If you want your house price to rise, it's best to invest wisely - a misplaced patio, dodgy paint job or incongruous conservatory can knock thousands off the price of your home.
However, there are some clever tips and tricks you can utilise in order to boost the value of your home.
1) Faster broadband
There's a (fairly new) dating adage that reads as follows: 'You've never seen someone's true personality unless you've watched them try to work with sporadic internet.' This is very true - and getting superfast broadband for your home can boost its price by 5-10 per cent.
A study by Rightmove last year showed that potential buyers avoid properties with sluggish broadband; these days, it's dubbed 'the fourth utility', after electricity, gas and water.
Superfast broadband means that everyone in the house can listen to music and stream TV and video without any delays, and multiple users won't tread on each other's toes. Got a poor reception area, or living in an area where this kind of connectivity isn't available? Fit a satellite dish to the house; this means you'll be able to enjoy satellite broadband.
Packages cost between £17 to £55 per month depending on capacity; the dish and installation is free.
2) Get rid of the garage
According to Phil Spencer, 90 per cent of British garages don’t contain a car. They are a wasted asset. Just convert them into living space, and to calculate value added, multiply square footage gained by local price per square foot.
This can cost you up to £10,000, so it's not a cheap and cheerful project, but it's definitely work looking at.
3) Be savvy when it comes to the exteriors
In order to attract a buyer, your house has got to look better than your neighbors' - sorry, that's a hard and fast fact of life. Make sure that it's freshly painted, clear the driveway and unblock the gutters. It's also worth refurbishing the front door if it looks a bit tatty; a new letterbox and doorknob will set you back about £60. Don't forget to redo the paint.
Finally, cast a critical eye over your windows. Do they fit in with the style of the property? If it's meant to have wooden windows, add them - the same goes for metal. Otherwise, leave them alone.
4) Fit double glazing and make sure the heating's up to scratch
Estate agents insist that new double-glazed windows or fitting secondary glazing inside existing windows will add value while making a home more 'sellable'.
If your home doesn't have it, adding or updating the central heating system will always add more to the value of a property than it costs to install. However, bear in mind that this is all in vain if your home isn't insulated properly. Seal drafts around doors and windows (don't use airbricks though) and add insulation into the loft space.
5) Create off-street parking
If you're trying to sell a family home, off-street parking might come in handy - especially if you've recently renovated the garage (see above). It can make a real difference if you're living in an urban area or in an area where street parking is restricted. You may have to sacrifice your front garden, but the value in creating one or two spaces will pay off.
Bear in mind that you'll have to comply with local authority highway regulations for the construction of the drop kerb, and details such as visibility splays. You must also have the right of way to cross any land you don't own, such as a grass verge. Want to check ownership? Click here.
6) Add a 'wow' feature
No, we're not talking ornamental fountains or a duck house - for a basic house, a wooden deck, a kitchen with all mod cons or a working fireplace will definitely get buyers talking. Got a larger property? Pack a punch with a master bedroom with a vaulted ceiling, a panelled sitting room, or a frameless glass conservatory.
If you're fretting over cost, please don't; many simple features can be added easily and relatively cheaply. Don't forget to work with your house, not against it. All features you add should remain consistent with the scale and period of the design; if you don't give this some serious thought, you could end up knocking thousands off the price.
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