Ten cheap ways to increase the value of your home

Despite the fact that it depreciates in value every single day from the second you buy it until the day it needs towing, guzzles money faster than it guzzles petrol and has a habit of breaking down in the most remote and rain soaked parts of the countryside, your sports car is, according to at least one poll I’ve come across, is officially your number one prized possession. When I first came across this information it immediately made me think of that saying “treat them mean to keep them keen” because really, what does your car do to show it loves you back?

Exactly- nothing. Your house on the other hand, shelters you, keeps you warm, houses special occasions, is the scene of many a special memory, is the place where your kids grew up- it is basically the best friend you will ever have. I mean, it must be doing something right, it’s where you spending ALL your time, honestly now, how much time do you spend in your car (quiet London commuters, nobody is talking to you!). Admit it, your home has been lovely to you. But what does it get in return? Re-mortgaged so you can afford a new car!!

Despite the bad press houses get, make no mistake- your home is your number one asset. Besides your job it is your biggest money maker. Any money you put into it is, nine times out of ten, recouped with interest- try lending your MG your last tenner- you won’t see it for dust!

So today we are going to redress the balance, we are going to look at the top ten ways you can pamper your home. Of course, we are not being completely altruistic here as both you and your bank balance will also feel the benefit of anything on the list that you decide to do, but hey, you know what they say- one good deed deserves another.

Ok, let’s get started:

  1. Make sure things are cooking in the kitchen. The kitchen is still considered the heart of the home. Potential home buyers make a beeline for this room when they first view a home for sale, so make sure your kitchen looks clean and reasonably updated.
  2. Get an appliance facelift- it’s a sad but true fact that like monkeys, we are immediately drawn to big fun looking shiny things. Fill your kitchen with a nice new kettle and toaster etc and potential buyers probably won’t even notice the still smoking, gaping hole in the wall where the meteor hit.
  3. Buff up the bath. Next to the kitchen, bathrooms are often the most important rooms to update. If people can see themselves relaxing in your home, they will buy it- simple.
  4. Step up your storage. Upon seeing my lovely new home for the first time I was moved to exclaim “Ooooh, it’s got lots of storage!”. This was embarrassing on two levels- firstly, starting any sentence off with “Ooooh” will always be a blow to your imaginary macho image. Secondly, I was quite stunned at how dull I’d become, but hey you need storage.
  5. Add a new bedroom in ten painful minutes. If you have a three-bedroom house with a den or “man’s room”, the only reason you don’t have a four-bedroom (and therefore £10,000 more expensive) home is because of the pool table that touches the walls at two ends. You’re not Ronnie O’Sullivan and he doesn’t want to be your friend.
  6. Keep warm. Insulating your home makes it cosier, prevents noise from travelling, keeps your energy bills down and eventually helps your home to sell, good hey?
  7. Look underfoot. Carpeting is another detail that can quickly update a home and make it look cleaner. A professional carpet cleaning is an inexpensive investment, especially if your rugs are in good shape and are neutral colours.
  8. Let there be light. Lighting is the key to atmosphere, a home without a nice atmosphere will not achieve its asking price. Make sure you have a good variation of low lighting like large and small table lamps, floor lamps and up-lighters.
  9. First impressions really do count. Leave your home, walk around the block then, as your approach your home ask yourself what impression it gives. Does the paint job look tired? Is the garden neat and tidy or does it scream “Feed me Ceemore!” whilst swallowing postmen? Do you have a flimsy little knob on your main entry door? If you answered yes at any point then you need to rethink your meet and greet strategy, a flimsy door knob is like a weak handshake and nobody likes people with weak handshakes. A big solid door knob says “I have self respect.” and “Don’t even think about trying to burgle me!”
  10. Continuing from the last point- a safe home is appealing to people who have lots of nice things and who have lots of nice things, that’s right- people with lots of money who are prepared to pay your asking price! Hurrah! Get yourself a good alarm system and you’ll attract the right people whilst repelling the wrong ones.

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