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Can Certain Features Add Value to My Home?

Making big home improvements is always a big step. We all want to make our home better, but deciding which improvements should take precedence isn’t always easy. If you’re planning to sell your property in a few years, adding features that increase its value might be the best course of action.

But which features should be at the top of your shopping list? We take a look.

A converted basement

If you have the money to convert your cellar into a comfortable living space, you can increase the market value of your home by up to 30 per cent. You won’t need to obtain planning permission, and how you use the room is up to you. However, basement conversions are often more expensive than extensions.

An extended kitchen

Can certain features add value to my home?

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. We are spending more time than ever in our kitchens. We don’t just cook there now — we socialise and catch up with loved ones over drinks and food. For this reason, we need more space. And more of us want to separate laundry from cooking.

Add an extension to your kitchen to create a larger dining or communal area, can add value to your home. If you have the budget to add a utility room as well, you can increase the market value of your home by up to 15 per cent.

A converted loft

Converting your loft is a cost-effective way to add more living space to your home. And the more space there is, the more valuable your property is. A properly extended loft with stairs, doors, windows and utilities is usually expensive. But it’s a lot cheaper than converting a basement or building an extension. Turn your loft into two extra bedrooms with en-suite facilities, and you stand to increase the value of your home by up to 15 per cent.

Can certain features add value to my home?

Exactly the same goes for a garage. In fact, converting most garages is cheaper, as this space often already has power and a water supply.

Planning permission

You don’t always have to invest in significant improvements to increase the value of your home. Just by getting planning permission for major extensions and improvements, you can make your property a lot more attractive to buyers. If all the legal permissions are in place, you can expect the value of your home to increase by up to 10 per cent.

A conservatory

Adding a conservatory is a cost-effective way to increase the value of your home. A conservatory that extends into your back garden can increase the value of your property by up to five per cent. But put a real roof on it, and the value of your home can increase by up to 10 per cent if the new space is large enough.

A new bathroom

If your bathroom is tied, old-fashioned and past its best, replacing it with something modern, functional and stylish could add up to five per cent to the value of your property. And you don’t need to fork out for the latest features and luxury fittings to unlock your home’s price potential.

Always get a realistic estimate of the renovation costs before proceeding with home improvements. If you want to increase the market value of your home, it’s only worth your while if the works cost less than the projected value increase.

What New Kitchen Features Add Value to Your Home?

What features add the most value when fitting a new kitchen?

The kitchen is the heart of the home for many people. It’s the place where people come together to share their stories over a meal. According to the National Associaton of Estate Agents, a new kitchen should always be a priority for renovations.

According to data published by Moneywise,  a new kitchen adds the most value to a property when renovated. But if you have money to spend, which features and changes should be at the top of your wishlist?

A versatile living space

There was a time when kitchens were used almost exclusively for cooking and eating. Now, however, they’re used as a real living space — somewhere people can work, socialise or relax.

When designing your new kitchen, the cost is an important consideration but try and create spaces for everyday living. And try to add warmth wherever possible. Kitchens features cold, clinical surfaces because they’re practical. But nothing but tiles and granite worktops can leave the space feeling inhospitable.

Attend to repairs and maintenance in your new kitchen

Kitchen features that add value to a home

The quality and condition of your new kitchen could have a direct effect on your home’s market value. Buyers may forgive the odd defect or faulty appliance. But when there’s a series of issues, people see a lot of work without much payback.

Identify improvements and repairs before you list your house for sale including broken doors, faulty switches, bad paint jobs and any other trivial issues. Strive for quality and a great finish, and aim for a cohesive, consistent appearance.

Subtle changes are often the most effective

Don’t think you have to spend thousands of pounds renovating or installing a newly fitted kitchen to increase interest in your home. By making a series of subtle changes to your kitchen’s aesthetic, it’s possible to add value in a very cost-effective way.

For example, you can change the look and feel of your kitchen merely by changing cabinet doors. Keep the rest of the cabinets in place to save money. Choose a soft colour for the walls, and replace those tired worktops with something stylish. These changes alone don’t require significant renovations, but together they can transform your kitchen without breaking the bank. Visit a few showrooms and look at a few fitted kitchen designs to get even more ideas!

Think about what buyers want when planning a new kitchen

What do buyers want from a kitchen?

