12 Home Improvements to Increase the Value of Your Property
Guest post by James Tilford, Head of Content Marketing, CastleSmart
The fluctuation of property prices is highly dependent on the state of the market at that given time, something homeowners have little to no control over. However, this does not mean you have no control over the rise and fall in price of your own home. You’re in control of your property, you can ensure that it is the absolute best it can be, and what better way to do this than a few home improvements. The same can be said of investment property.
Before you start throwing your life savings into hot tubs and swimming pools, a few things need to be considered. Many property owners are under the illusion that all improvements equate to an increase in price but this simply isn’t the case. A lot of the more grandiose changes actually yield a much lower ROI than some of the smaller home improvements. It is for this reason that we – with the help of a few experts – have compiled this collection of home improvements that can add value to your property, though of course, the value added will differ area to area and property to property.
This point remains vague and for a good reason, it knows no bounds. A fresh coat of paint can bring life to the most derelict of objects; doors, cupboards, cabinets, staircases, the possibilities are endless. Painting a house inside and out can see a monumental increase in value, with some properties seeing up to £10,000 added. A huge profit and all for the cost of a few paint cans and some hard work.
2. Shine hardwood floors
Cleaning hardwood floors is a tough task and not matter how hard you scrub they never seem to have that original shine. Other than refinishing the floors – which is an expensive task – the only option is to use floor polish. This will give your floors that new again shine.
3. Create space
Space is a virtue of any home and it shouldn’t be accepted that some of the house just isn’t spacious; create the space. As mentioned earlier, removing excess objects is a sure fire way of making space. You can, however, also remove walls. Of course, the consultation of a professional is needed, but many homes bear walls that do nothing except take up space. Removing these will create space you didn’t even know existed in your home.
4. Restore or replace carpets
Carpets take a beating, they’re being trampled on every single day and are forgotten as the things under our feet. Due to this, they sometimes do not look as good as they should. Replacing a carpet can make a room feel new, especially if it’s a contrasting colour. Replacing the carpet of an entire house will set you back a pretty penny, but for a single room can be easily done for a couple hundred pounds.
5. Install a fireplace
Installing a fireplace not only adds a decorative element, it also has several practical functions. A fireplace allows you to have eco-friendly heating while having the cosiness and warmth of a campfire. Also, with gas and electric bills on the rise, a fireplace is great way cut some of those pesky costs. While adding a fireplace will set you back around £1000, it has caused value increases of 5%.
6. Create off street parking
While this may not be ideal for many as it means sacrificing a chunk of your front garden, it does yield great rewards. Creating off street parking has seen to increase property value by 5%. It is an improvement which could cost £10-20,000 but could yield £50,000 in return.
7. Solar panels
Judy Lynes of SunPower states: “Installing solar panels can increase your home’s value by an average of 17 percent and the home will sell 20 percent faster.” This is due to the decrease in energy bills caused by solar panels and also by the ‘Go Green’ movement which has gone viral in recent years.
An extension can turn a 3 bedroom house into a 5 bedroom house and a two storey house into a three storey house. Of course, planning permission is needed for all extensions and the actual project will set you back tens of thousands of pounds, but it’s well worth it as it’s been published that “in the right location, £20,000 of building work could add more than £50,000 of property value.”
9. Add an en-suite
An en-suite bathroom featured in the master bedroom attaches a sense of style, finesse, and poise to the property. If you’re looking for a simple shower/toilet combo the price will amount to a few thousand pounds. However, a more luxurious bathroom will cost anywhere from £20,000 to £40,000. A price most would be willing to pay for a 10% increase in value.
This is definitely one of the more significant improvements on the list, as it’s adding a completely new element to your home. Conservatories have become a rather desirable feature on properties, as it’s something that a buyer would rather not spend their time and money doing. Depending on size the cost of a conservatory is around £4000 to £10,000. MarketOracle claims that a conservatory can add a whopping 22% to your properties value.
Iconic to lofts and attics, the skylight is a glamorised window which peers directly into the sky. Aside from creating a romantic setting, the skylight does a good job of bringing natural light to a room, as well as making the space seem larger. Smaller skylights can be installed for £5000 and yield returns of £40,000!
12. Double glaze windows
One of the most well-known features on the list, double glazing can be found on almost all modern houses. Although it is rare that a house will have all its windows double glazed. Double glazing the entire house will cost you thousands and a few windows under a thousand. Properties that have all windows double glazed have been reported to see a 10% rise in value.
The Property Voice Insight from Richard Brown
I love this article, it lists many potential ways to add value to a property!
A few of the suggestions are very simple, although some of the upside benefits could be tricky to quantify, such as painting and decluttering...although we all know they will intuitively improve the sale prospects don't we?
Some of the suggestions hint at increasing a property's sale price by between 5% and 22%...a fireplace at 5% and a conservatory at 22% for example.
Others really do factor in what I like to call 'return on works investment' or ROWI. Examples include off-street parking at 150%, an extension at 150% and a skylight at an eye-watering ROWI of up to 1000%!
When deciding whether to add value through undertaking works, it is always worth keeping in mind some general principles as well:
- Don't overpay for potential - there is no point in buying a property that once the cost of works has been added will merely sell for the purchase price plus these costs of improvement...we need to price in a 'developer margin'.
- Keep an eye on the 'ceiling price' in the neighbourhood - whilst it is possible to sell for a value above the highest sale price achieved on the same street, often people will use this as a reference point when making offers. So, be careful not to try and sell a property for a significant sum above the highest local sale value achieved, unless it can be fully justified with some of the 'harder' added value suggestions such as an extension.
- Check local comparable properties for similar features - in a similar way to the ceiling price point above, by looking at other similar properties in the local area, we can start to see what sort of premium we may expect with certain additional features. For example, comparing all the 3-bed properties but with and without an en suite or conservatory, we can start to get a feel for what the local market would value such an improvement at. This is not a precise science, as often other factors play a part in comparable sales values like general property condition, the date and period in the cycle sold, seller circumstances and so on.
That all said, some of these suggestions are a very useful guide to keep in mind when property shopping to ask ourselves...how could I improve the value of this property? The answer could lie with a simple coat of paint and tidy up, but for more of a certain outcome, aim to add living space and usable features to a property wherever possible.
Thank you to James Tilford from Castlesmart for putting this handy guest post together.
Off-street parking, en suites and extensions get my vote from this list...what would get yours?