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As part of any refurbishment or upgrade to a property, there are some good do’s and don’ts with regards to how you can increase the value. We decided to pick out a few of the most popular means to this end.

Once you have decided on the type and cost of work you wish to undertake, the initial point is of course the affordability factor and there are plenty of potential solutions to look at regarding this. Bridging loans are one good way to raise the required capital and there are some good deals out there on the market.  There are also plenty of “tools” that can be used in the evaluation process such as this link provided here. Property development is not the cheapest way to make money, but as a result, is a good proving ground to learning what it takes to make your model work efficiently. 

Some of the key factors are listed below for your review and we hope you will find the information of interest in developing your own property investment portfolio:  

Decorating

Firstly, the look of the building in general should be appealing to a buyer from the offset. This will set the initial reaction as either a good buy, or one with potential problems to be addressed, such as decorating.  Dealing with the exterior is one of the best ways to overcome this issue, while at the same time repairing any cracks and or other potential indications of wear and tear. This can all be addressed with a good and well prepared paint job so to speak. 

Property Improvements

When any potential buyer arrives to view your home in general they will already know the asking price.  This being the case, it is normal they will start to question the purchase for the overall value of what you are asking for, as soon as they begin to look.  Ensuring the best overall look of the property is one of the most important key areas, where you should start off with your property improvements as this will make a powerful first impression in their decisions to buy.  As a rule, it’s not very expensive to do things like weeding the garden, fixing fences and border areas of any outer spaces in general. From spraying and fixing those loose fencing panels, to putting on a nice new coat of creosote, this will only help your cause toward getting your asking price in the end.

Structure

The integrity of the structure is another key factor in your venture, so all areas of this factor should be addressed top down so to speak. It does not matter how nice or well decorated the inside of your property is if there are inherent faults in the roofing structure.  All of the decorating in the world will not prevent a leaking roof letting in water and causing all manner of other problems over time, so this is vital to be addressed. A damaged roof (with any visible results) will vastly affect the potential value and as such should be dealt with as soon as possible. Most of the time these kinds of issues will be apparent for those looking to see, but there are many more trained eyes out there ready to pounce on such a problem. It is in your best interests to fix any roofing issues you can find before they affect your top dollar sales. Other areas you should pay attention to, are things like soffits, fascias and guttering as these have both an aesthetic look and a fully functional purpose in protecting your home from long term damage and harm.

Lighting

While considering the roofing issue, it is also advisable to pay close attention to the lighting in your home. Most people like to see a well lit, clean and happy internal environment, so you may wish to incorporate velux opening lights (with or without light boxes) built to channel the light into the space. This is especially important for the living areas and will affect the look of the property. Light creates the illusion of space, while a dark property is of less value than a lighter one. Therefore, making your home lighter is a cheap and easy way to increase the value.

Cleaning windows will also allow more light in, making the property more appealing.  The installation of bright but high efficiency lighting will help, especially if you are selling in the winter months, where the light level is lower in general. There are skylights and other forms of light tubes that can help get the best results from your home, with little cost.  On this note you should also consider installing some patio doors, which not only help in the lighting issue, but also add value and functionality to the home. While these bonuses are key, they have other associated benefits, such as ‘visually’ bringing the outside of your home into the inside, which adds to the overall appeal.

Out and inside jobs

There are often many ‘out and inside jobs’ that need fixing, from door handles, latches, catches and other ironmongery that typically need some adjusting or other fixing up. This kind of work is generally fast and makes a great deal of difference to a buyer.  These issues should be done prior to the next phase of the upgrade ready for the decoration of the building inside. Some people say “there is no accounting for taste” but in the main there is a point to this.  For example, some buyers will not like the look of a lime green room, so these factors should be taken into consideration from the start. Choosing the right colours is very important and pale but clean looking decor goes a long way, in helping the buyer make a decision. 

Flooring

Other factors buyers will be looking for include the functional aspects of the interior, including flooring, linos and of course the carpeting.  In some cases, it is well worth the investment in replacing your old carpets with light and new flooring, or brand new carpets. There are other things that can be done, from floor sanding of planks or flooring boards, to carpet cleaning with industrial cleaner equipment. The buyer will always expect this work to be included in the selling price, or they will observe this and it will need to be done as an ‘after sales move’ so affecting the bottom dollar.

Loft conversion

The last point on our shortlist is the implementation of a loft conversion and insulation into the building.  This may sound expensive but the overall effect can be dramatic increasing space, light, functionality and other highly saleable aspects to your home.  The green factor is very important today for obvious reasons. So building this into your model will always be a good move to getting the best deal for your buck, in both the long and short term. 

Insulation

Most DIY stores have insulation readily available for the home owner or enthusiast to get hold of, so this is a quick and easy box to tick in preparing your home for sale. Even if you do not end up selling, you can benefit from the insulation and other measures you have taken in cutting your energy bills in the bargain. There may also be grants for you to apply for, which will help make the move more affordable in the short and long term.

Security

A prospective buyer will also be looking for a secure home. They need to be confident that there is plenty of security at the premises, for themselves and their family, belongings and other investments to be safe.  If a buyer is looking out for this then it is better to have addressed this point before they examine the property for potentially putting in an offer. Fitting some very good quality locks and other security measures are a good way of visually and actually securing your premises from any unwanted intrusions.  There are plenty of security companies out there and they will be delighted to look at your own property (mostly free of charge) and help to provide their security overview or ‘audit’ giving you a much better overall security review to go on. 

Electrical

There are some buyers who may be put off unless your home has plenty of electrical outlets for computers and other electrical sockets, as most people have several appliances they need to plug in.  From carefully choosing a few key areas to install a few more sockets adding to the ‘functional usability’ of the electrical systems in your home.  For example, the living and relaxing spaces like your lounge and bedrooms. Additions like this are unlikely to add thousands on to your purchase price, but it could equally be that little extra positive that seals the deal.

Summary

We suggest that you give some serious attention to these points and always remember, you do not wish to overspend, resulting in extending your budget to close to the bone.  Your efforts are geared toward making that profit in a fast and efficient manner. No matter how many extensions or extra features you put into your home, there is likely to be a ceiling price for your street and so bear this in mind at all times. While making your property the ‘best for the bucks’ be careful not to overdo it. Good luck!

Claire Preece

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