24 simple ways to add value to your home

By John Fitzsimons, Lovemoney

If you're looking to sell your home, or make some much-needed improvements, then there are some simple steps you can take to ensure you get the best possible results. From updating your appliances to revamping your yard, these easy home improvement tasks show that you don't have to spend a fortune in order to make your home more desirable, and significantly increase its value.

Upgrade your appliances

Everyone loves brand new appliances, so if your home boasts an old heating system, an outdated washing machine and a grimy refrigerator, you could inadvertently be putting potential buyers off. Invest in high-quality, energy-efficient appliances and you could boost the interest in, and value of, your home. Be wary of splashing out unnecessarily, though, on pieces that don't hold their value and keep your expenditure in line with the house itself – designer appliances will always help sell a mansion but you may not recover your costs on a three-bedroom family home.

Fix that fencing

If it's located in your front yard, your fencing could be the first thing people see when they approach your home. So, if yours is looking a little worse for wear, then it could be time to fix that fencing for good. Unsightly, broken or shabby fencing panels can devalue a home and since they cost about the same amount as a simple restaurant lunch, replacing them is a cheap but easy way to transform your outdoor space and add 'curb appeal' to your pad.

Get the decorators in

Often, house-hunters are put off if a property's d├ęcor is old fashioned. Is your wallpaper peeling, or are your bathroom tiles looking a little drab? Well, you'll be surprised how new drywall and a fresh lick of paint can totally transform your home. If you take the time to get a decorator in to help you fix any obvious issues, then you'll be able to show off your property in the best light. Remember, keep it simple so that potential buyers can envisage the space as their own.

Utilize bedroom space

Property value can often hinge on the amount of bedrooms a home has, with an extra bedroom potentially increasing a home's value by around 11%. Therefore, if you have a spare room that's currently not being put to good use, there could be an opportunity for you to make your house more desirable. Clear out the clutter and turn that redundant room into an extra bedroom. With more bedrooms, you will be able to attract a broader range of buyers.

Declutter your interior

The biggest, and arguably cheapest, improvement you can make to your house is to declutter. No one wants to see someone's belongings strewn around or endless ornaments covering every surface. Have a clear-out and rid your rooms of junk. If you're keen to keep hold of your personal effects, then move them out of sight so that they can't be seen by any visitors or put them into storage until you sell the house.

Convert your attic

If your loft space is big enough, then consider converting it into a dedicated bedroom. While converting an attic space is no simple or cheap task, it could seriously enhance your home. In fact, loft conversions that provide an extra bedroom and bathroom can, on average, increase a home's value by a whopping 21%.

Make the most of your storage

With space at a premium, every inch of storage counts. If you have any secret storage spaces hiding in your home, whether a closet under the stairs or some extra garage space, don’t just use it as a dumping ground. Clear it out so that any buyer can see exactly how much space they will have to play with.

Get gardening

According to property experts Move With Us, a flourishing backyard can add 10% to the value of your home. But in order to do so, the space really has to look its best. Overgrown weeds and out of control shrubs aren't going to entice anyone, so make sure the lawn has been mowed, you cut back any bushes that might make the space look smaller and you have a general tidy up. Just sweeping the paths will make a big difference!

Add a sunroom or extension

Adding a sunroom or extension doesn’t have to cost a fortune. What’s more, that extra space will only add value to your property – typically around 11%, according to real estate firm, Yopa. Plus, with extra glazing drawing additional sunlight into your home, your interior will be a bright and inviting space that's sure to seduce buyers.

Spruce up the bathroom

The bathroom and the kitchen are the most important rooms when it comes to selling a house. Keep any improvements very simple. A chic floor and a bright, clean suite can do wonders. Ensure the faucets are well polished, consider putting in a heated towel rail and if you need a shower screen, opt for glass over a curtain.

