Seven improvements you can make to your property
by on 7th December 2017
40 years ago, we’d have stated unequivocally that the best improvement you can make to any home is the addition of double glazed windows, but given that most properties, with the exception of some listed period properties have double glazing, what advice would we nowoffer from our Leeds base to homeowners and investors to improve their homes in 2017, not 1977?
So as this year ends in 7, here’s 7 top tips from us. at Hogan’s Estate Agents:
- Structural problems should always be fixed first. Damp, leaking roofs, collapsed floors, a bowing wall, a broken chimney stack, rodent or insect infestation, should be first to be remedied. Any structural survey will pick up on these faults when you’re buying or selling, so if you’re the property owner looking to sell, sort out structural problems immediately.
- Update the kitchen. Not the most affordable option, but one that will add desirability and speed up a potential sale. New worktops and doors can replace old, chipped, damaged ones. A new oven is also relatively affordable. Remember when buyers look at a property, they’re visualising living there. It’s the same for lettings too. A few grand spent on a kitchen makeover can pay for itself instantly.
- Add central heating. I remember my childhood days in Doncaster running downstairs on a winter’s morning to get warm in front of the open fire, which became a gas fire, crushed by the overnight weight of thirty blankets in a single glazed, unheated bedroom. Central heating, whether gas or oil, is now an expected norm. A full system can cost anything from £2,000 to £4,000 to install from scratch, but if you have unheated rooms, consider extending. Loft insulation shouldn’t be ignored either, or draughty doors and windows. The EPC will give a property an energy rating and you don’t want people looking back to their 70s cold childhoods or shaking with anticipation at high running costs. If your boiler is old, consider replacing it for a new condensing one, which is far more energy efficient than the one that may be permanently burning gas from its evergreen flame.
- Improve the bathroom or add an ensuite. Buyers expect decent bathrooms with tiled walls and fitted showers. It doesn’t have to be a bespoke power shower in a designer cubicle, a thermostatic shower over a bath with a half shower screen is perfectly adequate for most buyers and tenants. Most people shower very morning and the thought of having to run a bath at dawn will deter those viewers from making offers. Plumbers aren’t cheap, but a good bathroom is a long term investment and one that will repay you handsomely, given the initial outlay.
- Off street parking. These Victorian and Edwardian terraced homes that flank our office in Harehills were never designed with the car in mind. The only horse power on Harehills Lane was actual horses but as lifestyles have changed, car ownership is now more common. It’s actually not uncommon fro families to have two or more cars to a household, which creates pressure on parking. If you have the space, convert a front or side garden, subject to usual permissions, for parking. If you make the surface low maintenance and semi-permeable, ie not hard concrete, but gravelled, you don’t impact on surface water in an area, as it should soak away.
- Flooring. An easy fix, and relatively affordable. Laminate flooring is clean and cheap and requires little skill to fit. Luxury Vinyl Tiles in high traffic areas are more expensive but, if expertly fitted, add value and desirability, as does solid hardwood or engineered floors. Carpets may be reducing in sale but are still a warm and affordable makeover, particularly for bedrooms and stairs.
- Extend. Let’s be crystal clear about this: a property’s valuation for sale or let is affected by many factors such as location and condition, but the number of bedrooms is critical. Huge existing bedrooms can be divided, a downstairs reception room, like a dining room, can be made into a bedroom. A two storey extension can be built or a loft conversion added. When you ask Adam, Ian, Nicole, Stephen from Hogan’s to value your West Yorkshire property, one of the first questions asked will be about number of bedrooms. They are experts at pricing property and the bedroom equation is one they know well.
So there you have seven tip tips.
There’s obviously more we could have mentioned: adding a conservatory, landscaping a garden, adding an outside office, restoring original fireplaces, stripping woodwork, exposing original features etc.
If you need any more property-related advice on selling, letting or buying property in Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Wakefield, Halifax, get in touch with us today.
We are here to help you – in more than seven ways.