Top Home Improvements that Increase Property Values

With property being one of the largest purchases that you will probably make in your lifetime it's understandable to want to build on the value of your investment. Making home improvements generally adds financial value in addition to making your home a nicer, more spacious and luxurious place to live. Here is our guide to some of the top home improvements that can add value to your property.

Glass doors and walls
With space and light being vital to the sale of a property, glass doors and walls are becoming an increasingly popular feature of modern homes. Utilizing glass at the rear of the house will flood the property with light and give the illusion of additional space. This can require a substantial investment, but it will add desirability to your home as well as boosting the property value.

Skylights and solar tubes
Still on the subject of light (yes, it really is that important), skylights and more recently solar tubes are a fantastic way of getting natural light into your property without compromising on style. Skylights are more costly of the two and require more installation. If you have not yet heard of solar tubes, they are subtle little inventions that funnel sunlight down a mirrored tube to a ceiling fixture. On the outside of the property all that is visible is a small reflector dome, but inside the light from one solar tube on a summer’s day can produce the equivalent of a 400 watt bulb.
Their limitations include that they are only suitable for achieving light in single story properties, and we discourage them in bedrooms unless you are looking to be up at sunrise! However, at around $250 for a single kit with DIY installation, it is a pretty reasonably priced way to bring light into your property and reduce your energy bills.

Think Green!
In the last decade, people have become increasingly concerned with energy saving, reducing their carbon footprint and reducing their energy bills. As a result, properties with efficient systems are becoming much more desirable. For example, replacing old A/C or heating systems for new ones could improve their effectiveness by up to 40%. Similarly, installing a solar powered water heater could save you up to 80% on your water heating bills and earn you green tax back.
Research published by ‘The Appraisal Society’ estimated that energy saving investments could add up to twenty times the annual savings you will make to your property value.

Make space
As we have already mentioned, space, whether real or by illusion, is a key selling point of any property. Open plan living is more popular than ever, with prospective buyers wanting to feel a ‘flow’ of energy throughout the property. If you have any non-load bearing walls that can be removed, then this is a guaranteed way to open up your rooms and create the appearance of added space and light that is so desirable.

First impressions
Your front door and the area surrounding it is vital to creating a fantastic first impression. With some realtors believing that prospective buyers make their minds up about a property within ten seconds of reaching the front door, can you afford the entrance to your property to be anything less than perfect?
If your front door is looking tired, replace it. Ensure that number plaques or property names are shiny, straight and readable. If you have hanging baskets, consider swapping them for some simple plants in high quality containers. The approach to your property should be uncluttered and your attention should be focused towards the front door.
Overhangs such as porticos and awnings are also very popular and a worthwhile investment as they offer some protection from the elements whilst you are entering your house, plus create a statement look for the front of your property.

Neutral colors
If you make only one improvement to your home before putting it on the market then it needs to be this. Neutral colors allow prospective buyers to project their own ideas and tastes into a personalized space which helps them to visualize themselves living there. Lighter neutral tones will also add the illusion of space. This is a relatively inexpensive home improvement that can instantly add value and desirability to your property.

Tip-top flooring
About 94% of realtors suggest that spending money on flooring is a good investment, with an average cost of $600 to $900 returning an average of $2000 increase on your property value. High quality wood and tile floors have overtaken carpets in popularity and many can be easily installed without the need for professional help. Even smaller improvements such as repairing cracked tiles and fixing squeaky floorboards can add value to your home and create the polished look that is so desirable. Also, remove any rugs as they can break up large expanses of floor space making a room look smaller than it really is.

No-one wants to purchase a bathroom that isn’t in pristine condition, but you needn’t necessarily spend a fortune replacing the whole suite which may not be an economically sound investment. Instead, making smaller upgrades can make a big difference to the overall appearance of your bathrooms. Swapping frosted shower doors for clear glass, investing in a new towel rail and a luxury shower head and even purchasing a new toilet seat can all create a new stylish look for your bathroom without breaking the bank.

For many of us the kitchen is the heart of our home and one of the most important rooms in the property. Quality cupboards with plenty of space are a major selling point of any kitchen, but if you do not want to replace your entire kitchen then upgrading the doors and knobs is a viable alternative. If you are lacking in cupboard space then consider putting in a stylish breakfast bar. The kitchen should be uncluttered and functional, and if done well could add up to 5% onto your property value.

Landscaping is something that is often overlooked by vendors when they are preparing their house for sale as they become focused on the interior of their property. However, the appearance of the garden can say a great deal about the current owners and their attitude towards caring for their property and so it is critical to ensure that your garden space is at the very least well cared for. Buyers are prepared to pay more for a property that they believe is well looked after and in top quality. If time is a concern then employing a gardener for a few hours per week to keep on top of lawn mowing, hedge trimming and weeding is a worthwhile investment.

Glass room/Sunroom
Starting at around $7,500 and on average costing between $10,000 and $30,000, a glass room is by far the most expensive investment improvement on our list. A traditionally English feature, the addition of a glass room or sunroom to your house is a great way to add an extra dimension to the design of the property. It also increases much desired floor space at ground level which can have a multitude of uses including dining room, kids den, study or even swimming pool or hot tub enclosure. Obviously the creation of a glass room will mean compromising on some garden space, which is also a key selling point of a property. Therefore you may only wish to consider one if its addition will still leave you with a reasonably sized garden.

We hope that you find this article helpful when it comes to making home improvements to add value to your property.

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