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How to add value to your house

Looking to improve before you move? Here’s how you can add value.

Will @ Nested
Property market insight

First and foremost, homes are made for living in. But for most of us, a property is the biggest asset we’ll ever own. No pressure, right?

You don’t need a Nobel Prize in Economics to appreciate that if you sell your property for more than you paid for it, you’ll have greater buying power when it comes to your next move, especially if you’re downsizing. But how can you protect your home’s value? Our guide will explain some of the ways you can turn your money pit into a money maker.

What adds value to a house

There are endless ways you can add value to a property. Here are some of the best ideas at a glance:

  • Cellar conversions
  • Roof repairs
  • Splitting a home into flats
  • Insulation
  • Garage conversions
  • Exterior improvements
  • Double glazing or new windows
  • Kitchen extensions
  • New flooring
  • Loft conversions
  • Adding a conservatory
  • New bathroom
  • Central heating
  • Improved security
  • Garden improvements
  • Painting and decorating
  • Eco improvements

But which improvements add most value? The property market fluctuates, so there’s no guarantee that your renovations will always lead to an increase in your property value (at least compared to what you paid for it). But it’s certainly true that some home improvements achieve a better bang-for-buck than others.

If you have a cellar, it can be cost-effective to get a cellar conversion, which doesn’t require planning permission unless you live in a listed building, or you’re doing construction work, such as digging up the floor or tanking the surfaces. A cellar conversion can create a snug new space and boost your property value by 10 to 15% at a conservative estimate.

If you have space running down the side of your house, a side return extension can open up your kitchen without encroaching onto your garden. It’s anyone’s guess as to how much value this can add, but you might reasonably expect a 10% uplift.

Finally, loft conversions are a popular way to add an extra bedroom, often with an en-suite bathroom. Some say this can add up to 20% to the value of your property. Costs can vary depending on the age and type of roof on your home, so it’s worth getting a specialist in to have a look. Sometimes loft conversions can be done without planning permission, but it will depend on whether it significantly changes the external appearance of your home, any neighbourhood restrictions, and the size and type of your roof.

How to add value to your house on a budget

You can make improvements to your home without spending silly money. Here are some of the subtle but effective ways you can achieve a better sale price without breaking the bank.

  • Repaint the front door — Nothing makes a good first impression like a freshly painted front door, so get some quality exterior paint for extra kerb appeal.
  • Update your floors — You’re not going to bag up your floorboards and take them with you, so putting in new carpets or varnishing your wooden floors is definitely worth something.
  • New tiles — High-quality decorative tiles can be expensive, but if you’re only tiling small areas like the kitchen backsplash, you can create an attractive new space without spending much.
  • A bathroom makeover — You don’t have to rip out a whole bathroom suite in order to make it sparkle. Replace that grisly shower curtain with a glass screen and consider getting a new toilet seat, not to mention sink taps.
  • Gardening — If you’re handy with the trowel and shovel, you can try a bit of DIY landscaping to improve your garden’s appearance.

Should I move or improve?

Obviously, the good thing about renovating is that you avoid the upheaval of relocating, and the costs of moving, from solicitors’ fees to removal vans, go out the window. If you like your neighbourhood and you simply want to create more space, it can sometimes be cost-effective to stay put.

However, if you’re in the wrong location for your long-term needs, then no amount of renovations should convince you to stay. And for some home improvements like loft conversions, you’ll have to factor in the disruption. Could you realistically cope with the noise and kerfuffle of all the building work?

Sometimes, it’s better to bite the bullet and climb the next rung on the ladder. There’s little you can do about external economic conditions, but remember that even in a sluggish property market, you’ll get more bang-for-buck if you’re upsizing; 10% off a £1m property is a £100,000 price cut, but a home worth half that amount only gets a £50,000 discount.

How to get your house valued

Once the builders have left, you’ll understandably want to know whether all your renovations have been worth it. As a first port of call, websites like Rightmove and Zoopla provide value estimates and recent sold prices. What’s more, the Land Registry have a search tool which gives you hard sales figures at your fingertips.

But for a more accurate picture, estate agents like Nested (not that we’re biased) provide a free valuation with numbers backed-up by market data, not plucked from thin air. With any luck, all your time, energy and investment in your home should pay dividends!

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Nested puts homeowners in control of their sale. Our agents provide you with smarter insights so you achieve the best price for your home on your timeframe. When you’ve found your new home, you have the power to move chain free, while we take care of your sale. Our buying agent will even negotiate up to 5% saving on your new home, so you get more home for your money.

If you’re interested in selling smarter, get in touch today. Nested.com - The modern way to move.