A home improvement guide to upsizing

POSTED: 5th June 2014
IN: Personal Guides

While many homebuyers may be in a rush to take their next steps on the property ladder this summer, taking the time to make strategic home improvements can significantly enhance the value of a property.

In fact, Zoopla estimates 42 per cent of prospective sellers this year plan to make improvements on their home in the next six months, but homebuyers must invest wisely in order to ensure their investments pay dividends.

Extending space

According to Savills, loft conversions which add an extra bedroom, particularly with an en-suite included, represent one of the most effective ways to make a profit through home improvements. This transformation can add ten to twenty per cent to the value of a home, at a cost in the region of £15,000 to £40,000. The estate agent warns though that basement conversions can be less advisable, costing more with a less noticeable effect on value. For those without the capital to create an extra space in their home, obtaining planning permission can be a more affordable way to show would-be-buyers a home’s potential.

Improving energy efficiency

With soaring energy costs and environmental concerns playing on homebuyers’ minds, improving the energy efficiency of a home can lead to a substantial uplift in offer values. Estate agents Henry Adams state double glazing could add around 10 per cent to a home’s value, with the Department of Energy and Climate Change also recommending energy efficient boilers and central heating systems.

Boosting connectivity

Though its importance is often underestimated, Broadband is now considered as, ‘the fourth utility,’ by many, with Rightmove discovering buyers were reticent to chase properties in slow broadband areas. At a manageable cost of £17 to £55 per month, installing satellite broadband could be an economical way to overcome this barrier.

Transforming internal spaces

“A lot of buyers over-estimate the cost of work to refurbish a house and, therefore when refurbishment is needed, reduce their offer disproportionately,” warns Edward Rook of Knight Frank estate agents. If homes appear in need of refurbishment, it can be hard for viewers to see past their initial negative reaction. Replacing older kitchens and bathrooms, re-painting in neutral tones and even de-cluttering can have a profound impact on the impression a home produces at minimal cost. Sellers should avoid over-spending on expensive bathroom or kitchen fittings though, which may not repay their value, and be sure to hire professionals for more complicated jobs rather than risk a sub-standard finish.

Enhancing outdoor areas

First impressions count, so neatening up external areas surrounding a property is thoroughly advised for those intending to sell. Small details such as hanging baskets or potted plants can quickly make a home appear more attractive, but sellers should consider trimming back foliage that blocks out light from windows or gardens.

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