For all the talk of the housing crisis, one thing never seems to change: Brits are a nation of home improvers. Indeed, particularly in London, the growing trend is to ‘improve, not move’, and it’s wonderful that we’re all inclined to optimise what we have, rather than constantly looking for new pastures.
The important thing, of course, is to get it right – and to get it right the first time. After all, home improvements can be an expensive and inconvenient exercise, so you want to be sure you have a robust and well-researched plan, and, more importantly, that you do the home improvements which really will work best for you.
So, if you’re considering undertaking some significant renovations, then here are five of the most fruitful in order to get you on the right track to increasing the value of your home, and making it into the palace that you imagined:
1. It starts with the kitchen
Certainly if adding value is your main objective, then modernising and optimising your kitchen is a great place to start. Bear in mind, this tends to be one of the more expensive options when it comes to renovating (depending on what you are doing, of course), and research by Which? suggests the average cost can be in the region of £8,000. But, as the hub of your home, and one of the first areas which will catch the eye of a potential seller one day, it is no surprise that a study by MoveWithUs found that a renovated kitchen adds 6 per cent in value to properties on average.
2. Loft conversions
In a recent survey by the National Association of Estate Agents, around 50 per cent of respondents stated that they believed an extra bedroom to be the biggest value adder to their home. One means of doing so – which is increasingly gathering popularity – is a loft conversion. Although there are certain rules and regulations which need to be adhered to for this, and it can be a project costing tens of thousands of pounds, research suggests it can add up to 20 per cent to the value of your home, thus making it an enticing option – if viable.
3. The joys of a conservatory
Conservatories tend to be quite an easy win. It will usually cost in the region of £5,000+, but it’s important that this is done properly and with good quality materials – particularly with respect to the glass. But given that these tend to add around 5 per cent in value to the average home (£15,000), and the process itself is usually not too intrusive to the core of your home, it could be something worth considering.
4. A smart-looking bathroom
Bathroom renovations are perhaps less value adding (and profitable) than other home improvements. But re-tiling the floor, replacing showerheads and taps, and other bits of maintenance and refurbishment don’t cost much. And if you’ve got a snazzy, clean-looking bathroom, it will not only be a sweetener when it comes to selling up, but also make your day-to-day living all the more pleasant.
5. Other quick, easy winners
If it’s coming up to the time where you’re looking to put your place on the market, it’s so important to get the little things right. Is your exterior clean? Does it need a lick of paint? What about the garden – has it been left to get messy? Can you manicure it a bit? Is there some redecorating that can be done? None of the above will put too much of a dent in the bank balance – it’s more a case of investing time and effort. But given how these are the kinds of things which will be the first to catch the seller’s eye, it’s an investment of time and money well worth making.
The last thing to consider is financing the cost of home improvements. Obviously prize number one would be to do it from savings. But depending on what renovations you decide to go for, you could be running up a bill well into the thousands of pounds.
Turning to credit is by no means a problem, especially given that any debt will be going towards an investment. The key though, is to choose your source of finance wisely. Too many people hurriedly lump such costs on their credit cards, and end up forking out plenty in interest. A better alternative is to secure such costs against your mortgage, and you should be able to negotiate a good rate of repayment if you do it this way.
Yet an even more convenient option could be to get a personal loan, which can usually be done online, with funds received within a day or two. Just be sure to do your homework, and shop around for the best deals. But, either way, when you consider the potential returns such debt can help to generate, it’s something you can feel more than justified in taking on.
Are you thinking to improve your home? What do you think of these 5 value adding home improvements? Have you been through this before? Please leave a comment below as I would love to hear what you think.
*Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.
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