What Adds the Most Value to a Home?
Many people believe the only way to add value to a property is by making extensive renovations or even remodelling entirely, which can cost tens of thousands of pounds.
While adding an extra bedroom or extending by a few metres can certainly see your home’s value increase significantly, this isn’t the only way to add a few extra pounds to your potential asking price.
So, what adds value to your house?
To help you decide whether sprucing up or getting out is the best option for you, we’ve reviewed the impact of COVID-19 on buying trends and created a list of the top 10 ways to add value to your home — ranging from big projects that require quite a bit of work to some small additions that won’t break the bank.
How Is Coronavirus Affecting House Prices?
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a mini-boom in the housing market in 2020, with demand far outstripping supply for certain types of property in popular locations. House prices hit a record average high of £250,000 in the year to November 2020.
In March, millions of people were told to work from home for the first time — a trend predicted to continue — which has allowed homeowners to reevaluate their property needs. Homeowners seeking a “new life” are flocking to sell their homes before rising unemployment levels and the end of the stamp duty holiday in March lead to a slump in sales.
When the first lockdown ended in May, estate agents observed a dramatic change in the property features attracting buyers and adding value to homes. Aspects that previously added value to a home — such as commuting time to the office — became less important as buyers sought properties that could accommodate more time spent at home for work and leisure.
Estate agents have reported soaring demand for homes with gardens, space for a home office, fast wi-fi and access to public green spaces. If you’re lucky enough to own a home that ticks any or all of these boxes, make the most of it for a quick sale!
Property experts are predicting that the housing market will slow down and sale prices will fall when the stamp duty holiday and the furlough scheme end, a trend that may have already begun.
Big Budget Home Improvements
If you have the time and money, big-budget home improvements can deliver a fantastic return on investment (ROI) when the time comes to sell.
Fix Structural Issues
This one may seem like a given, but many fail to prepare before putting their houses on the market. Selling your home with structural problems could see potential buyers offering much less than your asking price or significantly lowering their offer once surveys reveal the extent of these issues. This can result in a far lower price than you might have imagined, and you may either have to concede on price or foot the bill to make the fixes to keep the interest of the prospective buyer.
Before putting your home on the market, ensure your roof is in a good state, along with windows and doors, as these are the elements that a new homeowner is unlikely to want to take care of themselves. A decent roof will add value to your home as its “ready-to-live-in” appeal increases and there will be fewer issues for the survey to inevitably uncover. However, before making any large changes, you must gain planning permission. Without it, you may negatively impact the value of your property.
Even a few loose tiles or some clogged guttering can act as a red flag to a buyer, as small problems can give the impression that bigger issues, such as leaks, could occur. According to research by The Eco Experts, the average cost of a roof repair in the UK varies from £120 to £205 for a small number of replacement roof tiles and up to £1,956 to £3,125 to replace soffits and fascias. To entirely replace a tiled roof, the average cost is £4,952. But, according to This is Money, fitting a new roof when selling up could see a return of up to 63% on your initial investment. Of course, this will depend on the problem and the extent of the work required, but these figures help to give a rough idea of the costs and returns involved.
Install a New Heating System
One of the biggest costs that can catch a homeowner off guard is a broken boiler — a common problem that can cause a lot of inconveniences. Boiler issues may have been something missed by prospective buyers in the past, but today it’s common to question the state of the boiler and heating system when viewing a home. So expect buyers to negotiate on price if your system is old.
Installing a new central heating system can appeal to prospective buyers with foresight because this means they won’t have to replace it for quite some time. On average, it costs £500 to £1,500 to install a new boiler in the UK, and the boilers themselves vary from around £800 to £1,500.
Replacing a boiler in the same location as the previous one will usually be cheaper, so this is something to bear in mind when getting a quote. But, no matter how good the deal is, replacing a boiler is a significant cost for a new homeowner. By doing this yourself before selling, you could achieve an increase in the value of your property and save yourself from being squeezed on price.
Create an Open-Plan Layout
An open-plan layout can create the illusion of a bigger, lighter, living space — particularly when your decor is the same throughout — as the eye flows naturally around the entire area. An open-plan layout can create a real “wow” factor for your home. According to Which?, adding a new open-plan kitchen could add 6% to your property’s value at the cost of around £8,000. Open-plan living is increasingly popular and makes each living area a more flexible, social space that will appeal to almost everyone — from first-time buyers to families alike. If this isn’t an option, consider adding concertina doors to give the feel of a more open layout. The cost will be significantly less, but it will create a similar airy effect.
Invest in a Loft Conversion
A loft conversion can cost anything from around £15,000 to over £40,000 depending on the rooms added, whether structural changes will be necessary and what type of access you use. A loft conversion is likely to be the renovation that will cost you the most if you’re looking to add value to your property, but it could also provide a significant ROI. Depending on the work carried out and where you live in the UK, a loft conversion can add around 20% to the value of your property.
However, when you compare this profit with the fact that adding a regular extension to your home can add 23% to its value, you may rethink whether the cost is worth it. Don’t forget, while most loft conversions don’t need planning permission, if you’re hoping to class the new loft space as an additional bedroom — to increase the value of your home by turning a 3-bedroom house into a 4-bedroom house, for example — it will need to meet stringent building regulations. You can’t call a loft room a bedroom just because you’ve put a bed in there and use it for that purpose yourself.