Knock down a wall

Make sure it isn’t load-bearing first! Generally, buyers are more impressed with how much usable living space they have, rather than the number of rooms (this doesn't apply to bedrooms, of course). So consider knocking down a wall in order to create a bright, open-plan space. This will give you one impressive room, rather than two underwhelming ones. Then, sit back and watch your home’s value soar.

Focus on the kitchen

According to most real estate firms, the kitchen is the most important room in the house when it comes to making a sale – it's the heart of the home, not just where you make your food. As well as ensuring your appliances are all up to date, consider giving dated designs a budget revamp. Paint the cabinetry, go for new handles and buff up the countertop surfaces to give your kitchen a new lease of life.

Hang a mirror in the entryway

The entryway is the first part of the interior that buyers see. The trouble is, they are often the narrowest and darkest part of the house. Installing a mirror on either wall will make the area look much bigger and will allow natural light to fill the entire space. This will not only boost its attractiveness to buyers but also its value.

Refurbish the front door

There’s no point having a nicely spruced up exterior if your front door looks a mess. This is a really easy fix – you may get away with simply giving the doorknob a decent polish but new stainless steel numbers or a nice, new knocker can also be a good investment. Plus, with a plethora of paints available, you can be as bold as you like when it comes to color.

Paint the outside of the house

The front of the house is the first thing a potential buyer will see, so it’s important to make a good first impression. Giving the outside a fresh lick of paint means you’re off on the right foot but also clean your windows, consider investing in some potted plants and hide any rubbish or mess away until the viewings are over.

Create driveway parking

If you live in an area where parking is at a premium, then dedicated space to park in front of the house will likely be a big selling point. Not only will driveway parking entice more potential buyers, but it will also be far easier to maintain than endless flower beds – another plus point for house-hunters.

Let there be light

If you want to really show off your home, you need to show it in its best light – literally. Make sure there is plenty of natural light in the property by opening curtains and blinds and giving all the windows a good clean, and be sure to improve your light fixtures too. For any evening viewings, turn on ambient lighting to create a warm glow in any social spaces.

Add a HVAC system

Adding a HVAC system to a property that doesn’t have it will always add more value than it costs – more than 5% according to property giants, Move With Us. It’s generally considered an essential for homebuyers today. Likewise, if your heating and air-conditioning system is old or a little unpredictable, it might be worth upgrading it before you place your home on the market.

Improve the energy efficiency of your home

This is a big one for two reasons. Obviously, there’s the money involved; if your home is energy efficient, you’re less likely to run up massive bills. But buyers today are more likely to be concerned about the environment. If your home is helping the planet, that can only help you sell it.

Add in extra outlets

Most of us have a host of gadgets today, from laptops to tablets and games consoles. And they all need to be charged somewhere. Make sure that you have plenty of outlets on offer in areas where they don’t look ugly. You can even hide wireless chargers and retractable outlets inside cabinets and worktops, so you can provide extra power without affecting the look and feel of your home. You'll also get extra points for wireless charging options and USB ports in outlets.

If it creaks or leaks, fix it

Go through each room of your house and see if there are any superficial defects on show, whether it’s a creaking door, a leaking faucet or a loose tile. Each and every one will dent the attractiveness of your home to a buyer, so go through and fix each one.

Replace the windows

OK, this might not be cheap but it can be very important. Just as buyers view a HVAC as an essential today, the same goes for double-paned windows. Experienced property expert, Phil Spencer reckons it adds 5% to the value of a home.

Give your floors some love

The floor is an often overlooked part of the home, but it’s a crucial selling point. Buyers will be turned off by old, stained carpets or wooden flooring that is horribly scratched. Replacing the floors entirely may be too costly but a little bit of work on the floors can go a long way or lay down some new rugs that you can take with you.

Don’t forget the roof

A recent study found that replacing worn-out areas of the roof provided a 63% return on investment. The logic is simple: if the buyer thinks they might need to deal with a leak or the cost of replacing tiles, it will bump down the price they are willing to pay.

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Bloom Magazine: 24 simple ways to add value to your home
24 simple ways to add value to your home
Bloom Magazine
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