I’ve moved home a lot.
My poor wife has had to put up with several moves and a lot of renovation work. It all started a year after our wedding so she hasn’t had much time when we’ve been able to simply enjoy a home.
But on the plus side, I know a lot about what makes a good investment of your time and money when renovating a home for sale.
Let’s get straight to the good stuff.
In modern times, the kitchen has become the hub of the home and nothing sells a house better than a gorgeous, functional, modern kitchen.
This is always the first room in a house that I plan out. Even before I think about extensions, I need to know what the kitchen will look like. Will it turn this shell of a building into a family home?
After all, you’re selling a feeling, not the bricks and mortar of a building.
Tastes change over time, but that doesn’t mean you have to be conservative with your choices. I’ll talk more about this with decorating later, but with a kitchen you have a licence to go bold.
Right now (2020), the big trends are for strong blues, greens and greys in a kitchen. Our current kitchen is a grey-blue and it completely makes the room. A white kitchen would have been a mistake.
The other important factor is functionality. Spend a bit of time thinking about the best way a kitchen can be used before designing it. Get that ‘triangle of efficiency’ between the sink, fridge and cooker.
But also think about storage. There is never enough storage, so if you can show that you’ve thought about providing as much as possible, it can be the deal maker that sells your house in future.
Notice I haven’t talked about extending yet. We’ll get to it, but the kitchen and the bathroom are the big things that people will remember when they look at a house.
You don’t have to completely gut your bathroom and start again. It depends what state it is in right now.
Just make sure that when you walk into that room, you’re thinking ‘this is a really nice bathroom’.
If that means designing a whole new layout, go for it. Spending money here is going to make your home much more appealing.
Giving your home a spruce up with some decorating is a no-brainer.
As with the kitchen, don’t be afraid to go bold. Flicking through some home decor magazines at the supermarket is a great way to get a feel for what people like at the moment.
The simple act of bringing your home up to current trends with new colours, wallpaper and woodwork finishes will immediately increase the appeal.
I would normally only recommend extending if it meant that you were going to stay for a while.
But if the opportunity presents itself to make a quick profit on your next move and you have the budget to do it, then why not!?
The best value way of increasing space in a house is a loft extension, but there are a couple of caveats to this:
- Does your loft space allow this?
- Does it make your house top-heavy?
You don’t want to have a 5 bedroom house with a pokey living room downstairs that won’t hold all of your family at once.
Get your estate agent in to see what the potential value of you home could be with an extension. They should have experience of similar houses in your area.
When your property is listed for sale, the most likely image people will get of it will be a photo of the front.
This will be what they make an initial decision on. If it looks appealing then they will have a look at the rest. If anything puts them off, however tiny, they will pass.
Make the front of your home look as good as possible.
- If you can create off-road parking, this is a big plus.
- If you can give the front aspect a new paint job, great.
- If you can add a few stylish, large plants in pots (which you can take with you!), that will make a big difference.
- If the front of your house is a bit dull, can you add a simple porch?
Increasing the value of your home doesn’t always have to mean adding more rooms.
You can make a huge difference just by improving the key areas within it (or at the front!).
Don’t just sell your home as it is, make a bit of effort to squeeze as much value as you can out of it. Your next home will tank you for it.