Making improvements to your house or apartment can be an exciting process, especially when you finally get the chance to make your own mark on a property and it really becomes YOUR home. Making improvements can also add a great deal of value to your home. From building an extension to replacing your kitchen, these changes not only give your property a refresh but also increase its worth.
Perhaps you want to sell your home and are looking to make more money, or perhaps you want to stay in your home but it no longer fulfils your needs. We know that your home is very important and you need to feel happy wherever you live.
In terms of remortgaging, home improvements that add value to your property can also help you to enjoy better mortgage rates when you’re shopping around. This is because the more your property is worth, the lower your loan-to-value (LTV) will be.
As a result, it makes sense to make these improvements before engaging in the remortgaging process as you are putting yourself in a better financial position.
From bigger layout changes such as building an extension to smaller touch-ups such as redecorating, these improvements don’t have to be expensive. However they can still add a lot of value, regardless of whether you’re planning to sell up or stay put. With all this in mind, we at Oportfolio have compiled a helpful guide on lucrative home improvements that will not only add value to your property but could also turn your house in to a home.
Larger Home Improvements
Large home improvements have the potential to change the whole look and feel of your home. Generally improvements like this will make changes to the actual structure and shape of the property, turning a possibly dated and dull property in to a fresh and innovative home more in line with your own personality and preferences. Although these renovations might be more expensive, there is more potential to create the home of your dreams as you can add space and rearrange the existing layout. This gives you total freedom and control over the way your home will look.
Circumstances change all the time in life. Maybe your family has grown, and as such, the existing space in your house no longer works for you. Or maybe you have finally been allowed that office space to keep your pool table and arcade machine! It’s important that you can enjoy your home and feel as though you have enough room to freely move around.
This is when an extension can be a game changer. You can build a variety of extensions from one story to two storeys, to suit the needs of you and your family. You can either make the extension the whole width of your house or just the width of one room depending on its end use. Another benefit of building an extension is that as this is a brand new build, you will have complete control over what colour/ materials you use meaning the space will be very bespoke.
Although it’s difficult to quantify exactly how much value an extension can add as each one will be unique, research by Nationwide building society has estimated that an extension which creates a double bedroom and en-suite can add up to 23% value. In addition, an extension which provides an extra bathroom increases value by 6%. Now doesn’t that sound like a plan!
Now lets be honest, could your loft space go to better use than storage for your old football trophies and that exercise bike you bought 10 years ago? We think that most of us can make better use of redundant loft space so why not look at converting it into an extra bedroom. This is ideal if your family has grown or if you need extra space for family and friends to stay over. Just make sure you have the necessary head height to avoid any accidents and ensure this is a comfortable and usable space.
The majority of lofts can be converted but it’s best to get an architect or builder to double check before you start as nobody wants their roof collapsing.
Aside from an extra bedroom this space could also be used as a children’s playroom, home office space, or even a gym – the options are endless! You can also add Velux windows to let natural light and air into the area regardless of what you intend to use it for.
Although most loft conversions are permitted developments, it’s a good idea to check with your local authority for any complex rules. For example, if you plan to extend your roof by more than 50m3, or 40m3 for terraced housing.
Adding in an extra room in your loft/ attic can add a great deal of value especially in cities such as London where space is scarce. A study conducted again by Nationwide building society found that a loft conversion that accommodates for a bedroom and an en-suite added 21% to the value of a property. However, another study by Abbey Loft found that in London, this value was likely to be even higher at around 24.5%. Being based in London ourselves, we like the sound of this very much!
Now, we won’t lie to you, renovating your kitchen can be stressful as it’s a room most people use at least several times a day. Alongside your bathroom, your kitchen is a necessity and a space which can not be avoided. However, by updating your tired and dated kitchen, you could significantly increase the value of your property.
As we’ve covered, this is a central room in your property so having a fresh, modern kitchen has huge potential. Although you can add a lick of paint, by replacing the whole suit you’re sure to make it more appealing to prospective buyers. Nowadays modern and sleek appliances are a must have in any family home and things like instant hot water taps and touch control ceramic hobs are all the rave. Adding some of these to your kitchen can jet propel your kitchen in to the 21st century.
You may however decide that you want to go for a more rustic look with your kitchen rather than the modern take we’ve mentioned above. More and more potential buyers are looking for more traditional kitchen layouts and appliances so why not change things up a bit by adding an AGA cooker. AGAs not only serve their function as a cooker but are also a great source of warmth around your house reducing your heating bills at the same time as cooking your Sunday roast.
Whatever route you decided to go down when re-designing your kitchen, we think it is extremely important to make sure everything is done with functionality in mind and storage space and mobility is not restricted because, who wants a cluttered kitchen?
Adding a conservatory to your home can give you that much needed extra downstairs living space. It’s also a great way to feel close to nature and beautifully merges the indoors with the outdoors especially in the winter without having to leave the warmth of the house! Provided you don’t compromise the space in your garden too much, a conservatory will appeal to potential buyers. There’s so much you can do with this extra space as it could be used as an extra living room, a playroom, or a home gym.
Conservatories are available in a variety of sizes and styles so you can choose the one that best suits the aesthetics of your home. For a conservatory to be successful and add value, it needs to fit well with its surroundings. To make your conservatory more versatile and to maximise its usage, you can tile your conservatory which keeps the heat in.