Imagine yourself in the shoes of your potential buyers. If your home is expected to attract first-time buyers, your new kitchen should be ready to use. Make sure all appliances are working correctly. Keep the decor neutral. And choose lighting that creates a warm ambience. Also, make sure your kitchen offers lots of storage and room to grow.

If you’re targeting affluent buyers who already own their own home, you might need to spend a little more. Invest in premium appliances, flooring and kitchen furniture. Stage your kitchen to showcase its strengths.

How much is a new kitchen?

The average cost of a new kitchen is £8,000, excluding VAT and appliances. Therefore careful consideration needs to be given if your objective is to add extra value to your home.

Make your kitchen functional

Your priority should always be functionality. While making a kitchen warm and inviting is excellent, the room’s primary function is cooking. Create a logical flow that aids better and faster cooking. Does the layout allow you to cook without continually turning back on yourself or bumping into things?

Where is the natural space for food preparation? Does this space have storage cupboards nearby? Is there space for clean dishes by the sink? Is there space for hot food to cool near the oven? These are all issues that will affect a buyer’s decision. Get them right, and you might add a little value to your home.

There’s little point to adding value to your property if you’re spending more on renovations than you stand to gain. Some smart decor choices, a little planning and a few subtle changes here and there can increase the value of your home significantly.

Home Improvements Can Make it Easier to Sell Your Home

Consider home improvements to get the most out of selling your home.

Making some simple home improvements can help to sell a property. Now that 2017 is truly underway, many of you might be having that out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-new feeling that comes with new beginnings, even extending to your house, making you tempted to start looking for that home you’ve always dreamed of. A survey conducted by leading flooring retailer Carpetright revealed that 10.6% of people plan on buying a new home in 2017, with 4% of these purchases being the first home. Currently, only 3.9% of people in the UK have achieved their dream home, leaving many potential buyers to purchase your property and accomplish their vision.

With the abundance of buyers looking to move on to greener pastures, this begs the inevitable question: just what could be done to get the most out of selling your current home? If you are looking to increase your home’s value before selling, then it’s a good idea to consider some home staging; this may involve investing in some home improvements to help bump up your asking price and attract more potential buyers. These DIY tasks can range from just applying a fresh coat of paint, laying new carpet, wallpapering a room (remember to stick to neutral colours) or bigger renovations such as fitting a new kitchen or bathroom.

A survey by Carpetright found that 6.1% of people plan to complete a major home renovation this year. If you’re seeking to sell your home for a higher value in the future, this type of work can deliver a significant return on investment. Those that have the greatest return are: building a conservatory (108% ROI), redesigning the garden (88% ROI) and adding an extension (71% ROI) to the property.

If the addition of a conservatory seems a little out of reach, there are other alternatives to consider to add value. Laying down new carpets can bring you a 50% ROI, a particularly good idea if your current one is damaged or dirty. Usually, a neutral colour is suggested (just like wall paint) to give a blank canvas to a potential buyer. Neutral colours help customers to visualise their lives within the house you are selling, increasing the possibility of a sale.

Even the little projects that we do around the home can help to add value. When asked what their first DIY project of 2017 will be, 37.7% said painting walls, 15.5% said laying a new carpet, and 9.85% said wallpapering a room, suggesting that completing any of these home improvements will prove a hit with potential buyers of your home. Additional storage space is always a hit with possible buyers, while your furniture placement and use of lighting can help them see the potential within the room.

If you decide to undertake any of these home improvements, ensure you’re well prepared for the job! Otherwise, call the professionals for help (particularly since 100,000 people per year visit A&E due to DIY injuries). With 3.3 billion botched DIY jobs happening each year, make sure you don’t become part of the statistic.

Alternatively, if you need a fast sale, then avoid the home improvements and contact us. We will purchase your property as it currently stands, saving you time and money!

A new kitchen or improving one can increase the value of your home

Install a new kitchen or improve the existing one to add value to your home

A New kitchen (or refurbished) is one of the significant factors affecting a house ‘s value. Kitchens are genuinely at the heart of any family home where buyers look for somewhere to spend quality time with friends and relatives. A kitchen is seen as the essential room in the house. It is the place where people gather to discuss the day’s events over a meal, and it is quite often a home’s main reception room. Kitchens that are well appointed and well designed can add premiums to house values like no other room in the home. If you can create a warm and inviting kitchen, you have a great chance of inspiring a bidding war for your house.

