Posted on 5th September 2018

Improving your Home Doesn't Have to be Expensive

Martin Williamson, Director and Head of Residential Property
Martin Williamson, Director and Head of Residential Property

Adding value to a home or making it more attractive to any prospective buyer doesn’t always mean having to spend thousands of pounds on major projects.

Often it’s simply down to tackling all those little jobs that many homeowners have grown to live with over the years and have long since stopped seeing as a problem.

However, that cracked pane of glass, dripping tap, unpainted section of skirting board and missing tile can easily combine to become an overwhelming maintenance list for a prospective buyer.

Many such problems are easily overcome with the help of a critical eye, a fair amount of elbow grease and relatively modest budget.

On the other hand, failure to tackle such problems certainly sends the wrong message to buyers and may be enough to either torpedo a sale or lead to a much lower offer.

A really good clean, tackling hairline cracks and a fresh lick of paint can make an amazing difference – all for relatively little effort and cost.

First impressions are always vital and it is important that any blemishes are kept to a minimum as a prospective buyer moves through the home.

Cover any brightly painted walls with more neutral shades and give grubby doors and scuffed skirting boards a fresh lick of paint.

Also pay attention to sticking or squeaky doors and windows, faulty locks and latches, creaky floorboards and dirty or unattractive light fittings and curtains.

The kitchen and bathroom are always a main focus for most buyers but a seller should always be aware that they are unlikely to recoup the cost of a major refit.

Those on a budget may consider painting the kitchen cupboards and fitting new drawer handles or freshening up the overall look by fitting a new counter top or flooring and ensuring all appliances are clean and in working order.

A good scrubbing and coat of paint works wonders in the bathroom. It may be an opportunity to update tile surrounds while other options include regrouting, banishing lime scale and eliminating mould from any bath and shower sealants.

However, if your bathroom suite is chipped, cracked or damaged or in an unfashionable shade then it is worth considering fitting a new white one which you can pick up at a relatively modest cost.

Floor coverings can be given a new lease of life by either hiring a carpet cleaner or having a professional come in to remove that ingrained dirt, which over time, can be missed by ordinary vacuuming.

On the outside, ensure the paint isn’t peeling from exterior wooden window frames and the front door. If the windows are double glazed, make sure the uPVC frames are gleaming.

Homeowners should cast a critical eye over any outdoor space. It’s not always necessary to go to the cost of landscaping a garden when a little weeding and pruning will keep things looking neat and tidy. The use of potted plants and hanging baskets also raises the interest level in yards and on pathways.

While focussing on the exterior, take particular care to deal with anything which may cause any homebuyer concern. Replace any missing roof slates and ensure chimney stacks are in good repair.

Ensure guttering has been cleaned and is in working order as faults can give rise to unsightly damp problems. If in doubt, call in an expert as the alternative of ignoring such problems can prove much costlier in the long term and could cost you a sale.

Please note: This article is intended as guidance only. No responsibility for loss occasioned/costs arising as a result of any act/failure to act on the basis of this article can be accepted by Latimer Hinks. In addition, no responsibility for loss occasioned/costs arising as a result of any act/failure to act on the basis of this article can be accepted by the firm.

For further information call 01325 341500