When the time comes to sell your house, the first thought that will come to mind is ‘what is the value of my property’? This is when you need a property appraisal. There are a number of factors that affect the value of your property, many of which are fluid and change with time. The advantages of a property appraisal are that a qualified agent can share their knowledge and expertise with you and you can get a good sense of how your property has improved over time, based on changes in your local area or improvements you may have made to the property yourself. You can then apply that knowledge to future changes and make smart and inexpensive improvements that will result in an even better result at your next appraisal.
Many homeowners make an initial investment by purchasing the property and then try to increase the value of their investment over time. However there is a distinction between changes that are needed and changes that you want. Closing in the back porch for example to create a warm sunny space for the winter may seem like a great idea but if it’s done without proper planning permission, strangely it may decrease your home’s value – either by impacting on its structural integrity or as a result of the risk that the council could issue a demolition order to you or any future owner.
There are many improvements large and small that can be made, but the best approach is to do your research, stick to the basics and make sure you do things thoroughly and professionally. Below is a list of a few things you can do to your property that will improve the value of it as well as your lifestyle.
- Landscaping – get a professional landscaper in to create a low maintenance and stylish garden. If you do this though make sure you also maintain the garden regularly!
- Painting – a fresh paint job can make the world of difference to the outside appearance of your property. Even if it’s just the window frames or architraves. Try not to stray too far from the existing colour scheme however. Adding quirky touches is fine for your personal taste but this won’t be accepted well or add value in the minds of many potential buyers.
- Internal spaces – Understanding which walls in your house are ‘load bearing’ can be very useful. Removing a non-essential kitchen wall for example can open up a living space and add considerable value. The change in your property listing from ‘separate kitchen‘ to ‘open plan living space’ can make a huge difference to buyer interest.
- External spaces – creating new spaces in your garden opens the opportunities for a wider range of buyers. Look for empty space that might be useful and add fish pond or a water feature. Even an elegant outdoor setting under a tree can transform ‘the back yard’ into a ‘leafy outdoor entertaining area’.
There are dozens more possibilities but starting with the basics keeps things achievable and affordable. Make sure you talk to your real estate agent during your property appraisal about the improvements you’ve made. They will often have hot tips about what buyers are currently looking for, giving you food for thought for future improvements you can make.