As a homeowner, the value of your house or flat will be very important to you. Therefore, there are many reasons why you might want to add value to your home. It might be a part of longer term investment plan with your property, or it might because you are looking to sell and want to quickly increase the value of your home by increasing kerb appeal. There are also many ways in which you can increase the value of your property but also, many misconceptions and reasons why you shouldn’t. In this article, Sell My House Quickly Leeds will give you a quick rundown on some of the ways you can increase the value of your home. We will also give some of the misconceptions around increasing the value of your home and when not to.
Why you shouldn’t try to add value to your home
It’s wise to consider if you will recoup the value of any improvements and make profit through its re-sale price. Before you invest large sums of money into your property, this section will run you through a couple of the instances where you could trip up.
The Ceiling Price
The ‘ceiling price’ is the maximum price you can expect for your home. This is heavily tied to the area you live in. You could turn your 2 up 2 down terrace house into a like for like replica of Buckingham Palace, but it will still be valued at the same price as your neighbour across the road who just put some new double glazing in, because you both have hit the ‘ceiling price’.
So, we would strongly recommend that you first work out the value of your home. To see how close you are to the ‘ceiling value’, you should research the maximum achievable price of properties in your area. Take look at the Sell My House Quickly Leeds article Find out how much my house is worth for an easy way to find the value of your home. You can then see what your local ‘ceiling price’ is without having to rely on estate agents.
The Risk isn’t Worth the Reward
Whenever you make any improvement to your house there is always an element of risk and a disruption factor to your life. Some potential pitfalls include:
- Carry a significant amount of risk (structural damage, take a lot longer, might cost a lot more)
- Cause a lot of disruption to your life (your one bathroom is out of action, no kitchen for a while)
- You are already approaching your ceiling price
If any of the above apply, then making home improvements might not be the right idea. Also, the risk of the project taking too long could be disastrous if you need to sell quickly.
Solving Structural Issues
Adding value to your home isn’t just about doing a loft conversion or adding a fancy new conservatory. It can also be about tackling the issues that are taking away value from your home. One of the first things any homeowner should look at is whether there are structural issues that need solving.
Structural issues can not only impact the value of your home but also turn any would be buyer, mortgage lender or even estate agent off viewing your home as a viable property for sale even at a discounted price. Therefore, these issues must be solved before making cosmetic, internal and external changes with extensions or conservatories.
Here is a list of some common structural defects:
- a sagging or leaking roof
- rising damp
- structural cracks to walls
- bowing walls
- rotten joists or roof timbers
- insect infestation
- missing or broken roof tiles
- an unstable chimney stack
Some of the things listed above are easy to solve, others are more difficult. But it is always best to get them sorted as soon as possible because they will lead to major problems if left unchecked.
Improving the central heating of your home is an almost guaranteed way to increase the value of your property. Homebuilding.co.uk writes “Adding or updating the central heating system will always add more to the value of a property than it costs and should to be done in conjunction with improving the general energy efficiency of the building.”
Improving the general efficiency is also an easily achievable way to raise the value of your home, some examples are:
- sealing any drafts around doors and windows (but not airbricks)
- replacing windows that are beyond repair with double glazing
- adding insulation into the loft space
Just make sure that your boilers, pipes or radiators are capable of handling and updates before you begin.
If you have an older house, modernising it with new plumbing or electricity can be a good way to improve the value of your home. Quality of life improvements such as more sockets, better lighting, better hot and cold-water delivery will mean a lot to not just yourself but any potential buyer. However, this can be very disruptive. It may mean removing plasterboard, skirting, flooring or wall tiling. So, always take this into account before planning cosmetic improvements.
Decorating and Kerb appeal
First impressions are important! Sprucing up the front of your house by doing a little gardening, painting your door etc. is an easy way to increase someone’s perception of the house. This can make a huge difference in value and how quickly you manage to sell your house or flat.
