With the continuing uncertainty in the property market, many homeowners are choosing to stay put for the moment rather than move. Instead, many people are deciding to invest time and money in their existing property to improve and modernise their living space. It is generally assumed that you will recoup the cost of your improvements when you sell the property, but it all depends on what you choose to do to your home. Certain ‚improvements can take thousands off the price of your home rather than adding value.
One of the most popular improvements that many homeowners choose is double glazing. Old windows and doors in bad repair can let the appearance down on a home and lose valuable energy. So, replacing old units with draught-proof, energy-saving, security enhanced and low maintenance double glazing units can be a real improvement. In a street where most of the houses have double glazing such an improvement becomes a selling advantage. A conservatory is a popular way to extend your living space and improve your property.
However, if you own an older, period house then shiny white uPVC frames can be an unpopular choice to a prospective buyer, so you need to consider other options, such as wooden replacement windows or whatever suits the property’s style.
The outside of your house is the first impression that a prospective buyer gets, so it is important to keep it in good repair.The brickwork or masonery, or any damaged pointing should be repaired. One of the worst ‚improvements‘ cited in the survey was stone-cladding or pebble-dashing the outside of the property – a lot of people don’t like the look and it tends to put them off purchasing.
Redecorating your home is a low cost way to give it a face-lift and should be considered an investment. However, if you are planning on selling shortly consider decorating with neutral colours, as most people who move into a new home prefer a ‚blank canvas‘ to work with, rather than difficult to cover more vibrant decor.
The same applies with carpets – if you have worn or stained carpets then it is advantageous to replace them with basic neutral-coloured carpet, but fitting your home throughout with new carpet is not considered a good investment any more. A lot of people now prefer laminated flooring or like to select their own carpets to fit in with their personal colour scheme. Textured walls and ceilings are another no no!
A good central heating system is now almost essential to most people’s requirements in their home. Also, a modern bathroom and fitted kitchen is generally expected. So, any money spent on these is generally looked on as an investment. However, if you are shortly putting your house on the market, it is not wise to invest too much in say the latest top kitchen equipment, and if you have to replace the bathroom fittings then white is the popular choice!
If an extension is done well, then it can add value to your home and provide extra living space. Attic and loft conversions are most popular, because they don’t take away any precious garden area.
Adding a garage, if you don’t have one, can bring an advantage to your property. If you don’t want the expense of building a garage then even a parking space, such as a driveway, is preferable to properties with only street parking to prospective buyers, if they are car-owners.
Loans are readily available for financing home improvements but make sure they are the right kind of ‚improvements‘.
Top value home improvements
- Replacing old windows and doors
- A Conservatory
- Central Heating
- A Loft/Attic Conversion
- A Garage
Worst ‚home improvements‘ to avoid
- Stone-cladding or pebble-dashing the exterior
- Textured ceilings or walls
- Double-glazing on a period property
- A third bathroom
- Swimming pool