8 ways to increase the value of your home

plumbing heating around the home

Your home is likely to be your biggest investment thus helping it reach its full value potential is paramount. We’re not talking about giving it a quick lick of paint before you sell, as that is not going to add substantial worth to the property, this is about updating your home to make it a better place to live for you, as well as the next owner when it’s time to move on.

1.    Fix structural problems

First and foremost, address any structural issues, such as subsidence, wall cracks, a sagging roof and rising damp. Whilst you may be able to hide these ailments from potential buyers during viewings, they will get flagged up during a valuation and could seriously affect how much your house sells for.

Watch out for the early signs of structural damage as repairs become more disruptive and expensive the later you leave them. If you suspect a problem but are unsure if it is just cosmetic, consult a builder, surveyor or structural engineer to formally identify the issue.

2.    Install or upgrade central heating

Central heating can increase your home’s value by up to an incredible 13%1. Considered to be an essential part of the modern home, central heating systems are economical to run and save space, particularly if you choose a combination boiler.

3.    Update plumbing

Old pipework can be furred up and lead to poor water flow, unwanted noise and burst pipes.

Consider a pressurised system rather than a gravity-fed one, as it will supply a better flow of cold and hot water. If you have room, you can still keep a cylinder for quick-running baths, but there are plenty of combination boilers with flow rates over 10 litres per minute, which is plenty for a decent power shower.

4.    Update electrics

If your electrics are running via an old fuse box, you may need to rewire the house and install a RCD (residual circuit device) for safety. At the same time, you can add extra sockets, update your lighting and add an extractor fan in the bathroom, which can all increase your home’s worth.

5.    Add an extra bath/shower room

Ideally, a home should have at least one bathroom for every three bedrooms, and if you can add an en-suite to the master bedroom, you will create real value.

Remodel or extend the existing space you have to create additional bathrooms and shower rooms. Even if that’s just a small 1 metre by 2.5 metres going spare, a professional plumber can fit everything a good wet room needs and still make it look fantastic.

6.    Modernise your kitchen

For many, the kitchen is the heart of a home so you want it to look good and be completely functional. If you have the space, it can be a great idea to install fitted cooking appliances, dishwashers, washing machines and waste disposal units, which de-clutter and save potential buyers from undercutting your asking price through fear of not being able to afford the household essentials once they are in the property.

7.    Renew your lease

A short lease (70 years or less) can prevent potential buyers and mortgage lenders investing in your property altogether. You can apply to extend your lease once you’ve been in a property for two years, just don’t wait too long, as the application gets more expensive the longer you put it off.

8.    Create more storage space

Converting any unused space into extra storage facilities is really appealing, particularly in smaller flats. This isn’t just about the loft or basement; look for hidden room behind plasterboard walls, under the stairs, under the bath and either side of the chimneybreast. You could add shelves, doors, cupboards to the walls, and you could even move a downstairs bathroom to a higher floor to make room for an extra closet.

1 WhatPrice?, 2014. Improvements add value. [Online] Available at: http://www.whatprice.co.uk/housing-market/home-improvements-add-value.html. [Accessed 22nd September 2014].

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