If you own your own home, you may be better off fixing that leaky roof or even shelling out on a loft conversion than sticking your cash in a bank.
After years of property slumps, house prices are finally on the up and with interest rates still anchored below 1% it could be a wise time to make your humble abode into the next gold mine.
The average cost of physically moving house (including stamp duty, estate agent and surveyors’ fees and removal costs) is around £12,000 so buyers are demanding a big bang for their buck.
But before you start knocking that shiny ‘For Sale’ sign into your front lawn, it’s worth taking a moment to consider what makes your home stand out from the rest of the Rightmove wannabes and what you could do add value to your house.
Luckily, whatever your budget, there are loads of clever ways to add value to your house and that elusive X-factor to the place you once called home. But how to add value to your house? Here are a few insider tips:
Think Big and Build an Extension
According to the Nationwide Building Society, making more floor space can add between 10% and 20% to your home’s value.
A modest extension to your kitchen, living space or adding an extra bedroom (typically towards the back or side of your home) will cost between £15,000 to £40,000.
But if your house is in a desirable area, an extension can add up to £50,000 to the value of the property. And, just think, if you decide not to sell – you’ll still have a bigger house!
Go To the Next Level with a Loft Conversion
One of the most popular ways to add value to your home. Most people have oodles of space above their heads, used to store old books and CDs and dodgy 80s clothes you’ll never wear but can’t bear to chuck out.
Turn that space into an extra bedroom or home office and you could add up to 12.5% to the value of your home, according to TV property guru Phil Spencer. By spending £20,000 on converting your loft you may double that in value-added terms.
Doing a loft conversion is not particularly disruptive, either, as most of the work can be done from outside.
How to Add Value to Your House with a Garage Conversion
Most British garages are too small to house a modern-day car and most people now just use garages for storing bikes and lawnmowers.
Turn that space into an extra living room, office, playroom or even bedroom. The cost of a garage conversion is between £10,000 and £20,000, depending on how you do it, but could add up to £40,000 in coveted extra living space value.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is With a New Kitchen Re-Fit
Is your kitchen tired and unappealing?
Installing a new and modern kitchen to your home can add 5% to the value of the property. The cost of a new kitchen can vary greatly – can spend anything between £3000 and £25,000.
However, a rough rule of thumb is that if you spend under 5% of the value of the property, you will make your money back.
Get Close To Nature with a New Conservatory
If you don’t have the cash for a full-blown extension, then adding a conservatory to the back of your house can be a cheaper option.
The conservatory needs to fit with your home and not look out of place but if you choose wisely you can spend as little as £5,000 and add as much as £15,000 in valuable floor space.
Paint over the Cracks
If you don’t want to invest in a large, expensive project – giving your house a lick of paint before you sell can cost between £100 and £1,000, but could add up £5,000 in value.
That freshly-painted feeling is highly desirable to prospective buyers and may just detract from the lack of floor space.
So get your brushes out and spruce up your home for a fraction of the cost.
How to Pay for Home Improvements
Like most of us, you probably don’t have the odd £30,000 lying around to spend on your house.
Most people will need to borrow to make home improvements, but even with the cost of added borrowing you can add space and value to your house. The most popular borrowing routes are:
1. Borrowing against Your Mortgage
Mortgage rates are at an all-time low but you will need to calculate the cost of the extra repayments and any fees associated with borrowing.
Contact your mortgage company to see what they can do for you. Additional borrowing on your mortgage will typically run over the remaining term of your existing mortgage.
2. Personal Loan
Repayments on a personal loan typically run for between 3 and 5 years, however a loan can be a good option if you want to pay off the home improvement costs over a shorter period of time.
Personal loan rates have fallen in recent years, however you may only be able to borrow a smaller amount (generally up to £25,000) than if you borrow against the mortgage.
So taking out a personal loan may only be an option if you have some savings to add to the cost of your improvements.
Before taking a personal loan, check out our handy guide on to personal loans.
Over to You
Have you done building work on your home that has added up to more cash in the bank when you came to sell? What sort of projects are you doing on your home now? Share your experiences with us here; we’d love to hear from you!