Relatively small investments can make significant differences to property values

There is no need to splash out upwards of £60,000 on a new kitchen to grab the interest of buyers. In many cases, only a few minor improvements and alterations are required to make a kitchen appealing.  The effect on house sale prices can be substantial. For instance, instead of forking out thousands for a new kitchen suite, replacing the doors can be just as effective. Replace a worn and tired worktop in only two or three hours, and transform any kitchen with the addition of some stylish hanging rails and accessories.

If your kitchen is oddly shaped, it may be worth considering some structural changes to create a more ergonomically friendly layout. Buyers like space to cook and entertain, and that can be tough in an L-shaped area. There should also be dedicated space for appliances such as washing machines and fridges and, wherever possible, integrate white goods into the kitchen cupboards.

Buy a kitchen for around £1,500 in a major DIY store such as B&Q or Wickes, but remember it is often possible to pick up bargains during end-of-season sales. By hiring a local contractor to fit a new, relatively cheap kitchen, you can transform your whole home into something far more desirable to buyers. However, it is also important not to forget lighting when staging a kitchen for viewings. Many old kitchens still have pendant lights, but the installation of halogen spotlights creates the white light that will showcase your kitchen fantastically.

Functional remodelled or new kitchens can increase house values

Potential buyers often want to move into a home without any fuss or added expense, and a clean, functional and well-appointed kitchen is usually a critical factor in their decision. Although buyers don’t usually expect to see a sterile environment, they will expect certain levels of hygiene. For the best results, hiring a professional cleaning service will ensure any build-ups of grease and grime are removed – including around your cooker and extractor hood. Give particular attention to the cleaning of floor and wall tiles.

Island ranges are very popular with buyers at the moment, and they are often a critical factor in achieving quick and profitable house sales. However, the most crucial aspect of your kitchen is functionality. Is there sufficient space for food preparation? Is there room for entertaining? Are all your appliances clean and in perfect working order? According to a recent HSBC survey, new kitchens that are both functional and ergonomically designed can add nearly £5,000 to net house prices. That means spending £1,500 to upgrade your kitchen before listing your home for sale could be a cost-effective strategy.

Most buyers are usually most excited by the kitchen of a home, as in most cases it will be the most used room in the property. If you can create the ‘wow’ factor in the heart of your home, you can significantly increase the chance of a favourable home valuation when it is time to sell.

Check our other posts to see factors which may increase your house value.

Infographic – 12 tips to improve your home’s value.


Niche Home Improvements Can Reduce Property Values

Niche home improvements: keep them middle of the road to protect property values

A home should be a very personal space, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with injecting your own tastes and personality into it. However, when it is time to sell your property, you need to leave your personal tastes out of the process as property values may be reduced (i.e.. the value of your home could be adversely affected). What you may find tasteful and attractive might not be to the taste to your potential buyers. If your home is awash with very distinctive, vividly coloured features and designs, you risk alienating some buyers completely. Create a neutral look that is unlikely to offend anyone, and your house should appeal to the broadest possible range of potential buyers.

Protect property values, keep home improvements to a minimum

Buyers who can’t imagine themselves living in your property due to the niche improvements you have made are highly unlikely to put an offer in. Keeping things neutral and plain may seem a little counter-intuitive, but it can be the best way of keeping everyone interested. You are, in effect, creating a blank canvass for buyers, and that can result in quicker house sales and a favourable house valuation. If you are in any doubt about what buyers want to see in the properties they are viewing, take a trip to a local property builder’s show house. House builders use professional ‘stagers’ and interior decorators to make their homes appeal to a broad spectrum of the population, so you should be able to pick up a few tips.

House prices can be affected by interior wall coverings

You might like to paint the walls of your daughter’s bedroom pink, but that could be off-putting to families with no young children or those that only have boys. Although this may not seem like a big deal to you, such a room could end up defining your entire house. If your buyers had the choice of your house – with its distinctively coloured bedrooms – and an identical house with rooms that appeal to anyone, there is a very real chance that they will choose the house with neutral colours. Cash-strapped families and first-time buyers will often want to move into a property straight away, and anything that stops that from happening has the potential to affect house sale prices. Check for free, property values by postcode using our calculator to see the value of your home and neighbouring properties.

Property values can be lowered by niche exterior finishes

During the 70s and 80s in particular, the popularity of stone-cladding soared in the UK. Because such niche fashions are cyclical, it is no surprise that many people now view such exterior features as garish and distasteful. Unlike interior decorations, making exterior improvements is usually a complex issue to reverse, so any decisions in relation to the exterior of your home should be given very careful consideration. Plain, old brick doesn’t usually offend anyone, but painting your house bright blue will definitely alienate a significant proportion of potential buyers who consider property values as an integral part of the house buying process.

