what you are planning for your home going to add £££
to the value of your home or is it going to be a selling feature?
Not all home improvements
and makeovers will actually add to the value of your home in monetary
terms. But, if you are planning on staying in your home for a number
of years the intrinsic value should not be overlooked.
If you live in a high-crime
area, an organized community watch program not only will lower the
crime rate but can enhance property values, too. It also helps to
live in an area where other homeowners are upgrading their homes,
which can help pull up your property value, too.
PATCH ALL THE PLASTER
Prospective home buyers believe that every plaster crack represents
a huge structural problem--even though most plaster cracks are cosmetic.
THERE'S NO PROFIT
IN STRIPPING PAINT.
On the exterior, scrape off loose paint, then prime and re-coat.
On the interior, just refresh the paint if the woodwork is painted.
(If it's clear finished, don't paint over varnish or shellac in
an attempt to make the house "light and bright.") The only surfaces
worth stripping are hardware or other metals--they're small and
easy to strip, and polished hardware is like jewelry for the house.
Spend your money on details
with impact. Potential buyers respond positively to gleaming wood
floors, an attractive fireplace, polished hardware, appropriate
light fixtures, and most important, color. All are relatively inexpensive
to add to a house, and when done well, they create a more favorable
impression than a £6,000 cooker.
THE MOST IMPORTANT
ROOM IS THE KITCHEN.
People want the following amenities in a kitchen: a built-in dishwasher,
disposal, frost-free refrigerator, gas stove, and sufficient cabinets
and electrical outlets. As long as these elements are present, usually
the house sells quickly, even when the kitchen looks as old as the
rest of the house.
This doesn't mean you
should overspend. Period appropriate cabinetry and countertops have
more impact than expensive appliances. Unfinished, custom or semi-custom
cabinets that you paint are not terribly expensive if you find the
right cabinetmaker. Finish the counters with inexpensive tile. Appropriate
drawer pulls and cabinet knobs are also relatively inexpensive if
you buy them at builder's supply stores. A nice-looking faucet shouldn't
cost more than £85. Simple light fixtures with brass canopies
and glass shades are appropriate to most house styles, since old-house
kitchens tend to be fairly utilitarian.
BATHROOMS PAY YOU
A single bathroom is usually adequate for a two-bedroom house, but
a house with three or more bedrooms should have at least a bath
and cloakroom or two full baths. Adding a second bath to a three-bedroom
house will more than pay for itself in the next sale.
Bathrooms need a shower,
tub (or shower-tub combination), sink, toilet, and some storage
space. With old houses, it's important to make bathrooms look like
they belong in the house. A bath with a hexagonal tile floor, tile
or beadboard wainscoting, claw-foot tub (with shower), wall-hung
or pedestal sink with porcelain-handled faucets, and a simple wooden
medicine cabinet would fit into any house built up until about 1940.
The bottom line is to
measure the cost of any improvements you want to make against the
overall values in your neighborhood. If you over improve for the
neighborhood, you may not necessarily recover your costs or boost
your property value significantly.