Home improvements – do they add value to your home?

If you’re considering putting your house on the market, you’ll want to make it look its best for prospective purchasers. A fresh coat of paint, some long-overdue decluttering and getting the garden in good order will all help make your home a place buyers can imagine themselves living in.

We know that attractive kitchens and bathrooms can help sell your house, but did you know there are some home improvements which may actually have the opposite effect to the one you want? Here’s a list of five things which could send buyers heading back down the drive:

Turning a bedroom into a bathroom

You’d love an en suite bathroom – it would be wonderful to have a relaxing bath without sitting on the kids’ bath toys; the smallest bedroom is rarely used and would be easy to knock through. However, purchasers will nearly always prioritise a bedroom over an extra bathroom, so this is likely to reduce the value of your house significantly, especially if the proposed bathroom is likely to be small. The only time it could add any value is if your house already has a large number of bedrooms.

Removing the bath

While we’re on the subject of bathrooms, this is another way vendors can inadvertently devalue the price of their property. A recent survey found that 57% of respondents preferred a shower, because of speed and convenience, while only 32% preferred a bath. Some home owners wonder whether to remove the bath and create more space by replacing it with a shower or wet room. In spite of the general preference for showers, however, a bathtub is on many people’s list of essentials, especially if they have young children, or grandchildren staying regularly.

Extending into a small garden

It would be lovely to have more space downstairs, so should you think about extending into the back garden? It would leave very little space, but you spend more time inside than outside so it might be worth it. Think again! An extension can add appreciable value to your home, but not if it leaves you with barely enough garden to swing a cat. Buyers with children will want them to be able to kick a ball about or bounce on the trampoline. Outdoor entertaining is on the rise and a minute garden which is out of proportion to the house will put people off.

Creating space which doesn’t work

Everyone wants more room inside, especially as families grow. It’s worth talking to a professional when planning internal home improvements, as while some renovations can add value, others can go the other way. Examples we’ve seen include loft conversions with tricky access or stairs which render another bedroom unusable, narrow kitchens where you can only open one cupboard door at a time, and cloakrooms where you have to twist sideways in order to sit on the toilet!

Feature wallpaper, expensive paint and loud colours

Your taste may run to the latest trends in interior décor, but that eye-wateringly expensive paper or paint won’t add any value – once it’s on the wall, few people can tell if it’s the brand of the moment which costs several weeks’ salary, or a budget pot from the local hardware store. It’s important to decorate your home how you want it, but if you’re thinking of selling, try to tone things down and go for neutral colours. Strong colours can also have the effect of making rooms look smaller just when you want to give an impression of space.

If you’re thinking of making improvements to your home with a view to sprucing it up for sale, why not give us a call or drop in for a chat. We have a wealth of experience in what purchasers are looking for in and around Cranleigh and we’d be happy to help!