintain, potentially dangerous and could even be a lawsuit waiting to happen. They are also costly to install, often starting at around £20,000. They tend to take between two and four months to complete, and then you could have the problem of buyers being put off by the fact your house has one.
Overbuilding for your area
If all the homes in your neighbourhood look a certain way, making yours stand out may do more harm than good – especially if it’s with costly upgrades. Adding unnecessary extensions that don’t display some type of conformity could prove costly.
Adding extra levels, such as two new bedrooms to make it a five-bedroom house might seem like a good idea at first. But it could make your home stand out from the crowd in a bad way. Every area has an average price, and your new upgrades could caused the value to go significantly higher than that average. Selling your home is going become even more difficult – and you could be forced to accept an offer more in range with the local market value.
It’s all well and good putting a shiny new kitchen in your home, but if the bathroom looks like something out of a 1970s movie set, your home will end up looking anything but consistent. Whenever you do upgrades, they should be in line with the rest of your home so that they don’t look out of place.
While upgrading a kitchen or bathroom is recommended, turning spare bedrooms into all-out media rooms or gyms won’t necessarily impact your home’s value in a good way. Potential homebuyers might not want a games room or state-of-the-art gym, and the idea of having to remove them is a costly hassle.
The DIY approach
Who says you need to go all out with professional extensions to your home? Ok, we kinda did – but there are other options if you want to keep costs to a minimum. A new lick of paint, changing carpets to wood flooring (or vice versa), or adding some built-in wardrobes all have the potential to add small gains to your house value.
Head over to your local DIY store – B&Q, Homebase, IKEA – and look around for inspiration. Hiring a professional to add upgrades isn’t always the answer, as long as you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and doing a spot of home improvements.