Home improvements – dos and don’ts

Home improvementsMaking a few home improvements on a property can be the most simple way to increase its value: a newly-refurbished home is almost guaranteed improved profits when the time comes to sell it on. Still, it’s worth remembering that not all improvements are created equal, with some offering far higher returns than others. Throughout our years in the business, we’ve seen several homeowners both helping and hindering their chances of comfortable returns on their property investment through home improvements. Here are a few E&V dos and don’ts to bear in mind before you jump in.

Don’t price yourself out of the market. Before you even set yourself a renovation budget, take some time to calculate the price ceiling of your property by looking at the prices of other homes in the neighbourhood. Buyers will expect to pay a similar price, so if you spend too much money on renovations, you could find it difficult to sell the property on without making a loss.

Do spend your money wisely. Small, inexpensive projects can often yield greater profit margins than expensive renovations. For example, giving a kitchen a fresh coat of paint and upgrading the built-in appliances can offer a better return than a full-scale kitchen remodel. Another quick but crucial step is to work on your house’s ‘curb appeal,’ or how attractive it looks from the street. If your front door is looking a little shabby, consider repainting it. Those working with a bigger budget can add a new door – this is pricier, but can be expected to pay back 73% of its cost.

Do increase the living space in your property. Although extensions can be time-consuming, any project that increases the square footage of your home will add value. Converting attic space into a bedroom can recoup up to 78% of your investment. By the same token, making bathrooms larger can encourage buyers to pay more, as can increasing the size of the master bedroom.

Don’t convert bedrooms into communal areas. Home offices are a good example of this: although more people are opting to work from home, built-in offices tend to return less than 50% of their value. Bedrooms are much more desirable to buyers, so if the property already has a study, it could even be worth dressing it as a bedroom for photographs and viewings.

Do keep the décor neutral. Most buyers are looking for properties that they can enter and picture themselves living in, without carrying out extensive renovations of their own. If your buyers have to spend a lot of money re-decorating the property when they move in, they may deduct this cost from the price that they offer.

Do have a thorough clean up. Walking into a property crammed with furniture and personal possessions can make it hard for potential buyers to picture themselves living there, while grubby surfaces will make the house seem shabbier than it is. Mess can really dissuade buyers – 30% are put off by the sight of pet hair, while 65% are discouraged by smelly bathrooms. Do a final sweep before viewers arrive, and keep your house clutter-free and extra clean while it’s on the market.

If you’re planning on selling your property in the near future and need some assistance, speak to Engel & Völkers. With property experts and local offices across the globe, Engel & Völkers are perfectly placed to offer advice and assistance every step of the way: from selling one perfect investment property to purchasing the next.

Posted in Properties.