By Tim Roe, Managing Director, Rated People
Everyone wants to add value to their home, whether they are staying for a decade or selling up and buying bigger next year. Research by the Nationwide Building Society has found that adding a double bedroom and en-suite bathroom to a house will see its value increase by 23 per cent. With return on investment so strong, it seems sensible to get the builders in.
The great news is that adding value to your home also makes it a better place to live. Bigger space, better heating, beautiful bathrooms – these investments enhance your everyday living experience, leading many homeowners to decide to stay put rather than sell on. But whatever your intentions, it’s worth keeping investment in mind as it leads to sensible choices for your home.
Extensions are an obvious choice when it comes to adding value, simply because they create more space. This often equals more time in the property itself: with another room or two added to your home, you may decide to hold onto it longer while your property value rises. Government regulations have recently been relaxed, meaning more can be added onto a home, but careful planning of extensions is crucial: half-hearted efforts often make for poor investments.
Conservatories may feel like a relic from the last few decades, but that’s only because some people choose clunky, out-dated design and garden-themed interiors. Unlike an extension, there’s no need for planning permission and rules on structure don’t apply, so it’s possible to get wildly creative, be it metal and wood frames or a series of sliding bi-fold doors. According to research by peer-to-peer research platform Zopa, a new conservatory promises a heady 108 per cent return.
3. Loft conversions
For some, extending up is better than out. Generally speaking, a loft conversion can add up to two bedrooms and a bathroom to your property. There is a lot to consider: conversions take up height and room from the floor below, especially with new stairs. A good solution is to ensure new stairs feel like they’ve always been there, creating a seamless transition between spaces.
4. Extra bedrooms
An extra bedroom adds value because it makes your home appealing to growing families looking for more private space. Whether you’re building a bedroom on top of a kitchen extension or splitting a large double bedroom into two, a new room should be easily accessible, function and not awkwardly crammed in.
5. Open up space
Expanding your home isn’t the only way to make serious money: you can also rework what you have. Open plan living is an extremely popular trend that looks set to stay, so for many, creating an open spaced living area by knocking through an internal wall is top of the list. The advantages are many, from more light to more sociability, but an open space must be liveable, so think about functionality and heating.
For such a crucial room in the house, bathrooms go out of style quickly. They also deteriorate fast due to moisture in the air. It’s all too easy to overlook this in the throws of day-to-day living, so redoing your bathroom into a smart, simple and clean room can be an easy way to rejuvenate the feel of your home and make it more appealing to prospective buyers. Choose good quality fittings such as towel warmers, but keep them few in number. En-suites in particular are value boosters.
As the central hub of a home, kitchens are notoriously subject to personal style, so chances are if yours is too niche a new homeowner will be redoing it straight away. A modern-looking, highly functional and efficient kitchen is one of the single greatest money makers there is, so invest in a more neutral space. Often, new kitchens come with an extension. If they can’t, steal space from other rooms – it’s that important.
No one likes a cold house; it’s simply uncomfortable for bodies and wallets. So as laborious as it may seem, fitting a new heating system nurtures both your home and your investment. New, efficient boilers are a great way to save money. Alternatively, under floor heating is popular for owners and buyers. Insulation – from windows to floorboards to attics – is an absolute must.
Prepare yourself: carpets add value to your home. It may seem that the era of carpets is coming to an end, with homeowners opting for chic exposed floorboards or concrete. But the fact is that the vast majority of Britain still relies on carpets to insulate their home. Investing in new, good quality flooring every five to ten years keeps your home looking and feeling new.
10. Take away
It’s not all about what you can add. You can also take away to increase value. Certain features, such as swimming pools, actually detract value for many prospective buyers. Anything that requires upkeep should also be considered a potential throw-out: built-in hot tubs, expensive carpeting and outlandish landscaping. It’s best to know your customer: some high-end homes are attractive with a pool, but for the majority of homeowners, it’s simply a case of restraint when choosing luxuries.
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