Thursday, 2 December 2010

Make Your Home Improvement A Sound Investment

Your home is one of the most expensive purchases you will make in your life but once you have your home it doesn’t stop there.  You need to spend money to gain money, and you need to spend money to improve or to keep your property’s value.

So here some tips to make those home improvements beneficial.

Homeowners regularly spend an extra ordinary amount of money on their homes hoping that they will improve their property’s value. While this is often the case, the increase is considerably less than the investments made. For example, is it worth spending £10,000 on an extension, when the property’s value with rise by a mere £5,000?

Many people attempt to strike a balance, but adding a new bathroom suite or garage will prove less economical than investing in Central Heating or insulation. (I suppose this does not apply in hot countries)
When making alterations to your home, the first thing to bear in mind is whether or not the change will be appropriate . For example, installing a Victorian fireplace in your home may not be to anyone taste, possibly diminishing the property’s value. However, there are certain changes that are guaranteed to pay for themselves.

Let me begin with the kitchen. Around £800m a year is spent on upgrading kitchens in UK, with the average price of refurbishment costing £5,000. An attractive kitchen will help sell your home when the time comes, but will probably add only £4,000 to the asking price. Consequently, it’s important to spend wisely. Purchase a good quality kitchen that doesn’t adhere to any particular fashion. Loads of retro chrome handles or minimalist cupboards may be the antitheses of style when you come to sell the property.

The same applies to the bathroom. A pleasant relaxing colour scheme and comfortable utensils will hold their value. Spas and whirlpools increase novelty value, but won’t increase your home’s value by anything like what you paid for them. Second toilets are popular additions to a property and need not cost the earth to be installed.

Wallpapering your home is often a popular feature with potential buyers, but avoid wood-chip which has proven itself unpopular with many people over the years.
Many houses with attics lack proper insulation and this is one area that can be an investment. Proper insulation, including draught proofing and filing cavity walls will have paid for itself within seven years, after that it’s all profit.

The most important addition you can make to a home is the installation of central heating. Homes without this (but not in hot countries) feature are often difficult to sell and, although having it fitted can be costly, averaging £3,000, but this goes straight to the value of your property.

Double glazing is the most popular improvement and, while it won’t add that much to your home’s value, around £3,000, the benefits come in the form of reduced insurance premiums, as double glazing is seen as great security device. Security and fire security may not boost the value of your property, but by a great deal, but your insurance will be cheaper and you’ll have better peace of mind. When considering security device, your local police department should be able to provide you with valuable advice. Don’t go too mad on the garden as research suggests most potential buyers may be put off by vast columns of tropical flora. Having your lawn landscape is generally seen as an investment, as well as a luxury.

Adding a conservatory to your house may create some extra space, but make sure the job is done by a professional. Most conservatories add about half their price to the value of the property, around £3,000, but a dilapidated building may actually drag the price down.

Any renovation or refurbishment work you decide upon should always be carried out by certified professionals. DIYers (Do It Yourself) who can’t DIY very well often get despondent and settle for a second-rate job. This will be obvious to potential buyers and won’t help your cause.
If you employ the services of a household name building company, make sure you are dealing with the company itself and not a franchise to go bankrupt taking your deposit with them.

While extensions and Jacuzzis can raise your property’s value, the most important area of spending, and unfortunately the most overlooked, is general maintenance. Decorating, keeping gutters and drains clean, stopping damn and preventing cracks developing into demolition sites should always be a homeowners first priority. Spending a little here and there over the years, will prevent costly calamities occurring later down the line and ensure your home keeps its value.
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