Do you know what your home is worth? If it’s a while since you took out your mortgage you might be pleasantly surprised by how much the value has gone up.
There are a number of reasons why it can be useful to know, such as if you are considering selling or remortgaging.
If you’re wondering how houses are valued, there are a number of factors that can have an impact. Looking at the bigger picture, things like location, local amenities such as schools, transport links, crime rates and risk of flooding can all affect value. Looking at the building itself, factors can include structural integrity, state of external presentation and internal decoration, size and layout, and hidden issues such as wiring, plumbing and heating.
If you want to add value to your home, some things can be surprisingly easy and inexpensive to do, while other changes can cost a lot more.
Start with building issues
There’s no point giving your property a lick of paint if there are construction issues that need to be dealt with, such as subsidence or slates missing from the roof. They would also hugely affect both the value of your property and your chances of selling it. Start by taking care of structural issues so you can be confident the building is sound.
Make the most of space
Consider whether you are making full use of all the space available. Storage is important, and so are things like a downstairs bathroom or an extra bedroom. Is there unused space in the hall or an upstairs landing that could be converted into a bathroom or allow a cupboard to be built? Can loft space be utilised to create a bedroom? Would you get more use out of your dining room if you knocked through from the sitting room or the kitchen? Look around with a critical eye and maximise your space.
Plumbing, wiring and heating might not be visible, but they are critical. When it comes to a rewire, or replacing pipes or the heating system, it’s also disruptive and messy, so having those things recently taken care of adds value and is very attractive to buyers.
Update the kitchen and bathroom
These rooms in particular can really help to sell a house. If they are looking a little dated, it’s time to do something about it. You can go the whole hog and replace the kitchen units and bathroom suite, if that’s needed, or else do a makeover. Replacing or painting unit doors and putting down some new flooring can transform a kitchen, while replacing taps and fittings, having a bath re-enamelled and painting tiles can all make a huge difference to a bathroom.
Clean, decorate and declutter
Make sure there’s no flaking paint or scuffed skirting boards by cleaning and decorating throughout. While your personal preference might be for bright colours and bold patterns, if you’re intending to sell, aim to keep things fairly neutral with regard to decoration.
Take the opportunity to declutter if you are planning to sell. You want people to be able to imagine living in the space, and keeping things simple can help.
Make sure everything is well-maintained
Adding value to your home can be achieved in a burst of activity to get it ready for an event such as a sale, or undertaken as a planned programme of improvement, perhaps with an eye on when you will next be negotiating a remortgage deal. Whatever you are planning for, keeping on top of general maintenance, repairs and decoration is always a good idea.