Add a Bedroom or Extension
Adding an extension to a property can create serious appeal and add a significant amount of value to your home in comparison to other unextended properties in your area. The cost of extending, whether it is an additional bedroom or otherwise, is around £1,000 to £2,000 per square metre, depending on the contractor and materials you choose. These costs, of course, don’t factor in the further expenses of decorating, fitting and furnishing the room as desired. To put this into context, the average size of a double bedroom is around four metres squared — meaning it will cost up to £8,000 to build.
Add a Home Office
With the number of people working from home on the rise, investing in a small extension to create space for a home office can add as much as 8.4% to the value of your property. A loft conversion — as previously discussed — is perfect for a home office. A more cost-effective alternative is a garden studio. A basic summer house or garden room style building can be purchased for as little as £4,000. However, to add real buyer appeal, you’ll probably need to invest in insulation, heavy-duty construction and extending the electricity and wi-fi from the house.
A garden office is unlikely to add as much value to your property as an extension, so if your budget can stretch to the latter, it’s a worthwhile investment.
Create an Ensuite
Adding bathrooms can also boost the value of your home. Ideally, there would be at least a toilet and hand basin on every floor of a residential property. If you have the space to add an ensuite to the master bedroom, this is a sure-fire way to attract buyers and increase the value of your home.
An ensuite can cost as little as £2,500 to install, but the costs can vary wildly depending on the space available and the finish you expect. To budget accurately for a new bathroom, you’ll need to factor in the cost of your chosen suite, labour, material and value-added tax (VAT).
Are Big-Budget Home Improvements Worth It?
So, if you were to make all these improvements to your home, how much would it cost approximately? Taking the higher end of each budget, we calculate that these home renovations combined would set you back around £70,000 and could potentially return just £15,000 when selling — according to the ROI percentages gathered throughout the piece. Naturally, you wouldn’t be expected to make all of these improvements, but this may put the costs into perspective. Remember, there will always be a ceiling price for properties in your area or road. No matter how many jaw-dropping home improvements you invest in, your home will never exceed this.
Small Budget Improvements
Depending on time and budget, you may be better making just a few small adjustments to your home to improve its appeal. Here are some cost-effective ways that could help you sell your home quicker — saving you money on the costs that come with a delayed sale.
Tidy up the Exterior
First impressions count. When someone comes to view your home, the first thing they will see is the outside of the property. Ensure this area is neat and tidy — de-weeding pathways, planting some flowers and giving your fence or front door a lick of paint are all great ways to increase kerb appeal. According to Property Price Advice, keeping a neat and tidy garden or adding a small decking could see as much as 20% added to the value of your home. Better still, this is simply a matter of aesthetics and won’t set you back very much at all.
Since COVID-induced lockdown restrictions on house sales were eased in May, there has been a sharp rise in demand for properties with an attractive, well-sized garden — if you’re going to be trapped at home, better to have access to your own little slice of the outdoors, right? Attract buyers by showing off the full potential of your garden, be that a carefully considered courtyard or a generous tree-lined lawn.
Install a Shed
The garden feature that adds the most value to a property is a shed. This is because it’s a great bit of extra storage space to keep the things you wouldn’t want in your home. An article by Property Price Advice states that 82% of estate agents surveyed agreed a garden shed is a top contender when it comes to adding value through the exterior of your property.
Giving the interior of your home a makeover with a fresh lick of paint in neutral tones can brighten the property up, create the illusion of a bigger space and ensure it appears modern and well presented to potential buyers. Decorating is a small job to undertake, but it can make a home far more inviting, giving the impression it is well looked after and saving the new buyer the task of redecorating if your current decor isn’t to their tastes. If budget allows, you could go a step further and add some new carpets or flooring to the space to make it feel that little bit “newer” for the prospective owner. According to Ideal Home, if done right, painting and decorating can add up to 5% to your home’s value.
Decluttering can also create the illusion of a much bigger space and shows viewers a home is looked after. This doesn’t mean you need to throw everything away, as a property with a homely vibe can appeal far more. A recent article by The Express revealed that, as with painting and decorating, decluttering can add up to 5% in value to your house sale price. Other than a few trips to the tip or the charity shop, this one won’t cost you a single penny, and you could even make money by selling some of the items you’re getting rid of — a good return on investment indeed!
Consider Plug Sockets
Lastly, it’s no surprise in the digital age that adding a few strategically placed plug sockets around the home can make a real difference. Buyers can be put off if your home appears to have few electric outlets, particularly in the kitchen where they’re likely to have an abundance of appliances to plug in. Opt for chrome or clean, white sockets — these aesthetically pleasing pieces can improve the buyer’s perception of the suitability of your house. This one won’t add thousands to your asking price or be the deciding selling point, but it is a small tweak that may just help in achieving a sale that bit quicker.
So there you have it — these are the things you need to do to get ahead in a competitive property market and increase your house price.
How to Speed up Your House Sale
If you’re keen to sell before the market dips, making some of the changes listed above will not only add value to your home but also help to attract buyers. Focus on current buying trends — extra space, a home office, a garden and fast wi-fi — to attract people who are eager to buy NOW.
But if the big-cost home improvement projects are out of your reach or you’ve made all the small changes that time and budget will allow and you’re still struggling to sell your house, why not talk to us? We will buy any home, in any location and condition for cash.
Get an initial cash offer today, simply begin by entering your postcode below.
Updated March 2021