If it’s time to sell your home or you’re refinancing your home loan, you’ll want your property valuation to be the highest it can possibly be. Before jumping in and adding a pool or granny flat, follow our list of ways to increase your property’s value that will ensure you aren’t over capitalising and getting a good return on investment.
Ways to add value to your property
There are some minor and major home improvements that can be made to increase your home’s value.
1# First Impressions
You don’t want to unintentionally devalue your home by neglecting your curb appeal (or your hedges). Valuers can be influenced by the presentation of the home, subconsciously making assumptions about how the exterior reflects the interior value.
Make use of your green thumb (or borrow a friend that has one) and get to mowing the lawn, hedging the hedges, planting flowers and weeding overgrown shrubbery.
Take a good look at the exterior of your house. Is the front door and entrance inviting? Does it need a fresh coat of paint, do the gutters need mending, is there a broken panel in the fence? Make sure your home is as presentable as it can be before approaching a valuer.
2# The Kitchen
The heart and soul of the home: the kitchen. It’s often said that kitchens can sell houses! Depending on the state of your kitchen, you can keep the modifications simple by adding a fresh coat of paint to cupboards, upgrading to modern handles, renewing outdated appliances with popular, well-trusted brand names, and some new lights. Give your kitchen a good scrub and declutter. Unnecessary clutter can make the kitchen feel cramped and small, so by decluttering, you can add the illusion of more space.
If you’re willing to spend a bit more, consider expanding and utilising the space of your kitchen. Add bench space by adding in a kitchen island (IKEA even sell mobile kitchen benches on wheels) or increase storage space by redesigning your cupboards. Similarly, if you have a smaller home with limited living space, consider knocking down the island bench for increased traffic flow, embracing the trend of open plan living.
3# The Bathroom
This high-traffic area, much like the kitchen, is a highly used space within your home. Whilst a full bathroom renovation can be expensive, you don’t have to get in a construction team to give your bathroom that renewed feeling.
The first thing to refresh your bathroom is to get out the bleach, gloves and scrubbers. Remove any stain, mould build up, tile grout, wash mirrors and scrape away rust. Follow this with a fresh coat of neutral coloured paint, such as white, and your bathroom will already look newer.
A survey conducted by Lendi suggested that baby boomers are willing to pay more for a home with additional bathroom space.
Whilst you may not be able to add square meters to your land size, you can make use of the square footage you do have.
The number of bedrooms your house has can hugely affect your home’s value. However, don’t just add an extra room for the sake of adding one. If you have the space to do so, do it, but if your home is already cramped, it could decrease your home’s value by doing so. Another thing to consider is the ratio of bedrooms to bathrooms. It would not be ideal to add a fourth bedroom when there’s only one bathroom.
Another way to increase living space is to remove walls between living areas. If you have a wall separating the kitchen from the dining room, consider opening up the space to create a bigger living area and boost natural light. The same can be done by removing archways for an open-plan home.
Don’t have a lot of space to work with? Create the illusion of space by adding mirrors to smaller rooms. This can give potential buyers and values the sense of more space within the room.
Don’t forget about the car space. Many suburban residents struggle to find kerbside parking. By adding a carport or widening your driveway to allow for more car space, you can increase the value of your property.
5# Get back to the basics
Before making superficial changes to your home, consider the basics. Are all structures, electricity and plumbing working effectively? Fix any sagging roofs, mouldy walls, broken tiles or wall cracks before anything else. Ensuring your home is structurally sound is one of the first things a valuer will assess.
6# Your land
Whilst the aesthetics of your landscaping can influence a valuer’s assessment of your home, its functionality can as well. Your property’s land can account for up to 70% of the selling price. Whilst you can’t add more land to your boundary, you can ensure your land is the best it can be. Consider levelling out or filling your land to maximise the land’s usability. Add a fresh layer of grass and ensure your lawn looks fertile and healthy.
7# Know your market
The most important thing that should underpin all of your renovation decisions, is the market that is buying your home. Do you live in a suburb with large families, or in the city dominated by singles and couples in apartments? This will influence whether you focus on adding more bedrooms or prioritising the kitchen or bathroom with your home.
Granny flats can be an option to add value to your home, depending on the market. They are on the rise in more suburban areas, whereas not so much in the CBD. Additions such as granny flats can be costly, ranging anywhere upwards of $100,000*. You want to ensure there is a market for granny flats, and that your home will increase, not decrease in value because of it.
Whatever the market, a simple tip is to keep your colours neutral. If you’re selling your home, you want to sell the livability of your home. By keeping colours to the inconspicuous beige or off-white, you will attract a lot more people who can imagine themselves in your home.
Add value, one improvement at a time
When choosing ways to increase your property’s value, choose what’s best for you and your market. Don’t overcapitalise on any renovation or spend more than you can afford. Know and work with your budget, because any improvement is still an improvement. Follow these tips, get a higher valuation and see your home sell for more! If you’re curious as to where your property’s value currently stands, get a property.
* Based on a standard 2 bedroom granny flat from AMESCORP.