Following on from that is decorating, some easy to fix defects such as:
- peeling paint
- squeaking or sticking doors and windows
- door latches that don’t work
- mouldy sealants in kitchen and bathroom
- dripping taps
- loose tiles
- sewer smells
- broken or damaged windows
- squeaky floors and stairs
- cracks to ceilings and plasterwork
- lifting flooring
While not directly effecting the value of the house, the presentation and perceived level of work involved in fixing those defects can easily put potential buyers off or reduce the price they are willing to pay.
Double glazing is a must have for any modern home. And, unless there are some planning restrictions to the house (listed buildings for instance), there are few reasons a modern home shouldn’t have double glazed windows. Modern windows don’t have to look modern either, they can always be framed to keep the aesthetics of the building.
You may already have double glazed windows that need to be resealed, as Everest <hyperlink> explains modern UPVc windows can last 25-30 years. But, exposure to the weather and poor installation can affect this. If you see condensation build up between the panel then it means the seal has been compromised. This means that the important Argon gas that has provides the noise and sound insulation has probably leaked out by now. Don’t worry too much as, in most cases the argon can be replaced and the frame resealed, but always consult a professional.
Getting Planning Permission
You may see the potential for some major home improvements but don’t have the money or time to invest before you sell. Submitting and getting planning permission will cost around £400 and buyers will be happy to pay a premium for not having the hassle themselves. According to insurance firm Hamilton Fraser, a £400 investment can add 10% to your property value. For the average property price in Leeds, that could mean up to an extra £24,000 in value!
Except for maybe fixing structural issues, the above options are not necessarily intrusive or expensive. But if you do have the cash, there are other ways to add value and large quality of life improvements to your home. These are the kind of improvements that will significantly increase the value of the property. You will have to assess whether the increase in value will be greater than the cost of the works.
Loft Conversions can be a great way to add value to your home. You can add floor space and extra rooms and most homes can be converted. Although, just make sure the conversion will be structurally safe by checking with someone like and architect first. Ideal Home state that loft conversions start at around £20,000 and can raise the value of your home by around 21% depending on the rooms and space it provides. Something to note though is that the space taken away for the staircase can counteract this.
Building Extensions and Conservatories
Building extensions and conservatories is a great way to add value in a similar way to loft conversions. Ideal Home state that the average price for an extension is around £30,000, with a 1.5 multiplier to each storey added. Propertypriceadvice.co.uk suggest that an extension can add around 15% to the value of your home depending on its placement and quality and a conservatory 10%.
By simply improving the existing layout you can add value to your home. This is potentially cheaper and also, less intrusive than the examples above. Multi-functional living spaces and larger rooms can make a house feel larger, while improving air circulation around the house. A non-loadbearing wall can be removed with a simple DIY job. But, a loadbearing wall will need professional help. Removing walls can be a simpler and cheaper solution to building extensions and raise the value of your home by 3-5%.
Equal investment to value relationship
There are many misconceptions when it comes to improving the value of your home, a common one is money spent on your home causes and equal increase in property value. This is simply not true, just because you have spent £30,000 on your lovely new bathroom or landscaping project doesn’t mean that you have converted that into same amount into the value of your home. There are multiple reasons why this won’t happen, so always make a financial assessment if you are spending this money to raise the value of your property.
Equal discount to repairs relationship
This is the mirror issue to the above. Some homeowners think that the cost of repairs can just be deducted from the value of the property. But, just consider yourself in the buyer’s position. Any defect carries risk, extra work and extra stress. Many will want more than just the cost of repairs discounted from the property value for this reason. Mortgage lenders will feel the same and many will not agree to mortgage a property with extensive structural issues.
Hopefully, this article has given you a better idea of type of improvements you can make to your home to raise its value. Here at Sell My House Quickly Leeds we understand that you want to achieve the best possible value out of your property without taking unnecessary risks. We will always be on hand to give you the best advice on how you can achieve your property value aims with the capital and time you have available to you.