Which Improvements Add The Most Value?

What home improvements make the most difference in a property’s resale value?  Extensions, extra bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms and open plan areas discussed.

Assessing how to maximise your investment in bricks and mortar

When considering how to boost the value of your property, some types of home improvement would come under consideration. While modest renovations, redecorating and general tidying up can improve the fabled ‘kerb appeal,’ it’s often the higher ticket items such as new kitchens and extensions that are considered as investments that make a significant difference to resale values.

But which ones are the best bets? The Office of National Statistics say we spend around £30 billion a year on improving properties – some £43 million a week. What provides the best return on that investment?

Professionals surveyed

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) surveyed estate agents recently to see what they consider adds the most value to a property. The overwhelming view was the creation of more space in the form of an extension such as (especially) creating an extra bedroom is the best investment according to some 50% of respondents.

Before you rush to add to your property with a view to increasing its value before selling, get proper costings for work you may be thinking of. Next, get an idea from local property experts such as Balgores Property as to the value of your property now and what it may be worth if you invest further in it.

The main improvements that add value:

Extension

Most types of extension, whether to create a bigger kitchen, extra bedrooms or maybe a kitchen diner, should add value. Exact amounts are hard to predict due to the diversity of extensions possible, but an estimate of around 11% of the property’s value seems a reasonable expectation.

Extra bedroom

Creating an extra bedroom is considered very worthwhile, and it may be possible to do this using existing space within the property as opposed to building an extension – for example through a loft conversion. Gains of at least 10% of the property value are possible.

Open plan area

A feeling of space is a highly desirable factor for house purchasers according to the experts, and usable open plan space such as a kitchen-diner is very popular. Converting a separate kitchen and dining room into one along with a new kitchen would, combined, make for a useful increase in value in the region of 6%.

Kitchen

As above, it could be part of the creation of an open plan living area. If it’s more stand alone, a well-designed kitchen with good quality components can be a powerful sales driver. The kitchen is often the focal point of a property and a classy installation could see a value increase of about 6% of the property value.

Extra bathroom

A good selling point partly due to the increased popularity of en suites, it could also be worth upgrading the ‘master’ bathroom if it’s fallen behind the times somewhat. The professional’s advice is to not go overboard with fixtures and fittings; decent but affordable quality is the name of the game so as to make it appealing to buyers but not cost too much to install in the first place. Returns of about 5% could be possible with a decent quality extra bathroom.

Conservatories

They can provide a 5% increase to the home’s value, but care should be taken. Cheaper, hastily built types not sympathetic in design to the property type could actually put potential buyers off.

These days it’s possible to create a decent quality conservatory that blends well with the property, possesses a ‘quality’ feel and lets plenty of light in. Be careful of impinging on the garden area when having one built though as many buyers like a decent amount of space.

Is it worth it?

Adding to your property to improve it for your own comfort with an eye on resale when the time comes is one thing, but adding to a property purely to increase its value is something else entirely. You have to ask yourself if the time, expense and upheaval will be worth your while.

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