Here are 11 things you should do to your home to boost its value, according to Chesterfield estate agents
Living under lockdown restrictions is likely to be a reality for some time to come – but the property market remains open for business.
The most recent findings from Zoopla’s House Price Index show demand for homes from Boxing Day 2020 to January 17 was 13 per cent higher than the same period 12 months previously, increasing competition among buyers.
And for anyone thinking of selling up or looking for a home improvement project, there are several easy ways that the value of a property can be increased, in some cases by thousands of pounds.
Claire Shipman, North West area manager for estate agent Redbrik which has offices in Chesterfield and Sheffield, has shared 11 of the best tips for boosting a house price below.
Ground floor extensions
“Ground floor extensions seem to do very well. It gives that extra living space and family space which seems to boost the value of a property quite nicely. If you're thinking of selling in a year's time, it might not be the best way to boost the value of your house to get the money back, because they do cost quite a lot – but if you're buying a property and you're thinking of staying there for 10 or 15 years, then ground floor extensions are fab for that.”
Create a workspace
“There's nothing nicer than being able to leave work at the end of the day and go home – if you're working on your dining table, it's sometimes quite difficult. Anything that you can create that is an actual space is very appealing – maybe taking a section of the garage at the back and boarding it out, or the same with the loft space, or even a garden shed with light and heating. A lot of people will want three bedrooms, but will ask for a fourth, so if you can create this extra space it will definitely do you a favour.”
Smarten the exterior
“The first thing people will look at when you're selling your property is what the house looks like from the exterior, whether that's through the marketing or driving past. Kerb appeal is absolutely massive. Driveways, fascias, soffits, fencing can all have wear and tear over time so make those as neat and crisp as possible. I go on a lot of concrete driveways which are cracked – you could get those patched and de-weeded. And then it’s finishing touches; pots, hanging baskets, maybe a nice wreath on the door.”
“If people have got a lot of personal items, or you've not made the bed very well, and the kids' toys are in the lounge and all over the house, the buyer will simply see that it's quite a cluttered home, and possibly think 'Do I have enough space to live in here?'”
“Freshen up your paintwork and always your woodwork as well, a lot of people miss that out. Try and use matt paint, that seems to be more fashionable than shiny gloss at the moment. Peacock colours are in fashion at the moment, like Hague Blue, but not the entire room, just a feature wall or little bits and pieces. You can bring those colours out quite nicely in cushions and throws which you can pick up and take with you when you move.”
“If you've got an older laminate and it's started to split apart, or your carpets are frayed, it probably is a good idea to spend a bit of money and replace. Fresh-smelling carpets are just amazing anyway. You can get a whole terraced house carpeted for a grand with decent underlay these days.”
A clean bathroom
“If you can bring your bathroom up to scratch with resealing and mould spray do that. A lot of bathrooms suffer from condensation on the ceiling – sand that down, and paint it with a proper bathroom paint. It doesn't matter if you've got a 1960s turquoise bathroom as long as it's clean.”
“If I had to choose the kitchen or the bathroom, I'd always spruce the kitchen up if I could. You shouldn't really be spending any more than £3,000. A lot of kitchens have got good carcasses; you can very easily buy new doors, plinths and sides online, and it looks like a brand new kitchen. Shaker-style kitchens are really popular at the moment in Farrow & Ball colours. If you've already got a solid oak Shaker kitchen you can get someone in professionally to spray them – don't do it yourself.”
“A lot of new-build townhouses and semis tend to have one parking space and then a bit of garden. If you can get that tarmacked and done as off-road parking that will definitely increase the value of your house by about £3,000 to £5,000.”
Introduce some alfresco living
“In the last year everybody has been in the house, and being outside for a bit of fresh air is a huge thing – even if you've got a ground floor apartment, is there a little bit of space where you can add a small bistro set? If you don't have any space at all, find out where your nearest park is and make sure you talk about that in your brochure.”
Arm yourself with information for buyers
“If sellers feel they might have a bit of damp and condensation, I recommend they get a damp and timber report there and then. Definitely get a roof specialist out to have a look and give you a report, and if you've not had your boiler serviced every year, just get an engineer out. If work does come up and you can't afford to do it, you've got all the quotes and we can build that into the asking price. That does indirectly add value to your home because you're not worrying about fall-throughs and renegotiations.”