There’s a difference between enhancing the value of a property and making changes which serve your needs and preferences as a homeowner. While the two are often interchangeable, in that renovation work designed to facilitate your lifestyle can also add value to the property, it’s important to note that not every bit of work you do to your home or property will add to its market value for resale.
In this guide, we’re highlighting some of the key areas which not only enhance the financial value of your property but which can also make it more coveted and desirable among prospective buyers on the market.
But before we get into our tips on where to channel your renovation and design work, let’s first look at the things to consider before starting any work on a property.
Considerations to make before starting work on your property
Before you get stuck into making changes to your property, the first thing you need to do is identify whether your proposed changes are designed to facilitate and improve the way you use the property, or whether you are making the changes to add value to the home.
Property upgrades which are specifically designed to add value should be completed under the guidance of a property surveyor or professional agent, who will be able to advise on the genuine value of those changes in the eyes of buyers – ensuring that the changes you propose to make are indeed serving the needs and requirements of modern buyers.
To put this plainly, when it comes to renovation work, as a property or homeowner looking to sell in the near future you will want to make sure that any investment you put into building or design work is adequately reflected in the increased financial value and sale price of the property. If you decide to make changes which are not reflected in current market demand, you run the risk of that investment not being accurately reflected in the sale price.
Another thing to ask yourself is whether renovation work and property upgrades are likely to increase the value of a property, or simply make it easier to sell. This is an interesting point of consideration because it encourages homeowners to look at the changes which make a home more attractive to buyers, but which do not necessarily elevate its value, in comparison to those renovations and areas of work which will increase the value of the property.
For example, fitting some new shelves might make your home easier to sell in terms of aesthetic presentation, but converting a loft into another bedroom is a better way of maximising value.
With all this in mind, keep reading for the Pat Robson & Co. guide to property upgrades that are likely to enhance the value of your property, when the time comes for you to sell.
The property upgrades that enhance value
Below are some of the most popular and effective ways to increase the value of an existing property.
Increasing square footage
An obvious first area to consider is the value which could be added by increasing the size of the property. In order to enhance the value of the property in a meaningful way, any additional square footage needs to fall into the category of usable space – that is, adding extra space to living areas which were formerly a little too small, or adding an extra bedroom, for example.
Typically, you will find that extensions which integrate seamlessly into the existing and original façade of the property are best received, with brick extensions surpassing conservatories in terms of how coveted and desirable they are. What this means is that homeowners should consider ways of adding more square footage to the property without making the new bit stand out – all while ensuring that the property continues to compliment its surroundings.
This has become one of the most popular areas of renovation, and is one which almost always increases the value of a property – with homeowners generally adding an extra bedroom with or without an ensuite bathroom.
By converting a loft into an extra bedroom, not only do you maximise the use of floor space throughout the property but you benefit from the addition of a new room without having an impact on the outside space surrounding the property. For those properties with limited garden space, for terraced properties and for semi-detached homes, converting the loft is a way of benefitting from and better utilising the space which is already there and waiting to be used.
Off-street parking has become one of the most coveted aspects of a property, with the addition of a designated parking space adding real value to a property. You only have to look at the cost of parking to see how desirable having your own space is, with the increase in cars on the road meaning that finding residential parking on a street filled with properties is becoming more frustrating by the year.
This is a particularly good property upgrade in locations where parking is limited, with many choosing to convert front gardens into paved parking areas and channelling all the exterior aesthetics into the back garden.
Usable outside space
While we’re on the topic of outside space, the pandemic highlighted demand for gardens and outside spaces more than ever before – putting a spotlight on the beauty of having your own garden for many homeowners and investors on the market. As such, and ever since, the desire to have a garden has not gone anywhere – with many homeowners going so far as to install garden rooms and functional summer houses complete with power and water supply to become working offices and added living spaces.
How far you take this trend is up to you and should be dictated by demand in your local area as well as the size of the garden – however, focussing on making your outside space as usable, functional, and attractive as possible is always going to boost the value of a property.
Kitchens and bathrooms matter to buyers, and a property that has modern and stylish fittings is always going to sell for more money than one which is considered “tired” or “a fixer-upper”.
Unless a buyer wants to purchase a property in order to strip it or even knock it down to build in their own preferences and finishes, then the convenience of having a fitted and modern kitchen and functional bathrooms will add to and elevate the value. To put this into perspective, an old kitchen which needs replacing is one of the key areas that buyers use to negotiate cost down – so why give them the opportunity?
Other areas to consider
We’ve covered some of the main areas which will add value to your property – however there are other changes and renovations that we recommend that can have a positive impact on the sale price of your home or investment property.
A new boiler is one investment that is attractive enough to potentially boost value, alongside new and modern windows which are designed to maximise the energy efficiency of a property. While we’re on the topic of energy efficiency, other investments like solar panels and smart meters all help to make a home more valuable on the modern market, particularly amid the rising cost of energy and other home bills.
Are you really adding value or just serving your own preferences?
When considering any renovation work on a property, particularly one you are hoping to sell in the near future, the biggest thing to ask yourself is whether the change you propose is actually going to add real value to the property, or whether it is simply ticking a desire that you have and that suits your lifestyle.
Knowing the local market and what buyers in your area are looking for is one of the best ways to answer this question, with professional estate agents able to advise and offer support in terms of which projects are most valuable and how to frame these as part of a property listing.
Here at Pat Robson & Co., one of our most popular services is our instant online valuation tool, which allows you to understand where your property sits on the marketplace as it is. This information can prove to be very useful before you start exploring the options and potential for increasing the value of your property with various renovation and refurbishment ideas.
Be sure to check this out if you are keen to discover the value of your property or get in touch directly to speak to one of our dedicated property experts.