Adding value to your home: A how to guide

Adding value to your home

Your home is likely your main investment of your hard-earned money. Your home is often the place you sink time, energy, and emotion. Knowing how you can be truly adding value to your home, whilst also living and enjoying the space, is crucial to your future emotional and financial well-being.

Bearing in mind Britons spend £30 billion per year on home improvements according to the Office of National Statistics [1], how can you be sure you are really adding value to your home?

Consider the costs first

When it comes to adding value to your home there are a few basics to consider. Primarily you need to consider the costs of any proposed improvement and weigh them against the added value. Not all improvements are created equally where adding value is concerned. Additionally, you also need to give due consideration to saleability, particularly if your current home is one you’re looking to sell in the future, rather than your ‘forever’ home.

Which home improvements add the most value?

When it comes to increasing the value of your home, adding an additional bedroom (often via loft conversion) can be considered streets ahead of other ways of adding value to a home. Around half of Estate Agents rank the addition of a bedroom as the best home improvement for adding value [2]. A new bedroom as a result of a loft conversion is estimated to add around 10% to the value of your home.

The survey of Estate Agents then ranks adding an extra bathroom, and a new kitchen, as improving the value of your home.[2]

What else adds to the value of your home?

Due thought needs to be given to the overall needs of the property before embarking on home improvement projects. It may be more crucial to update services such as rewiring electricity or renewing plumbing before embarking on projects such as additional bedrooms. Make sure you’ve fixed any structural problems (such as damp or rot), as there’s no chance of fooling a surveyor. Think of these improvements as the groundwork to bigger improvements.

Don’t forget the smaller things

As well as considering the big projects, such as new bathrooms, kitchens, central heating, conservatories, loft and garage conversions, and new windows, it is worth giving a little thought to some of the smaller, easier ways to add value. Superficial defects certainly affect saleability, and can easily affect the value of your home. If you’re looking for quick and affordable ways of adding value to your home without expensive outlays then look at refreshing paintwork, fixing broken windows and doors, removing mouldy sealant around sinks, re-doing old tile grout, eliminating odours, and general cleanliness. These small touches are what is sometimes first noticed when a newcomer, or valuer or surveyor, enters your home. They show the general care your house has experienced in its lifetime.

Similarly, there are a few other easier and less expensive ways of adding value to your home. You need to give due thought to kerb appeal and the state of your outdoor areas. Tidy up the garden, create privacy, and take a fresh look at your home from the outside.

How to pay for home improvements which add value to your home

When it comes to funding home improvements it can be a catch-22. You know the additional bedroom or bathroom will add value, or that the superficial changes you want to do will help the house to sell, but how to fund it?

We believe that you shouldn’t spend what you haven’t got.  If you have savings you may consider to use them on the renovation if you believe it will add value to your home in the long term. This is where you need to get your calculator out to check that the home improvements you’re planning to make will still add value even when you take in to account all the costs involved. Estate Agents in your area can value your home and advise on home improvements that are worthwhile in your area.

A word of caution

Not all improvements are successful in adding value to your home. Make sure you’ve done your homework and be cautious. For example, be careful not to overdevelop compared to your neighbours, and to keep renovations in proportion [3].

Adding value to your home in the future

Nonetheless, with careful planning, adding value to your home can pay. Your home should be a continual labour of love, and in so doing you should be able to watch its value rise.

[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/online-estate-agent/home-improvements-that-add-value/

[2] http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-3014644/Home-improvements-add-value-pay-them.html

[3] http://www.zoopla.co.uk/discover/selling/what-adds-value-to-your-house-not-what-you-might-be-thinking/#xO8rSe54kD8UBz7K.97

Please note: All information within Your Resource Centre is correct at the time of publication, and we make every effort to keep content accurate. However sometimes information may be out of date. You should not rely on this information when making financial decisions as no financial advice has been given. The information reflects the view of the author and not that of Shepherds Friendly Society.

If you’re not sure what to do when making financial decisions then you should consult a financial adviser, who will likely charge for any advice that is given.

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