Finance - Increasing the Value of Your Home
(06 May 2011)

 

Increasing the Value of your home

Increasing the Value of Your Home

When one is house-hunting it's important to be able to identify the things that increase the value of a home and those that actually detract. This type of knowledge is key to not only buyers and sellers, but also homeowners that want to get the best value for their home when they do eventually sell.

Q: LAST WEEK WE SPOKE ABOUT INSTALLING A POOL AS A WAY TO INCREASE THE VALUE OF YOUR HOME.  ARE THERE THINGS YOU CAN DO THAT WON’T COST QUITE AS MUCH?

 

A: THERE’S A GREAT DEAL YOU CAN DO THAT IS FAIRLY INEXPENSIVE – AND SOME OF IT YOU’D HAVE TO DO ANYWAY ONCE YOU’VE SOLD, SO DO IT BEFOREHAND!

 

  • Get rid of junk and unnecessary items – check with your local church – there are organizations that will come to your house to remove old toys/ clothes etc.
  • Go to your local supermarket and load up on boxes – then pack away things that you haven’t used for years – you’re going to be doing it when you move, so why not do it now. It makes a big difference  - a cluttered house gives people the impression that you’re short of storage space, and always makes rooms look smaller.

Q: WHAT ABOUT A SPRING CLEAN?

  • THERE ARE LOTS OF COMPANIES THAT SPECIALISE IN SPRING CLEANING – CLEAN EVERYTHING – THE LIGHT FITTINGS, THE BOOKSHELVES, THE FAMILY DOG….
  • DON’T FORGET TO CLEAN ALL THE WINDOWS -  you want to create the impression that you look after your home.
  • Have your carpets professionally cleaned – we know you love your Labrador – but his lingering doggy odor is definitely going to detract from a buyers viewing pleasure.
  • If there’s a bit of mould on the bathroom ceiling, buy the spray from the supermarket and clean it off. If you don’t – buyer’s worry that your roof leaks, or that your ventilation/lighting is insufficient.

 

Q: AND THE GARDEN?

  • DEFINITELY, AND IF NECESSARY, GET IN A GARDEN SERVICE FOR A PROPER BLITZ – CUT OFF DEAD BRANCHES, REMOVE GARDEN REFUSE, TIDY UP BEDS…. IF YOU’VE GOT OLD WHEELBARROWS BEHIND THE GARAGE, GET THE GARDEN SERVICE TO REMOVE THEM. YOU WANT THE BUYER TO GET THE IMPRESSION THAT YOUR GARDEN IS A BREEZE TO LOOK AFTER –
  • EVEN IF YOUR VERGE IS OVERGROWN AND UNTIDY – FIX IT – IT WILL CREATE A FAVOURABLE FIRST IMPRESSION.

 

 

Q: SOMETIMES YOU HAVE LIVED SOMEWHERE FOR SO LONG THAT YOU ARE UNABLE TO LOOK AT YOUR HOUSE OBJECTIVELY…?

 

  • ONCE YOU’VE FINISHED ALL OF THE CLEANING, GET A COLLEAGUE FROM WORK, OR ANYONE ELSE WHO DOESN’T REALLY KNOW YOUR HOME TO PRETEND TO BE A BUYER, AND APPRAISE YOUR HOME FROM THE STREET RIGHT THROUGH THE BUILDING… ASK THEM TO BE COMPLETELY HONEST WITH YOU, AND TO SAY WHAT COMES INTO THEIR MIND IMMEDITELY WITHOUT FILTERING….
  • THEN, ONCE YOU’VE BURIED THEM IN THE BACK YARD, YOU CAN REMEDY SOME OF THE HURFUL THINGS THEY SAID……..

 

ANY INSIDE INFORMATION?

 

  • If you’re a smoker, stop smoking inside!! The majority of buyers don’t smoke these days, and there are even buyers who will walk out of a house that smells of smoke!
  • Email your local security company and ask them what your road is like in terms of security…. If they give you a good report, you can quote them – It is much more authoritative coming from a respected 3rd party than from you or your agent.
  • If there is something wrong with your house but you don’t want to fix it, get a written quote from a reputable company. You don’t want the buyer wondering how much it will cost to fix – they will usually assume a higher figure and will take that off their offer.

 

So for starters, cost effective ways of making your home more attractive….

