Whether you’re thinking of selling or staying put, it’s always a good idea to ask yourself how to increase the value of your home.
Depending on the market at the time, if and when you do decide to sell, keeping your home maintained and in top-notch condition will go a long way towards achieving your asking price. Here, Cindy Fuller, interior designer and founder of new budget interior design service Designs Direct, shares the insider tips and tricks that can make all of the difference, and reveals how much money you can really make.
The Exterior (+ £2,000)
Start by asking a friend or relative to give you an honest opinion about how the front of your home looks. If they walk out and don’t come back, you just know you have your work cut out for you! Even if you live in a flat, you’ll have a front door, so make sure it is clean and tidy, paint the door if necessary. This is the first impression buyers will see when viewing. Maybe the hardware on the door could be renewed or at the very least polished. If you have a front garden, make sure it’s tidy, the lawn is cut, and there are no toys or other items lying on the grass, this is so your prospective buyer can imagine living in your home. Also, fix or paint the gate if needed. Water the plants and purchase pots or hanging baskets. Adding extra touches to your front door and garden and keeping the area clean and tidy could add an extra £2,000 to the value of your home, as first impressions really do count!
Kitchens and bathrooms (+ £35,000)
Without a doubt, the two obvious areas of interest for a buyer are of course the kitchen and the bathroom. These areas are high-ticket priced rooms – if either of these rooms looks like it’s seen better days, (yes, I do mean that avocado bathroom suite), spending approximately £5,000 on removing and replacing it could increase the value of your home by up to £35,000. If you don’t have that kind of budget, then update the taps and any cupboard and drawer hardware.
Carpets (+ £3,000)
If you have the means, get the carpet either professionally cleaned or replaced. At the very least clean it yourself. Hardwood floors have now very much come into their own. Laminate flooring is now available that looks just like real wood. In the long run, it will work out more economical than carpet, it’s easier to keep clean and more hygienic. Hardwood works particularly well if you have young children or animals. There’s nothing quite like trying to remove that ‘doggie smell’ from your 1970’s shag pile! Carpets that look like they are new or are new could add up to £3,000 to the value of your home.
Windows (+ £10,000)
By anyone’s standard windows are expensive to replace so unless they are in a dilapidated state and really do need replacing, give them a lick of paint. If you have UPVC windows, coat them with a UPVC primer first and paint them whatever colour you desire. You will be amazed at the transformation! Switch hardware for a more updated look. While we are on the subject of windows, ensure your curtains and blinds are in good condition. Repair any areas that need it and give them a good clean or if possible send them for a professional clean. You will notice the difference when you rehang them. Well-dressed curtains and blinds will last for years, and it’s so worth the effort of taking care of them. New or nearly new windows could add up to £10,000 to the value of your home.
Paint (+ £1,500)
For a small amount of money, it really is astonishing what a tin of paint can accomplish it could increase the value of your home by up to £1,500. Besides using it to make a space look bigger or smaller, a fresh coat of paint can be used in many other ways too. If your walls are looking a little shabby, covered in scuffs marks or your budding little Rembrandt has decided to use it to display their latest work of art in crayon, then it’s definitely time for a cover-up – just make sure you take a quick photo first!
Declutter (+ £?!)
Personally, I find decluttering is actually cathartic and good for the soul. The reason it can add value to your home is, when potential buyers visit, they need to visualise themselves actually living in the space and that’s pretty difficult to do when they are met with dress rails in the hallway or toys up and down the stairs. Work room by room taking two boxes with you, one for charity and one for the dump. Clutter zaps your energy and in some cases can become a fire hazard. Be brutal with what you keep and what you let go and bring the zen back into your life. While this may not add value in the same way as the other tips, it will certainly not put a buyer off…