Posted on 21st September 2017

What home improvements will make my house more attractive when selling?

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

Everybody has things about their home they would change; little things they might add on to make it more suitable for their own lives. It may be something as small as putting up a shelf or cupboard, or as large as an extension or conservatory. If you’re thinking ahead, it’s worth considering what big investments in your home will not only bring you happiness while you live there, but will also add value when it’s time to sell up.

A conservatory or orangery – if you have the garden space that you can afford to sacrifice, building a light and airy conservatory or orangery on the back of your house could provide a great return of investment. It will give you an extra room, but may not require planning permission, which could cause you a headache if you build an extension. According to research by Zopa from 2014, the average cost of a conservatory was £5,300 but could yield a profit of about £5,750, making the seller a 108% return on investment.

An extension - An extension, either in the form of an extra room or increasing the size of an existing room can help to add value to a property if it’s done well. According to estate agents, an extra room can add 10 – 20% onto a property’s sale price, which can be increased if the room has an en suite. Some of the most popular extensions include loft conversions, en suite bathroom and extra bedrooms. Be aware that some extensions require planning permission, so if in doubt, contact your local council to see if this is required.

Exteriors – The outside is the first part of the property a potential buyer will view, so making an investment in the brickwork, paintwork and gardens or yards will make an excellent initial impression. If you're handy, it could be that the only investment you’ll need to make is your time and some basic supplies, as you’ll be able to paint and window frames, patch up any cracks and make the garden look spectacular on your own. Other more complex tasks may require you to call in the professionals, for example to fix cracked tiles, brickwork pointing and drainage problems.

Clean energy – As energy prices continue to rise, and many fixed-price energy tariffs come to an end, more and more people are looking for ways to bring down the bills. This makes renewable energy an attractive addition to homes. This could include solar panels, wind turbines, or air or ground source heat pumps can save homeowners a lot of money. All properties on the market require an Energy Performance Certificate, rating it from A to G, depending on how energy efficient it is. A higher rating is more desirable, as this will save the bill payers more money on their gas and electricity.

Keeping warm – Updating the central heating will save you and any potential new owners money, as it will operate more efficiently than old-style back boilers. Ensuring the windows are double-glazed, upgrading to PVC doors with draft excluders, and making sure your loft and wall are correctly insulated will avoid heat loss, meaning you won’t need to fire up your boiler unnecessarily. Most homes are now almost expected to have a decent central heating system and double-glazing, so someone putting an offer in on your property may look for a reduction in the asking price if they will have to pay for them in the future, so investing in them now could avoid price slashing when it comes to selling.

Of course, all of these improvements require immediate capital, time and often some disruption, however if you are in the market to upgrade your home, these areas are a great place to start.

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.