17 Feb 2017
Though the real estate market has suffered its knockbacks in recent years, in some parts of the country, housing is still a hot commodity. The prices may have dropped, but they are still selling.
Putting it simply; people will always need to live somewhere. Maximising your house’s potential before putting it on the market is probably the best investment you can make.
Knowing what you should be putting money into isn’t quite as clear-cut. Not every home renovation you invest in will show returns immediately. For example, re-roofing your house may cost thousands, but a waterproof roof is something buyers will take for granted. The same goes for redoing basic plumbing and electricity. People expect it to be good nick if the house is on the market.
It’s a tricky one, because bad basics will certainly detract from the value of the house, but these improvements won’t necessarily boost the value either. The key to driving the value of your home is focusing on things that people will notice as something that would improve their lifestyle, without misplacing your priorities.
Here are some tips for getting the best bang for your buck when it comes to home renovations.
Make the most of light and space
“Dark and cramped” are words you don’t want associated with your house, either when you’re living in it, or if you’re putting it on the market!
Add as many windows to your houses as possible within the planning guidelines, a, sky light on your landing for example is a good addition. The look and feel of natural light is unbeatable. If your rooms are small and bitty, removing walls may be more worthwhile and less costly than adding an extension. Open floor plans that combine your kitchen and living space are popular for allowing people to mingle with their family while they cook dinner.
Kitchens are worth the spend
A kitchen is the most obvious choice of renovation project, and with good reason. No matter how relaxing a hot tub is or how handy an attic conversion could be, people will always gravitate towards the kitchen. Chances are you’ll spend more time here than in most of the other rooms in your house.
If you’re hoping to resell your house, keeping the kitchen design simple and classic is a good idea. Make sure that your appliances are well-fitted and preferably matching or fully integrated. Tall larder cupboards, granite countertops, stainless steel hardware and pale-coloured cabinetry are all good go-tos. Never spend more than 10% of the value of your home on the kitchen. So for example if your house is worth €200,000 your maximum budget should be €20,000. And you can get a lot of kitchen for that!
Clean up your bathroom
A good point to remember when renovating to resell is to prioritise the rooms that will be used most often. The bathroom is one of them and it needs to be functional and comfortable. There’s nothing more off-putting than dirty grout between tiles or mould stains on the paintwork. Carpeted bathrooms and immersion showers are also very dated and unpopular.
You can fully upgrade your bathroom for €5,000 or less if you are simply replacing the suite. White sanitary ware is the best bet as it won’t date. Add lots of mirrors and simple tiling to keep the space sleek and functional. If you don’t already have a downstairs loo, figure out a way to squeeze one in. Under-stairs WCs are a great use of space and can be added for around a €1,000.
Clean up the garden
How many times have you heard about how amazing somebody’s house was without hearing much about the actual house itself?! A great garden can really make up for a mediocre house. Even if it’s only a small patch of grass or a balcony, make the most of your outdoor space by adding some decking, outdoor furniture and plants.
Converting an unused playroom or extra bedroom into a home office will give your house that extra edge. With the number of people working from home growing, a home office is becoming more of a necessity than a luxury.
Phone lines and extra sockets are also a good selling point. It might be a good idea to furnish the office with removable furniture rather than built-in so that the office can be easily swapped with another room or turned into a nursery if needed.
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