5 ways to increase the value of your home

By Andrew Willink

When attempting to increase the value of a home, many will make the mistake of doing huge constructions that are costly and time consuming. These changes, whilst possibly increasing the market value of your home; when weighed against the cost of renovations, will often result in an equivalent or even decreased overall value.  So, we have come up with the top 5 tips for cheap renovations that will increase the overall value of your home for potential buyers.    

1. De-Clutter
Do you have an over-abundance of bits and pieces spread throughout the house? Our first tip is to de-clutter. Clearing out all the useless belongings, and organising the necessary ones will not only give you more space to move around, but will also make the house appear larger. When potential buyers are inspecting your house, clutter can make it appear smaller, and also gives it a sense of claustrophobia. De-cluttering is not only free, but it is also refreshing, and should increase the value of your house.

2. Exterior clean-up
One of the most obvious, and yet generally forgotten tips, is to do a general tidy-up of the exterior. The basic fact is that the majority of potential buyers will judge a book by its cover, and the outside appearance of your house is therefore, just as essential as the inside. Overhanging trees and plants will not only drop leaves and create mess, but they will also shadow the yard, and portray a look of shabbiness. It’s cheap and easy to trim the trees and mow the lawn, and this will help to increase the value of the house.

3. Lighting
Improve the lighting in your house. This tip is often overlooked, as it seems so simple. However it has been proven that lighting can affect moods; and brighter lighting is often associated with a brighter mood. So if your light bulbs are seemingly dim, go out and buy new and stronger, yet more energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. This will brighten up the house and the moods of your potential buyers; and by associating a bright mood with your house, the value of your house may be subconsciously increased.

4. Paint
Another tip to increasing house value is to paint the walls.  Are your walls chipped or ugly? Or perhaps you have outdated wallpaper that is peeling off.  By painting the walls a neutral colour, preferably bright white as opposed to yellow-tinged cream, the benefits are abundant.  A neutral colour can increase the size appearance of a room, create a more modern feel to the house, and be more physically appealing to a wider variety of buyers.  Whilst this job is possibly more time consuming, it is still a cheaper and faster alternative to making complete renovations to increase the value of your house. If you decide to paint feature walls, again, neutral colours are recommended. Not everyone will appreciate your “artistic” flair, and lime green walls are never, ever, in season.

5. Aroma
Finally, a simple and yet often helpful alteration is to change the smell of your house.  This may seem unlikely to improve anything; however it does improve the value of your house.  When potential buyers look at a house, they often make many initial associations that affect their attitude towards it.  Whilst appearance and lighting have already been covered, smell is a final and yet vital association.  It has been proven that many associate a house with a smell, and therefore a pleasant smell can result in a positive association.  You will find that many people will have scented candles or potpourri placed strategically throughout their houses during an inspection.

These tips will be the cheapest and most effective ways to subtly increase the value of your house.  However, for those of you adamant on making large scale renovations we have a few rules of thumb that will hopefully aid in increasing the value of your house, without losing money on the cost of your renovations:

* Kitchen - spend between 4 and 6% of the property value.
* Bathroom - spend between 2 and 3% of the property value.
* Landscaping - spend 1 to 2% of the property value.
* If building a house from scratch, don’t spend more than the value of the land.
* If you’re doing large scale renovations, don’t spend more than half the value of the property.

By using these tips as guidelines, not only will you walk away with money in your pocket; but you will easily be on the way to creating a home with an increased market value.

Source: Massive Profits in Real Estate - Propertybooks.com.au