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Protecting your real estate investment

Investing in your home by making improvements can not only help to protect or even increase the value of your home, it will also make living there more enjoyable until the time comes to sell.

Strategic renovations, upgrades and improvements can ensure that your home doesn’t stagnate in terms of both interior design and value.

In this article we explore some of the most effective, proven ways to create value in your home for now, and the future.

1. Spruce up your kitchen

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, and a well-designed modern kitchen can greatly enhance the value of the property.

In terms of showing off your house when potential buyers come round it is one of the key rooms which needs to make a statement. Even if you have no intention of moving in the short term, having a clean, bright functional and attractive kitchen can bring you the perhaps undervalued dividend of just enjoying living in your home.

Focus on high quality materials such as marble or man-made similar materials or rich coloured luxurious woods. Browse apps such as Pinterest or Instagram to get inspiration and take note of what materials are used and combined together to create spaces you think are attractive.

You could also consider adding more storage because this is something people look for but it will also be useful for you whilst you still live there. Plus it will enable you to hide away as much of your kitchen paraphernalia as possible.

If you can’t go the whole hog and replace your entire kitchen it is possible to effect some truly amazing transformations just by updating your work surfaces or fixtures. Think large sinks with statement taps.

And lastly think about how to incorporate modern elements into the space to keep it updated. This could be a hot water tap, or lighting which can be controlled, altered and layered via an app.

2. Next the bathroom  

Probably the next most important space in any house is the bathroom. If you only have one, think about how you might squeeze in another.

Don’t let space limit you.

Nowadays you can buy tiny, fully enclosed cabins which come fully fitted out with a shower, loo and sink, all within the size of a large wardrobe. It just needs to be plumbed in and you’re ready to go.

Nowadays bathroom features which score highly are dual sinks in the main bathroom or main bedroom en-suite and walk-in showers.

If replacing the whole bathroom suite just isn’t an option look at swapping out the tiles, the wall colour, the flooring or all three. Again, you’ll be amazed by what a difference this can make for relatively little work, mess or cost.

Having a new, clean, and well-designed bathroom is also something you can enjoy whilst you live there, as well as making sure your house has appeal to potential buyers when the time comes to sell.

3. Energy efficient improvements

There is increasing awareness of the role our homes play in reducing carbon emissions and making a difference to climate change. Plus in the next few years rules will come into force meaning that houses which do not reach certain energy efficiency standards will be ineligible to rent.

The effect of this will be that properties not reaching at least a C on the EPC standard will probably suffer a drop in value. So now is the time to make your property as energy efficient as possible.

The shopping list to achieve this includes double glazing, insulation to walls and roofs, and energy efficient heating and cooling systems. Think also about renewable energy sources such as solar panels. Whilst these are certainly an investment from an initial outlay perspective, the technology is constantly improving, so the payback can happen much more quickly.

4. Make space

If you have a loft, have you ever thought about converting it?

Transforming an underutilised attic can be a game-changer. And it doesn’t have to be about creating more bedroom space. Nowadays people use their homes for more than just eating, sleeping and resting. More people work from home than ever before, so converting the attic could be about creating a comfortable and peaceful home office space.

Similarly, people like to work out more, so perhaps the top-top floor could be used as a gym space.

Sometimes in attic conversions the roof height can be a limiting factor, and of course there are no windows. So, think creatively about how to maximise the floor space that can be used within the head height, as well as how to get light into the space.

Using an architect can really help with these sorts of projects, even though on the face of it they might seem pretty simple. An architect will know all the design tricks that can be used, as well as the nifty products available on the market, to make your space work. Velux, for example, make some fantastic roof windows which push out to become small Juliet balconies when open – so you get outside space, light and air all from one product. You will need to ensure you have planning permission if this is required in your area. Plus, of course, the building work will need to comply with building regulations.

5. Smart home technology

Its possible we all spend more time at home nowadays which means they have to serve multiple purposes for the occupants. We want to cook there, sleep there, relax there, work there, work-out there, entertain there. The list goes on and on.

Technology can be your greatest friend in ensuring your house is giving you value for money, as well as offering potential buyers added bonuses which can tip the balance in whether you make a sale or not when the time comes.

Smart thermostats, lighting controls and home computing such as the fastest broadband you can install are all par for the course now in top-end new builds. And they all help to attract buyers.

Think also about smart security systems. Not only do they deter burglars but they can help look after your property when you are away enabling you to turn lights on and off remotely, and keep the dog warm by turning on the heating if you are going to be back later than planned and the weather has turned chilly!

Overall, if you are considering making improvements but have one eye on the property market because you know you will want to sell at some point in the short to medium term, weigh up the advantages of improvements to you now and to buyers in the future. By investing wisely in your home improvements you can not only enhance your daily living experience but also create a more valuable asset for the future.

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February 2024