We think that one of the most important decisions you’ll make when building your conservatory is choosing the glass. From solar panels to self clearing glass, it’s about making the right choice for your needs and lifestyle. You need to consider how much you are going to use this space and make sure it serves your requirements and the potential requirements of future owners.
According to property expert and TV personality Phil Spencer, a conservatory can add up to 7% value to your home and we wholeheartedly agree.
Split Your House Into Flats
Ok so this is not going to be relatable for everyone, we know. But, some people might want to consider creating flats out of some unused rooms in your property. Perhaps your house is too big as your children have grown up and moved out. As a result, you may no longer require all of the space and can turn it into a profitable asset.
We see this constantly as it is a very popular thing to do in London where flats are in high demand and are usually easier to rent out. Therefore, splitting a house into flats can be a fantastic way of maximising rental income in the short term, and making profit on a sale in the long term to future landlord buyers.
We recommend that before starting your project, you should do some research on your area and find out what types of properties are in high demand. If flats are being rented out more than 3 bedroom houses, then dividing your property up might be the best option.
However there are several factors to take into consideration first as this is a big project. For example, you will definitely need to apply for planning permission, building regulation approval, and budget for costs such as fitting separate heating systems. Furthermore, you will have to check the criteria for each flat in terms of minimum size requirements and fire safety.
Overall, splitting your house into flats can be a great way of adding value to your existing property. You could also live in one flat whilst renting the other out which not only brings you an added income stream but also provides you with a suitable living space.
Smaller Home Improvements
There are hundreds of smaller home improvements you can make to your home to give it a new lease of life and really revitalise the living spaces. Sometimes a property just needs that little bit of TLC, which can go a long way in changing its aesthetic appearance.
Often decor can become outdated and features start to look a little tired. By touching these bits up and showing your property a little love, you can make a difference to its final value.
And if you’re working on a budget, then these smaller home improvements are ideal.
It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for your home!
It gives it a much brighter, cleaner appearance and can make a room look brand new. If you’re hoping to sell your home, then opting for neutral colours can help potential buyers envision what they could do with the space. They need to be able to visualise their own furniture in the room and will want to add their own personality to it.
People have different tastes and it’s important to take this into consideration if you’re looking to put your home on the market. Keep the room light and minimalistic by choosing colours such as cream, beige, and light grey. This also maximises the space and will make a room feel bigger.
Painting the exterior of your property is also important and can add fantastic curb appeal. For example, pay particular attention to wooden door frames, window frames, and the colour of your front door as this will attract potential buyers before they have even entered your home. After all, this is the first thing they will see so it’s important it looks clean and inviting.
It’s estimated that in some cases, redecorating your home can add up to £7,000 to the value of your property. Of course this depends on a range of factors including the area and the size of your property, but there is no denying that a fresh lick of paint can work wonders!
Tidy Your Garden
Garden space in London is very limited. If you’ve got a garden then make sure you make the most of it as this will add a lot of value to your property. Having an outdoor area is a fantastic way for people to wind down after work and enjoy being in the fresh air – all from the comfort of their own home.
Plus, there’s so much you can do with your garden without having to spend a fortune. By simply potting some plants, weeding the grass, and giving the fence a fresh coat of paint, you can transform your garden into an inviting space. You can also add clever features such as a mirror to make a small garden feel bigger.
When you’re looking to add value, an outdoor space can be a fantastic asset. And if you’re looking to sell, then this will be a big hit with potential buyers. From being able to entertain friends and family, to having a space that can be used to exercise, your garden should be a priority when increasing value.
It doesn’t have to cost the earth!
Add Storage Space
It may sound obvious but its true, homeowners love space!
Whether it’s a family with children to consider or a young couple, space is very important for any potential buyer. If you’re working on a budget, then adding an extension or converting a loft to make more space might not be possible.
However, there are clever ways you can maximise your existing layout. For example, do you have an alcove in your bedroom which you could turn into a wardrobe? Is there a corner in the kitchen under the breakfast bar where you can add more cupboards to provide extra storage? Do you have dead space under the stairs that could be better utilised as a cloakroom?
Finding these gaps and making good use of them can add value to your property. No one likes having lots of clutter on show so knowing there is storage space is a huge benefit when people are searching for a property.
Conclusion: Home Improvements That Add Value to Your Property
There are lots of ways to add value to your existing property. Whether you’ve got the budget to make larger home improvements or you’re just hoping to add some TLC, there are a whole host of ways you can make your home more appealing.
Before you do anything, you need to consider what you’re trying to achieve and how much you want to invest in your property. If you’re looking to put your house on the market, then it’s important you don’t spend more money on improvements than you’re going to make back on the sale of the house.
Similarly, if you’re adding value to your property in order to remortgage to a better deal, then you need to seek professional guidance. You need to work out how much value these improvements are going to make to ensure the process is worthwhile.
At Oportfolio, our team of experts can guide you through the entire process and provide you with independent advice. Regardless of what you’re trying to achieve, we can help you get there and ensure you make the most of your money. We provide you with clear, transparent information about your different options to help you make the best decision for your individual circumstances.
To find out more about how we can help, get in touch with a member of our friendly team now!
Oportfolio Limited is an appointed representative of Primis Mortgage Network, a trading name of First Complete Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
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