 

CLEANING:

  • Get rid of junk and unnecessary items – check with your local church – there are organizations that will come to your house to remove old toys/ clothes etc.
  • Go to your local supermarket and load up on boxes – then pack away things that you haven’t used for years – you’re going to be doing it when you move, so why not do it now. It makes a big difference  - a cluttered house gives people the impression that you’re short of storage space, and always makes rooms look smaller.
  • CLEAN ALL THE WINDOWS -  you want to create the impression that you look after your home.
  • Have your carpets professionally cleaned – we know you love your Labrador – but his lingering doggy odor is definitely going to detract from a buyers viewing pleasure.

 

OTHER

  • If you’re a smoker, stop smoking inside!! The majority of buyers don’t smoke these days, and there are even buyers who will walk out of a house that smells of smoke!
  • Get a friend who hasn’t been to your home often to visit the house and pretend to be a buyer. Better yet, get a colleague from work who’s never been there. Walk with them from the road into the house and ask them to speak their thoughts aloud – no matter what it is….. (If they comment on the long grass on your verge, take note that it will also be noticed by most buyers, and mow it – even if it’s not your responsibility.
  • Email your local security company and ask them what your road is like in terms of security…. If they give you a good report, you can quote them – It is much more authoritative coming from a respected 3rd party than from you or your agent.
  • If there is something wrong with your house but you don’t want to fix it, get a written quote from a reputable company. You don’t want the buyer wondering how much it will cost to fix – they will usually assume a higher figure and will take that off their offer.

Here are some features that can add value to a home, and another few that could reduce the sales price:

1. An updated kitchen. Buyers look for solid surface counters and high-quality flooring, such as wood, laminate, tile or stone. And they want newer appliances in working order. Essentials include countertops that are serviceable that aren't going to have to be replaced soon and cabinetry in good condition and it doesn't hurt if it opens onto another room. It helps to have a window over the sink. Be wary if renovations are out of character with the community, such as granite countertops in a subdivision where plastic laminate is the norm.

2. Modern bathrooms. Buyers are looking for "master baths that give a little room to roam. A big asset: spa or whirlpool tubs. Some other features buyers are seeking: separate showers with steam and/or multiple jets, double sink, separate room for the toilet. And make sure the plumbing and hot water heater can handle the job. The pipes have to be large enough to carry an adequate volume of water and the hot water heater has to be big enough to accommodate it.

 3. A well-appointed master suite. People are really excited about master suitesl. The wish list: a luxurious bathroom, lounging areas and walk-in closets.

4. Natural materials. People like natural materials such as ceramic tiles, hardwood floors, granite. We've gone back to a real appreciation for historically true materials. And simulated works as well. The look is very popular.

If you have carpet, it should be a good product and well maintained so that a person doesn't have to walk in and think, 'I'm going to have to spend five grand right off the bat,"

5. Curb appeal. A good first appearance on a home can add as much as 5 percent to 10 percent to the value of the home.

6. A light, airy spacious feel. People buy space and light.

7. Good windows.

8. Landscaping. 

And having outdoor spaces with touches such as pergolas and Victorian garden swings can be very helpful. You don't have to spend a fortune on plants, either. Just keep it typical with the neighbourhood.

9. Lots of storage. Nothing beats an oversized garage, some attic space and plenty of closets.

10. A pool 

Liabilities
On the flip side, here are 10 things that could harm your home's value:

1. A pool. At the same time, an in-ground pool in most parts of the country doesn't automatically raise the value of your home. Having a swimming pool will automatically limit your market when it comes time to sell. For the people who want the pool, they're willing to pay for it, but there are an awful lot of people who don't want a pool. Consider your home value and location. In a million-Rand house, not having a pool is detraction.

2. No garage or small garage. Unless you're living in a flat, retirement community or historical or in-town neighborhood, most buyers will look for at least a two-car garage. If you don't have a garage, it's a negative, if you have a one-car garage, that's a problem, too.

3. Garbled floor plan. Small rooms and bathrooms, an inconvenient floor plan or a layout that requires you to access bedrooms or bathrooms through other rooms will detract value from your home.

4. Outmoded appliances or systems. Who wants an electrical system or plumbing system incapable of handling modern conveniences? Would you buy a home if the appliances were worn or broken?

5. Stale or overly personal decor. Sure, red is the hot wall color right now, but for how long?

6. A bad roof. Roofs are expensive to replace and a good roof is considered standard equipment in a house. If your roof has problems, expect to take a hit in the price.

7. Bad location.

8. Poor maintenance.

9. Environmental hazards. Besides being a danger to human health, lead, mold or asbestos can kill home value.

10. A laundry list of needed improvements.

For more Finance Tips click here

HOOK

 

When one is house-hunting it's important to be able to identify the things that increase the value of a home and those that actually detract. This type of knowledge is key to not only buyers and sellers, but also homeowners that want to get the best value for their home when they do eventually sell.


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