In the last 12 months I’ve moved house twice. It’s been, to put it politely, one of the most stressful things that I’ve done but as a family we’ve also known that it would be really worthwhile. Our first property was a flat in Southend – when we first viewed it the estate agent refused to even walk in as the smell was so bad and the carpets were all wet. I’m far from an architect or one of those people you see on Grand Designs but the work we did on it allowed us to sell it at a much higher price – in fact we had a open day for viewings and sold it that very day. We’re now renovating a Grade II listed property in Cornwall and hope that the money and time we invest in it will increase it’s value too. Saga asked me if I would share what I’ve learnt (and what I’m still learning!) as part of their #SagaHomeImprovements campaign so this is some of the things that we’ve done to add value to our home.
1) Think about kerbside appeal. First impressions really do matter, no one wants to click on an ugly looking property that they see on Rightmove! We repainted our old front door and had the wall outside re-done. Right now we’re sanding and varnishing our new front door and then I need to sort out the front garden!
2) Make use of extra room. We had a garage in our old house that we didn’t really use, so when I was made redundant we used my redundancy money to make it into an extra room. We needed the extra space for the kids but it was also a really useful selling point and it certainly added value to the property.
3) Keep it simple. The chances are your buyer will want to put their own mark on the property, so if you’re renovating to sell rather than to live there keep things fairly plain, it’s a helpful way to keep costs down too!
Saga have created an infographic that shares some of the most popular home improvements people make to their homes. Over the years we’ve used a mixture of savings, inheritance and redundancy money to finance our renovations but another option that people use is taking out an equity release on your property.Out of these we’ve put in new bathrooms, decorated more times than I care to remember (I have two people round braving my hallway at the moment!), put a new boiler in, a new kitchen and double glazing. As our current house is a listed property we can’t have double glazing here so I’m investing in lots of blankets instead! Which of these have you done in your house and which would you contemplate doing in the future?