7 Ways to increase the value of your home

7 Ways to increase the value of your home

Published on 28th January, 2022 at 12:22 pm

Want to add value to your home before selling – but not sure where to begin? Read on for the best, easy wins to increase the value of your home without breaking the bank.

#1: Add a fresh coat of paint

A new coat of paint can make dated exteriors and interiors look new and fresh, and it’s not too expensive a task, either, says James Lewis, principal agent at Seeff Southern Suburbs, Hout Bay & Llandudno. As a rule of thumb, light and neutral colours are best because colour choice is highly subjective. “Neutral wall colours can add immediate appeal to your home – regardless of where the property is located,” says Lewis. Remember: the bolder your colour choice, the smaller your pool of potential buyers.

Top tip when showing your house

Save some paint to touch up rough spots around the house, or even your front door or old garage door.

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#2: Focus on repairs and maintenance

“Whether you’re trying to sell a R10 million home or a small apartment, it’s important that the property is well maintained,” says Lewis. “The better maintained a property, the more appealing it’ll be to a buyer. A new buyer doesn’t want to be laboured with putting in new gutters or a new roof.” Before considering any big-ticket renovations, first “focus on general repairs like cracks in the walls, peeling paint or creaking doors,” adds Marc Lurie, sales manager for RE/MAX Living.

Top tip when showing your house

Small swaps such as replacing handles and taps is another simple way to elevate the appearance of a room, says Lurie.

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#3: Spruce up the entrance of your home

First impressions have a big impact on the sale value of your home. In fact, the front of your property can account for as much as 7% of a home’s value, according to a 2020 joint study by the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Alabama. Lewis encourages stepping outside of your home and slowly walking back inside, taking note of the first things that catch your eye – the front door of your flat, your garden from the walkway. These factors play a significant role in your home’s marketability.

Lurie agrees: “First impressions sell a home. Keep your garden well-watered in summer, weed it regularly, prune your bushes and trees and make sure to turn your flower beds.” Most buyers will decide whether they like a property before they’ve even got out of the car, and it can be hard to shake off a negative first impression.

Top tip when showing your house

If you have a garden, mow the lawn and trim the hedges, and remove any rusted or old garden furniture. If you live in an apartment, spruce up the entrance with pot plants or a new door mat. You don’t need to renovate to make a good impression, says Lurie.

#4: Check on your security

“I wouldn’t go over the top with security measures, but a good exercise would be to walk around your home and to ask yourself, ‘Does my home look secure?’” suggests Lewis. “Security features like an electric fence and a functioning alarm system can add immense appeal to a home – especially in South Africa,” he adds. Want to know how to burglar-proof your home? Read this.

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#5: Use natural light

Homes with more natural light continue to grow in popularity. Although having big windows makes that a bit easier, it’s not the only way to let more light into your home. One way to do this is by painting your walls and ceilings white or another light colour, says Lewis. Another way is to install a skylight or simply add in reflective features such as mirrors or shiny tiles and cabinets.

Top tip when showing your house

Open all the curtains and windows in your house (weather permitting) and let the natural light flood your home.

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#6: Clean and declutter

Don’t underestimate a good clean, says Lurie. “Wash, clean and vacuum your carpets, floors, walls and fireplaces. If the curtains haven’t been cleaned in a long time, it is advisable to have them washed or dry-cleaned. Cleaning can be as good as a renovation. “You don’t have to go all out and replace the tiles in your bathroom because you think they’re outdated,” adds Lewis. The danger of doing any major renovation work is that a discerning buyer may not like what you’ve bought.

Declutter your home! This not only makes it look cleaner, but also gives the appearance of having a bigger home. “Hire a storage unit and store things that aren’t essential or don’t add visual appeal to your home while you’re showing.” Depersonalisation (removing family photographs) is also a good idea; it’s important for potential buyers to be able to see the space as somewhere they could potentially live.

Top tip when showing your house

“If you have a pool, make sure it’s clean and not green,” says Lewis.

#7: Focus on these rooms: kitchen and bathroom

“In any property, the bathrooms and kitchen are often the most important to a buyer,” says Lurie. In the kitchen, clean and declutter. In the bathroom, replace unsightly toilet seats, clean the tiles and fittings, check that all taps work, re-enamel the bath if necessary, and check that your geysers are in working order,” says Lurie. If you’re after a major upgrade, “renovating a kitchen with new cupboards and appliances usually helps to increase the value of a home, as does an open-plan kitchen,” says Lurie. “Old, dated kitchens can be a deal-breaker for some buyers unless they are buyers that like to renovate.” This also applies to bathrooms. “New and updated bathrooms tend to excite buyers. Often older properties don’t have en-suite bathrooms. If possible, homeowners should give some thought to creating an en-suite bathroom.”

“Increasing the value of your home is not a cookie-cutter formula,” warns Lewis. With any big decisions, it’s always important to speak to a professional, such as a rental agent who knows the area. They can also share which upgrades to go ahead with and which ones aren’t necessary – depending on the potential buyers in your area.

Whether you’re planning on selling your home or keen to just enjoy it more while you’re living there, it’s important to consider how you’ll pay for these value-added projects. Book a meeting with a financial planner to help you make the best decision based on your needs and budget.

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