5 value boosting ideas for the home
If you are anything like me then you will love watching home improvement programmes on the TV. Have you seen the one where they have the virtual reality headsets and get to actually see what the improvements would be before they are done? That blows my tiny mind. I love seeing the ideas the architects come up with every week, I dont think I have seen one yet that hasn’t made me say wow and consider doing something similar to our house. The problem is of course, those families always have hefty budgets, and most people looking to improve their homes don’t.
So what can we do if we want to maximise what we do have, and ultimately add value to our properties without spending hundreds or thousands of Pounds? Here are the five value boosting ideas for the home that I have learned after watching a decade of these programmes
Tidy up the front of your home
That phrase about “kerb appeal”? It’s a real phenomenon. The idea is that anybody viewing a home, particularly to buy, will make a split second judgement on a house the second they pull up to the kerb. This is really important to remember if you are looking to sell (or if you want to really impress some relatives you don’t see very often!). It doesn’t cost very much to weed the drive or path, wash window sills, trim the hedge or paint the fence but the difference it can make is huge. If you have bins that sit at the front of the property maybe see if you can get a wooden cupboard to hide them in, or at least make sure they are clean on the outside.
Sort out the garden
If you have a garden then cutting the grass and tidying the edges up can really make the garden look 100 times better. If you are lucky enough to have flower beds then even buying some trays of bedding plants and adding them in can make the garden look loved, without spending a huge amount. Trim hedges or prune bushes and if you have garden furniture give it a good jet wash or spruce up with some danish oil. We got the whole family involved in doing this over a weekend, we all got messy and dirty doing it but payment was a barbecue with ice creams so everyone was happy. And the difference it made when looking out from the lounge was massive. Plus it only cost about £50 for the trays of flowers and the Danish oil so was a great return on the investment.
Define inside spaces
One of the things we hear Kirstie Allsop tell us all the time on Location Location Location is that we need to define the spaces in our homes. That front room that is a dumping ground for coats and shoes but has a piano against a wall and an old book case? Tidied up and repainted could be a stunning second living room or a dining room. The box room that has nothing but suitcases and a wardrobe could be turned into a study. We all know that when people view homes with an estate agent they dont really have a huge imagination. If you are selling your home as having a kitchen you can eat in then you really need to put a table and chairs in it. People won’t visualise it and so won’t believe it. If you have an area at one end of a lounge that has a pile of bean bags consider putting a dining table there if there isnt one somewhere else, or maybe change the beanbags for a couple of arm chairs so it looks like a separate area of the lounge where you could sit and read as others watch TV. Area under the stairs full of shoes? Could you tidy it up and add some shelves for hats, hooks for coats and a shoe box? It will instantly tidy your hallway and make it look so much better.
If you are serious about selling it might also be worth having a major decluttering session and putting lots of stuff into storage. You will have to pack up and move things anyway, why not do it now and clear alot of things out of your house? Makes it easier for potential buyers to see what the house is really like.
Replace bathroom or kitchen
A larger project might be to replace the bathroom or kitchen if you want to add value to your home, though obviously this isnt worth doing just so you can sell. There is no denying that either a new bathroom or kitchen can add more value to your home, and that you dont need to spent thousands in order to do that. Depending on your budget you could just replace the cupboard doors in the kitchen rather than ripping it all out, or just change the tiles in the bathroom. It is amazing what you can you do with a lick of paint or some different lighting!
Think about an extension
Obviously this is the big one. But if you really want to add value to your home, and have the space to do so, then how about building an extension? If you live in an older property and have a bathroom downstairs maybe you could build an extension and move it upstairs, and add a dining room and extra bedroom at the same time. Or maybe you could add a second living room downstairs and a new master bedroom and en suite upstairs, both ideas would add considerably to the property’s value. The price of a two storey extension would obviously depend on the style and finish you go for (and whether you putting a bathroom upstairs or a kitchen downstairs) but typically you would be looking at about £1500 per square meter. Definitely cheaper than paying all the legal fees of moving and stamp duty if you need extra space at home and dont want the upheavals moving too!
If you have any other ideas, I would love to hear them!
Image of a house courtesy of Shutterstock