Irregularly shaped rooms can adversely affect property prices

Homes with well proportioned rooms – rectangular or square in shape – will usually be preferred over irregular rooms such as L-shaped kitchens and triangular guest rooms. If your home has unusually shaped rooms, performing a few renovations might prove cost-effective when it comes to a house valuation. If you are thinking about an extension, it is always best to stick to squares and rectangles – anything else might be considered niche, and that can reduce demand.

Land registry prices in your area can be checked on, and they can prove very useful in determining a link between niche home improvements and reductions in property values. The best way to achieve optimum house sold prices is for homeowners to make their property as widely appealing as possible – something that sticking to niche home improvements will make almost impossible.

Flying Homes advocates that you check carefully with a local estate agent exactly what impact any home improvements that you are planning will have on the value of your home (property values), If you need to sell your home quickly then call us on 0800 669 6784 and get an instant no obligation quote or complete the online form!

Home Improvements Without Planning Consent Can Reduce Property Values

Home improvements without planning permission can adversely impact on house values

Planning permission needs granting for some property alterations. Buying a house is fraught with potential for nasty surprises, and one particular surprise is the addition of extensions and home improvements not given official planning permission that can have an adverse impact on property prices. A conveyancer has a duty to check that all the required planning permissions are in place before a sale completes, ignorance is not a defence for house buyers. If you’re trying to sell a home online without the necessary planning permission, you will probably find that the house valuation process uncovers the truth – and the effects can be quite staggering. Therefore it is important when considering home improvement ideas or projects that you check if planning consent is required or not.

Home Improvements needing planning permission and how it relates to house prices

Local authorities are usually responsible for granting planning permission. A range of renovations and extensions need planning consent, including the increase of the floor area of property or the building of a new structure. If you’re planning home improvements or minor alterations, it is unlikely you will need to apply for planning permission – unless your property is either located in a conservation area or has ‘listed’ status.

To protect the sale value of your home, it pays to be in possession of the facts when it comes to planning permission. Fortunately, there is a range of minor building works that can take place without formal planning consent, and they include:

– The construction of a porch
– The addition of a garage
– The construction of boundary walls and fences
– Change of use from a garage to a domestic room
– The building of conservatories that meet certain criteria

It is worth pointing out, however, that these permissions are only valid if the new structures do not rise higher than the original building. A full breakdown of the rules and regulations governing planning permission in the UK is on the government’s planning website; although individual local authorities have powers to determine their ‘permitted development orders’ so speaking with the council’s planning department before building work is essential.

The law allows a local authority to issue an enforcement notice to the property’s owner if the necessary planning permission is not in place. It’s your responsibility whether you were responsible for any illegal improvements or not. The legal searches carried out by a buyer’s surveyor will uncover any planning issues, and because any new owner would be liable for rectifying illegal builds, the effect planning issues have on property prices can be huge.

However, any local authority only has four years from the commencement of works to issue an enforcement notice requiring rectification of an illegal build. After four years, a homeowner does not have to comply with any enforcement action. Illegal home improvements have the potential to stop house sales in their tracks, and even if you manage to sell your home without acquiring the necessary planning permissions, the new owner may be entitled to sue you to recover the added cost of complying with planning rules. To protect the value of your home, seeking expert advice on planning before work commences is a necessity.

Home Improvements Without Planning Permission Can Reduce House Values
Home Improvements Without Planning Permission Can Reduce House Values

An example of how planning permission breaches can impact UK house prices

A German couple moved into their idyllic home in the Cotswolds back in 2007. Their lawyer carried out all the usual searches, and the sale went through without a hitch. However, Angela and Gerrit Pires were left devastated when they received a letter from Cotswold District Council informing them that the terms of the planning permission agreed by the home’s previous owners breached. Instead of the allowed 3,121 square feet, their property extended to 4,843 square feet. Not only were the couple liable for the cost of demolishing a third of their new home, but the property was also worth far less than they paid for it.

Most searches will uncover properties that have breached planning regulations, and that can profoundly affect a subsequent property valuation. However, by carefully scrutinising planning rules and the subsequent work that takes place, both buyers and sellers can protect their financial interests.

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