A simples guide

How to increase the value of your home

With the UK voting to leave the EU, it remains to be seen what will happen to the housing market over the next few years. While waiting for the dust to settle, there’s certainly some ways that you could boost the value of your existing property or simply make it much easier to sell when it becomes time to move.

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Making your house easier to sell

There are some projects that will help your house stand out from the crowd when you enter the sales process, such as:

• Fixing any known structural issues

This isn’t just about giving your bathroom a new lick of paint, though that can help too as we’ll explain. No, we’re thinking of things like fixing rising damp, mending a leaky roof, making chimney stacks stable, repairing cracks and replacing missing roof tiles. Don’t forget the electrics and pipework which are likely to pop up in a buyer’s survey.

These can add up cost wise but in terms of adding value are absolutely essential. Unless you’re an expert it’s worth getting advice from a builder or surveyor about what items are essential.

• Spruce up the place

Okay, now we’re onto the paint! As well as that, fix any squeaks, replace any mouldy sealant around the bath or shower, repair cosmetic cracks, fix dripping taps, that sort of thing. No, they’re not going to add much to your property individually, but collectively they will stop you getting a top price when you come to sell.

Home improvements


Going for the value-add items

There are some items that are more significant, potentially giving your property value a bigger jump such as:

• Central Heating

If your house doesn’t have central heating, adding it could add more to your property value than it will cost. Adding it to an average three-bedroom house would probably cost you in the region of £3-4,000. Get an expert to look at the most cost effective solution.

Don’t shortcut the overall energy efficiency of your house either. A great new central heating system and good insulation need to go hand in hand.

• Replace windows

Adding new double glazed windows can add considerable value to a property. New PVCu windows require little maintenance, are energy efficient and can be made very secure.

Be sure to think about how the windows will look. Adding or maintaining character should be at the front of your mind.

• Adding a new kitchen or bathroom

There’s no doubt that first impressions on these two rooms is key when selling a house. More or less value can be added depending on your budget. If it’s modest, replacing aging cupboards, or fitting new lighting can add wow factor for relatively little money.

At the other end of the scale, starting from scratch can transform both rooms. Don’t replace like with like from a space perspective either. Think about shapes, positions and features. It’s likely that if you spend wisely, the more you spend, the more value you’ll add to the overall property.

• Adding new space

There are many ways that new space can be added to a property. For example, roof spaces could be converted, an extension could be added, either to one level or more. Space can also be redesigned to add another bedroom, a study or an extra bathroom.

While there isn’t an exact rule, the bigger the footprint of the building, the higher it’s likely value. Extensions won’t come cheap depending on what you’re taking on and could cost anywhere between £10,000 and £40,000 for a modest 1-2 story extension.

How much value it adds depends where in the country you live. In London property costs can be between £5,000 and £10,000 per square metre, while outside of London £900 to £2,000 is more likely.

You’ll need to do the math based on your plans to check whether it’s worthwhile.

• Add a conservatory

Adding a conservatory is a relatively quick way of adding space. Assuming the weather is kind, your sunny new room can usually be added without planning permission and, depending on your builders, can be quite quick to build.

How much you add in value really depends on a number of factors. It needs to face the right way – there might not be much point building one if your garden faces north! Think about how it looks, and make sure it can be used all year round by adding heating and double glazing.

A word on insurance

Carrying out some work to boost the value of your home can be a great idea. Don’t forget that you may need to tell your insurance provider if you’re carrying out major work. It’s worthwhile giving them a call and explaining what you’re doing. Sometimes they may demand a modest premium for the increased risk that your house is exposed to while work is carried out.

Finally, when the work is done, reassess the values of your property both from a building and contents insurance perspective. It’s important to make sure they’re sufficient for your newly improved home. Use our home insurance comparison service to make sure your still getting a good deal on your cover.

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