Ways to boost your property value

2016-03-30 06:00
PHOTO: supplied  6

PHOTO: supplied 6

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WITH house prices increasing and the economic growth forecast at an all-time low, now is the time to invest in your home so you can capitalise on its value.

Landscaping is one of the top three investments that yield the biggest returns.

This is according to Ariel Pheiffer from SA DAMP, who says whether you’re selling now or in the future, home improvement projects pay off.

Pheiffer shares value-adding tips…

• Create space

Pheifferl says to achieve this, homeowners should knock out a non-structural wall or remove a kitchen island. He says anything that opens the space and creates a sense of flow in the house will generate a response from buyers who can afford to be choosy.

• Landscape

Tangled trees and unkempt bushes can obscure views, darken interiors, promote mould and block a good look at the house.

A few other ways to light things up include fixing broken panes, making sure the windows are open and installing lights that use motion detectors that turn themselves off.

Pheiffer says landscaping is one of the top three investments that yield the biggest returns. Nobody likes to spend money, but landscaping might be the most important thing, even if owners have kept up the house.

• Let in the light

Lighting, the number one item on the 2007 HomeGain survey, which includes everything from a dimmer switch to the increasingly popular sun tubes, noticeably enhances a home’s appeal.

Use reflective material to funnel natural light from a globe-capped hole cut in a rooftop, down through a ceiling fixture into a room. Pheiffer says sunlight is great, and moonlight is even better - natural light is your best option and will add value.

Investing in maintenance and repairs is not only money wise but could also be crucial to a sale.

• Don’t put off care and maintenance

Before thinking about an expensive upgrade for your kitchen, address the basics, he says. Homeowners should insulate, repair plumbing leaks, replace rusty rain gutters, inspect the fireplace and septic system, replace or repair leaky windows, install storm doors and weed the flower beds.

These kinds of fixes go a long way toward value. People think they have to put in a lot of money to see a big difference, but they really don’t.

• Go green

Research published by The Appraisal­ ­Journal estimates that energy­ savings add 20 times the annual­ savings to the value of your property.

Energy savers make your house more desirable. When renovating, Pheiffer says consider greening your home because now, for the first time in five years, buyers are asking about the utilities.

• Home begins at the front door

Don’t underestimate the power of a front door. Many people make up their minds in the first seven seconds of entering a house.

Pheiffer says surveyed agents re-commend a working door bell, and don’t forget an overhang such as an awning or portico above the front door.

• What’s under your feet?

Don’t undervalue the materials you’re standing on. Pheiffer says 94% of real estate professionals recommend spending money on floors, but it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, it just needs to look good.

He says small projects with a big impact include repairing broken tiles, patching damaged floor boards and tossing out wall-to-wall carpeting.

• Easy bath upgrades

Agents say spiffing up the kitchen and bath is a sure bet for adding value to your home. These kinds of improvements can get expensive.

Pheiffer says it may not be economical to do a major renovation if you’re trying to spend as little as possible before putting a house up for sale. But some upgrades are cheap, easy and fast, especially when it comes to the bathroom.

• Neutral wall colours

If you’re getting ready to put a house on the market, don’t allow walls with chipped paint to go unmaintained. If you need to do more than just a touch up, Pheiffer says choose neutral­ colours.

• Get a durable exterior wall finish

It goes without saying that if your house looks bad, with cracks, mould, bald pebble-dash, etc., it will lose a significant part of its value. Home owners should install weatherproof exterior wall coating, which will add more value to the house than what they initially paid for it. - Supplied.

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