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Which 10 home improvements add value to your property.

If you want to work your way up the property ladder to your dream home, you need to learn how to maximise the value. Your house will almost certainly be more attractive to buyers with some general sprucing up and cleaning. Thankfully there are lots of brilliant ways to add value and boost the appeal of your home ranging from larger projects such as loft conversions, converting a cellar or adding a conservatory may reap high rewards if you have the time and money. While you may be tempted to do a large scale project don't forget the smaller things can also add value too.

Read and discover 10 of the best ways to add value to your home.

1. The first impression is critical

According to exclusive research by Strutt & Parker, 76% of property purchasers agree that first impressions are everything when they visit a property.

The first thing your buyers will see is the exterior of your home and, according to Barclays Mortgages, the majority of house-hunters decide in only ten seconds whether they like a property or not just from what it looks like on the outside. Buyers often decide whether they like a property even before they reach the front door, so paying attention to the exterior of your home. A smart front door is a must, while regular maintenance – including clearing drains, replacing rotten wood, ensuring rendering or paintwork is in tip-top condition and repairing walls, fencing and gates – will save you money in the long run. 2. Decorating

Decorating is perhaps the most obvious task when thinking about how to add value to your home. You can easily be resolved it by yourself. Damaged walls, ugly ceilings and outdated colour schemes can age and devalue your home. Replastering a room and painting with a fresh coat of modern emulsion or simply white can bring a house into the 21st century.

This is particularly important when selling, as it will appeal to prospective buyers and help achieve the maximum value from your home.

For small spaces, light-reflecting paints and the use of mirrors is a great way to trick the eye into thinking a room is bigger. When selling you should also declutter, yet ensure rooms are well furnished, to show the room to its full potential. With trends ever-changing, if you're looking to add value prior to selling your home, you may wish to keep the decor neutral.

3. Planning permission

Phil Spencer has a top tip that could add £5,000 to the value of your house. The best part is that it won’t cost you a penny. Converting the loft or adding an extension provides the biggest-value boost, but will typically cost between £20,000 and £40,000. Just by applying for planning permission, you can sweeten the deal for a potential buyer.

Many sellers, including strike, have seen an increase in sale price after obtaining planning permission. It can increase the property value by 10 per cent and encourage a quick sale. However, there are two main types of applications for planning permission. The full planning permission application requires a detailed proposal and will cost you £206 for an extension in England. Outline planning permission, on the other hand, is a little bit more flexible and you can get it for free.

4. Modernise your kitchen and bathroom.

You’ve probably heard the saying that kitchen and bathrooms sell houses, and it’s true. Having an up-to-date modern kitchen is one of the best ways you can add value to your home. After all, it is the hub of the home!

Updating a kitchen can be as simple as just giving your kitchen a fresh coat of paint. Or, it can much more complex and involve an entirely new kitchen and layout. Property experts say if you can only afford to tackle one room in the house, it should definitely be the kitchen.

If you do plan on buying a whole new kitchen, to ensure you get the most value from it, this guide from Nationwide Building Society, suggests that the amount you should spend on a new kitchen should be in proportion to the value of your home. Years ago, bathrooms were rooms that just needed to be utilitarian, but these days people are looking for a place of luxury, somewhere to relax, in an almost spa-like experience.

5. Garden appeal An attractive, tidy, well-designed garden can add a great deal of value to a property. It is essential to trim borders, clear pathways and cut back any overgrown trees or bushes. The garden should feel like an extra space for entertaining or relaxing, rather than an expanse of grass. An outdoor space should be somewhere you can live in, just like the inside of your house. Landscaping doesn’t necessarily have to be overly elaborate, simply providing an outdoor living area, like a patio with some easy-to-maintain greenery will enhance the beauty of your home. It will turn a simple outside space into a usable space and that’s something buyers will pay for. When it comes to the back garden, Halifax found that 45 per cent of buyers regarded garden improvements as highly desirable.

6. Sustainability matter

New legislation, rising energy bills and concerns about the planet have seen many of us look to alternative ways of running our homes and conserving energy. The government announced last year a £2-billion Green Homes Grant to help homeowners and landlords improve the energy efficiency of their properties.

According to the International Energy Agency, 39% of global carbon-related remissions are attributed to buildings. The UK construction sector alone uses 400 million tons of material a year. There is still a long way to go, but this number has risen in the years since and will no doubt continue to rise over the coming decades as housebuilders move towards more sustainable developments.

7. Add the home office

With the number of people working home, investing in a small extension to create space for a home office can add as much as 8.4% to the value of your property. A more cost-effective alternative is a garden studio. A basic summer house or garden room style building can be purchased for as little as £4,500. The good news is they can be fairly affordable to get off the ground and even adding one in the form of an extension is likely to make a good investment. Not only will it add value in the current work from home climate, but if you’re smart and make it a versatile space, it can easily double up as an additional bedroom.

8. Look smart and be energy efficient Smart home technologies are increasingly important to buyers - just advertising the presence of fibre optic cables in your area could be enough to encourage buyers. Statement systems like multi-room music platforms can also make a difference. Smart technology, which gives mobile control the systems, is a feature worth considering. If it moves your EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) up a band, it could add thousands to the sale price. Only 2% of homes sold in 2019 had smart technology installed, so by being ahead of the game, you'll be offering a unique selling-point and future-proofing for any potential buyers.

9. Open plan layout

An open-plan layout can create the illusion of a bigger, lighter, living space — particularly when your decor is the same throughout — as the eye flows naturally around the entire area. An open-plan layout can create a real “wow” factor for your home. According to which?, adding a new open-plan kitchen could add 6% to your property’s value at the cost of around £8,000. Open-plan living is increasingly popular and makes each living area a more flexible, social space that will appeal to almost everyone — from first-time buyers to families alike. The setup encourages socializing and family bonding. Open plan layout usually provides plenty of storage space as well. If this isn’t an option, consider adding concertina doors to give the feel of a more open layout. The cost will be significantly less, but it will create a similar airy effect.

10. Unique interior design

According to bankrate analysed 10 of the most popular interior decor styles and hundreds of house prices on Zoopla to determine which interior design style adds the most value to you’re home. If we’ve learnt anything from the slew of property buying and selling in tv shows we’ve been gifted with over the years, it’s that house buying is all about location and natural light.

Of course, there’s a bit more to it than that, but there’s another often forgotten element that can potentially add huge value to your house and that’s your interior design choices. Interior styling or home staging is a necessity, as buyers need to be able to imagine themselves in your home and are very easily put off by properties that need a lot of work.

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