Increase the value of your home - cosmetic changes

by Benedict Rohan - Date: 2007-02-01 - Word Count: 678 Share This!

This article is the second in a two-part series on how to upgrade your home and increase its value.

The property market is very unpredictable nowadays - sales are slower
and buyers more demanding. It can therefore be difficult to make a
profit on selling your home unless you think carefully about how to
make it more marketable. Increasing the living space is always the best
way to add value to property, for example by building an extension or
conservatory or converting a loft or basement, but this can involve
major work and a large outlay. For those who can't afford to make such
big changes, simply renovating or redecorating can make a difference,
and it needn't be expensive. In fact, you should be wary of splashing
out too much money on cosmetic changes as the increase in property
value that they will achieve is normally quite limited. Having said
this, if you spend wisely, you can make your home more marketable and
increase your profit when you sell.

The key selling features of most houses are the bathroom(s) and
kitchen, and updating them can make a house much more attractive to

A bathroom is no longer a functional room - it's now a place of luxury,
a sanctuary within the home where we can relax from our busy lives.
People are looking for stylish design and luxury features - heated
towel rails, whirlpool baths, multi-jet showers, fitted furniture, and
sink vanity units. You don't always need a large room to achieve this -
there are many clever space-saving options available, such as combined
furniture and suite units, wall-mounted towel rails, a shower over the
bath or corner sinks and toilets. An it needn't cost the earth either -
DIY stores have a wide range of bathroom furniture, suites, fixtures
and fittings. Always play it safe though - neutral white is the best
option, as it can be co-ordinated with any colour of décor to
suit all tastes.

Ensuite toilets are very attractive to homebuyers and will add value to a home, as
long as they're in a good location in the bedroom and don't detract too
much from the bedroom space.

The same is true of kitchens - people want style, luxury and space.
Kitchen design is very important and there are many modern ways of
maximising what room you have. New fitted kitchens can be very
expensive though, especially if you're having all the work done by a
professional company, so you may not recoup the value in the short term.

A major turn-off for homebuyers is a home with no central heating as it
can require a great deal of work and expense - installing a boiler,
laying pipes and fitting radiators. However, if you have the work done
yourself before putting your house up for sale, you'll increase the
marketability of your property and you're certain to make your money
back when you sell.

Replacing windows can make a big difference too. Aside from the fact
that old window frames can make a property look unsightly, they make
not provide effective insulation. New windows can reduce heating bills
dramatically and can be easier to maintain, particularly the uPVC
variety. Beware of fitting uPVC windows in period properties though -
they can look cheap and out of place. New double glazing units on all
your windows shouldn't cost more than a few thousand pounds.

Even just a lick of paint and a few new soft furnishings can make the
world of difference to freshen up a room and make it look more
attractive. Redecorating isn't expensive and it's easy to do yourself.
Choose fairly subtle or neutral colours to try to appeal to most tastes.

Here are some useful tips to consider whatever work you decide to carry out on your home:

Do a cost-benefit analysis - is it worthwhile? Are you likely to
make your money back?
Hire a plumber, electrician or joiner for some of the tricker
parts - or at least consult someone for advice. They may be able to
provide you with useful guidance on how to carry out the work.
Before you start, always work out a budget and decide where you
will get the money from to finance the work.
Don't bite off more than you can chew - only do as much work as
you can afford in terms of both time and money.

Author: Benedict Rohan
Benedict Rohan works as a freelance finance writer. Commercial Mortgage, Homeowner Loans, Remortgages

Related Tags: remortgage, mortgage quotation, cheap mortgage, low cost mortgage, ficed rate mortgage

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