Feedback

5 easy ways to maximise the value of your home

Your home is probably the most important investment you’ll ever have, so it makes sense that you want to a) preserve its value, and b) increase its value. But there’s a fine line between doing your place up and over-capitalising (spending beyond your home’s market valuation).

Here we’re going to talk about home improvement tasks that won’t cost too much, but will help to maintain, or even grow, your home’s worth. If you’re planning to put your place on the market soon, a carefully executed improvement plan could attract more buyers and a higher price.

First up, take the time to identify potential improvements, set a budget, get tasks priced up and work out how much value your proposed changes are going to add to your property. You can always drop a couple of ideas if they aren’t going to add to the home’s value.

Quite a few odd jobs can easily be DIYed and don’t cost a lot, while others will need professional expertise. Always strive for a well-executed project and don’t leave things half-finished or poorly completed - they can detract from the value and put off potential buyers.

Here are a few helpful pointers to get you on the right track with home improvements, from minor inexpensive jobs to extensive renovations.

Touch-ups and odd jobs

Dripping taps, loose floorboards and broken latches on windows or kitchen cupboards are all tasks that are economical and straightforward to get sorted. A splash of paint can also work wonders; it’s a relatively low-cost solution that not only freshens up a room, but also covers any marks on the walls.

You may feel these are not worth your time, but often these niggly little jobs are noticed by potential buyers. If there are quite a few, it could deter them completely.

Of course, the best approach is to take care of small tasks as they pop up. This prevents them from getting worse and costing you more money down the track. Plus you’ll be saving yourself a lengthy ‘to do’ list when it eventually comes to selling.

External presentation

Most people judge a book by its cover. In other words, your home only has one chance to make a good first impression.

Start off on the right foot by welcoming potential buyers with a tidy lawn and garden, swept paths and driveway and, if needed, a freshly painted front door. Delight them again with an equally well-maintained back lawn and garden. And don’t forget to tidy up the garage!

Freshen up the kitchen

Recognised by many as the ‘heart of the home’, your kitchen can be a deal maker or breaker. They say that women choose homes based on the kitchen and bathrooms, while men are mostly concerned about the garage. This is a generalisation, but you get the drift.

If your property is older, try to modernise the kitchen to appeal to today’s buyers. Many people are looking for functionality and something suitable for entertaining guests with ease. Painting the walls and cupboards, and changing the cupboard handles is a fast and cost-effective way to create a more up-to-date, inviting kitchen. If you budget available, replacing the benchtop can really refresh the overall look of the space. Updating whiteware that’s over 10 years old is another way to instantly lift the appeal of your kitchen.

Adding another room

A more dramatic enhancement to your house would be to add a whole new room. Converting an unused space, such as an attic or basement, into an extra room is a popular way to bump up the value of an existing house.

Depending on its size, an attic or basement space can be used as a rumpus room, gym, office or self-contained unit for a tenant or relative. You could also extend your outdoor living space by building a deck or patio, creating indoor/outdoor flow that’s a highly attractive selling feature.

Houses with more than one bathroom are also popular. If you have a suitable space that could be repurposed as a bathroom, call a renovation company for a quote. At the same time, ask a real estate agent how an additional bathroom would affect the selling price of your home.

Insulation

Now more than ever, there’s a huge emphasis placed on the importance of insulation to keep homes warm, dry and healthy. It’s often a must-have on a buyer’s checklist while house hunting, particularly for those who are looking for an investment property to let (it’s now a legal requirement to have the approved standard of insulation in rental properties).

By adding insulation, you can make your home more comfortable and valuable. This is a no-brainer, especially if you qualify for the EECA Energywise Programme that subsidises the cost of insulation.

AMI House insurance

Protect what's important with AMI House Insurance. AMI offer different house insurance policies to meet your needs:

  • Premier house - Premier House Cover is a replacement policy that includes great extras. Save time and do it online - get a quote and buy online today.
  • Market value house - If your house is damaged or destroyed we will either repair the damage or pay you its market value (excluding land) at the time of the damage. We will pay the lesser of the market value of your house, or the limit you choose as the sum insured. Call for a quote 0800 100 200. More...
  • Contract works - if you're renovating, you may need extra cover while the work is happening. Get cover for accidental loss or damage while you're renovating. More...