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Want to Add Value to Your Property? Here Are 10 Things You Should and Shouldn't Do

Catherine Miller
Tips for Adding Value to Your Home
When it comes to boosting the value of your property, it can be hard to know where to start. Home renovations can easily add thousands to your valuation and bring you a big bonus if and when you decide to move.

But they can also take a significant investment of time and money to accomplish. Not to mention, the upkeep of your home can be a burden unless you have a solid home warranty. To help, we’ve broken down some of the top things you should consider doing, and some of the things you should avoid, to have the best chance of adding value to your property.

1. DO: Give your home a fresh coat of paint

Repainting your rooms may sound like a simple task, but it can give your home a new lease of life and add real value to the property. As it’s something that can be done fairly cheaply, it also makes sound financial sense. Research shows that the choice of color can have a major impact: light colors can be very attractive to prospective buyers, whereas dark colors can have the opposite effect.

Blue is considered particularly attractive in kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms, whereas a white bathroom could set you back thousands! Painting is fairly easy to accomplish yourself, although you will need to make sure you protect your floors and furniture, and prepare your surfaces appropriately. 

2. DO: Upgrade your garden

It’s important not to forget your outdoor spaces. Making your backyard more appealing could add up to 10% to your home’s value. This could range from installing structures like a fire pit, outdoor office, or pool, to adding a deck or pergola. With these, your backyard can become almost an extension of your property. Landscaping features like trees and a pond could also make your garden more attractive. However, it’s also important to keep the yard well maintained, as buyers could be put off by an unkempt garden that looks like it could be a lot of work. 

3. DON’T: Add niche, high-end features

Adding in a home cinema, home gym, or gaming suite might seem like the ideal addition to your lifestyle. But will it appeal to the general public? Most people will probably see the room as a general space they can repurpose, anyway, so the money you spend on high-tech accessories probably won’t be recouped. Furthermore, if your neighborhood isn’t suited to the type of buyer who might splash out on a home cinema, you might not be able to realize the full value. This is one big spend you can avoid, and if you must splurge, make it a gift to yourself rather than an investment in the future. 

4. DO: Invest in green upgrades

As environmental issues become increasingly important, more and more homebuyers are willing to invest in eco-friendly home improvements. Not only can these help preserve our environment, they can also save the homeowner money when it comes to energy bills. For example, you could make sure your windows are sealed properly, improve your water-heating system, use LED bulbs, and make sure your property is well-insulated.

Adding double glazing to your windows is also a great idea, as keeping more heat in the home will mean you won’t need to run your heating system so often. You could also look into geothermal heating and solar panels, which may come with tax breaks that will lower the cost of installation. Solar panels could be a particularly effective choice if you live in a sunny state. 

5. DON’T: Combine bedrooms

Turning your master bedroom into an enormous suite, with a walk-in wardrobe and ensuite bathroom, might sound like a great upgrade. But you need to consider the impact on your property value if you need to combine bedrooms or reduce other living space to do this. More bedrooms normally means a higher value and a more attractive prospect for growing families. In this case, the cost of removing walls and installing plumbing could outweigh the financial benefit when you put your home on the market. 

In fact, adding a bedroom could be very beneficial, if you have the space. If you don’t have room to add an additional bedroom to your property, why not add a bathroom? Even a small one will boost your property’s value. 

6. DO: Install a new heating system

A warm, comfortable home is both inviting and valuable. If your central heating system could do with an upgrade, now might be a good time to invest. You don’t necessarily need a new boiler, but putting in some more radiators and even adding underfloor heating could be ideal solutions. While the latter can be a significant investment, it’s a desirable feature that will make your bathroom or bedroom even more comfortable and can save wall space (cutting down on the need for radiators). 

Alongside your heating upgrade, you might want to invest in a home warranty to protect it. Choice Home Warranty, for example, provides heating system coverage, so if anything breaks down, you can seek rapid support from a contractor. 

7. DO: Let the light in

Letting more light into your home will make it a more pleasant, impressive space that’s sure to wow buyers. Adding or replacing windows can make a big difference to the light in each room (although make sure you pick a reputable window company to install them). You could add bifold doors that lead onto your backyard, or a skylight in your kitchen. Or, you could even build a sunroom. These have very large windows to let in lots of light and tend to be used as extra living rooms, although they are usually cheaper to construct than standard rooms. These attractive spaces can really add value to your home. 

8. DON’T: Carpet your entire home

Although carpet can be comfortable in some rooms, adding wall-to-wall carpeting to your property can be a major turn-off for some buyers. Carpet can quickly become dirty, frayed, and shabby, and some buyers may wonder how expensive it will be to replace. Plus, the color may not match the decor they want to put in. If your home has exposed wood floors already, these can look neater and more attractive, as long as you’ve kept them in good condition. With a bit of a polish, your wood floors could look chic in no time. 

9. DO: Renovate your kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of many homes, so it’s worth investing in this room. It could add up to $100,000 to your property value. You could start with something as simple as replacing your cabinet doors. New counters and work surfaces, fresh tiling, and new appliances are worth considering. You could also change the layout of your kitchen by adding an island if you have the space. However, don’t get carried away. Keeping the budget for renovations at a reasonable level (say 8-10% of your property’s current value) will make it more likely that you’ll recoup the cost when it comes to sale.

10. DON’T: Leave your house in disrepair

Buyers will want a home that’s been kept in good condition! Letting your systems (e.g. plumbing, electric, heating, and air conditioning) degrade and break down could really put off potential owners. Plus, it’s a good idea to keep visible features like floors and roofing looking well kept, too. Getting things fixed promptly can be easier and cheaper than trying to do everything at once when you want to sell your home. 

If it’s difficult to keep on top of home repairs, you could consider employing a professional to help you. A home warranty might be a great investment in this case; for example, Select Home Warranty’s plans include free roof leak coverage as well as protection for your major systems. 

Conclusion

There are lots of ways you can add value to your property. Some of these will involve simple DYI projects like repainting or improving the condition of your floors. Others will involve quite major projects, from installing a sunroom to adding solar panels to your home. Where you start will depend on your budget, skills, and how long you have to turn the project around. Even refurnishing your home can add value to the property.

Don’t forget, however, that it’s important to avoid additions that are too personalized or remove living space. You also need to make sure your home’s systems, appliances, and fittings are well-looked after, so investing in a home warranty and keeping on top of your repairs will help you get the most for your home when you decide to sell. With a little planning, you can maximize your property’s value and hopefully make some money.

Catherine Miller
Catherine Miller is a lead member of personal finance and pension innovator Maji, where’s she’s responsible for content creation and running Maji’s personal finance masterclass, among others. Miller also holds degrees in English and education, and worked as a teacher before moving into finance. Today, she combines aspects of education and personal finance to help readers make better decisions in finance and beyond.