Top 10 Tips to Add Value to Your Home in 2017

Planning to sell in the not-too-distant future? Wanting to know which improvements will pay-off and increase your home’s value?

Whether you’re in a rush to sell or if it’s something you are thinking about doing within the next year or so, it’s a good idea to find out where best to invest your time and money. Home renovations, whether big or small can be a great way to improve the value of your home.

We’ve put together these top 10 helpful tips to primp and prime your home, along with the best renovations that get the most bang for your buck and will bump up the value of your home.

1. Create Curb Appeal

It’s time to spruce up your street view. This one is crucial. First impressions not only last, but they can stop your potential buyer from getting through your front door if your curb side appeal is, well, less than appealing.

It may sound obvious, but a nicely mowed lawn, a few well-placed shrubs and a swept pathway makes a great first impression. A prospective buyer’s first memory of the house is often the one that sticks and the good news is that a little can go a long way in this area of your property and is actually one of the best ways to add value or help sell your home.

create curb appeal

Step across the road and take a fresh perspective at your homes street outlook. What is your first impression? What buyers see at first glance is tremendously important. Take a wander around the area for inspiration and set yourself a list of tasks to tackle to give your house instant buyer appeal.

For under $500 you can replace the letterbox and numbers, and repaint the front door. Painting the entrance door a bold colour can really make your house standout, just be careful not to go for something too ‘interesting’.

A new welcome mat is a cheap way to improve your homes street sass, and make sure the plants and trees on your driveway are neatly trimmed and looking great. Adding pot plants to a front entrance can also make a big impact at a low price.


2. Repair, Repair, Repair and...Replace

Every homeowner's first priority before selling their home should be keeping the existing structure sound. You will want to make sure your home is in tiptop shape to attract buyers.

It’s the little things and the cosmetic changes that are more important than interior renovations so before you think about a fancy upgrade to the kitchen, address the basics. Leaks, cracks, loose handles and cupboard doors – a few simple repairs and replacements will go a long way toward increasing the value of your home. You may no longer notice your tired, outdated door handles, but be sure that potential buyers will. By replacing handles you can give any room an instant boost and it's a relatively quick and cheap way to make your home look more modern.

It’s surprising and exciting that by starting with a couple hundred dollars on a few things could increase the value of your home by a few thousand dollars. People think they have to put in a lot of money to see a big difference and they really don't. Investing in maintenance and repairs is not only moneywise, it could also be crucial to a sale.

Invest in maintenance and get the basics right. Take care of the little things and you’ll see big results.

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3. Clean and Declutter

Another easy win. Remove the bulky items, general grub and clutter to create the illusion of space, storage and light which are often a make-or-break for some buyers.

Pull out those unwanted items to discard or donate – or sell them at a good old fashioned garage sale or on Trade Me and you could actually make a few extra dollars.

When building up for an open home or auction, it’s a great idea to remove your most personal possessions; walls, fridge and surfaces plastered in family photos and kids’ artwork make it hard for buyers to envision themselves living in the house.

Carpeting is another detail that can quickly update a home and make it look cleaner and smell fresher. A professional carpet cleaning is an inexpensive investment and will ensure your rugs or floors look and smell fresh, especially if you have pets. If your carpet is showing serious wear, cover it with inexpensive, strategically placed area rugs. Unless it is truly hideous, most real estate agents don't suggest replacing wall-to-wall carpeting right before you sell your house. The new homeowners may want to choose their own carpeting after they move in.

A declutter and spring clean is one of the top ways to give you a better return on your investment - a great way to increase the sale price and value of your home.


4. Paint

A lick of fresh paint can do wonders. It’s one of the most cost-effective and easiest ways to spruce up your property.

A fresh coat of paint can be a sellers best friend, and it’s possible to repaint the interior of a small house for around $450. Use an online paint calculator to help determine the quantity you’ll need (21L for a small house) and interior paint starts at around $14 per litre, plus brushes, rollers and painters tape. And it's not just walls that benefit from a lick of paint. Painting outdoor furniture, kitchen cabinetry, floors, shelving, old enamel baths, ceramic basins, even bathroom tiles, are all options these days with the range of advanced paints on the market.

paint the interior of your home

Paint using light-coloured, neutral tones. These appeal to the widest range of potential buyers and create the feeling of a blank canvas. The light colours will also help make rooms appear more spacious. If there are any nail holes or blemishes in the wall, you’ll want to plug them up using putty and sand the area down before you paint over the surface.

Never underestimate the transforming power of a coat of paint as it can add a new lease of life to your house.


5. Insulate

The value this adds to your home cannot be overstated. Insulating keeps your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer without sky-high power bills. Installing quality underfloor and ceiling insulation will significantly reduce heat loss to improve the thermal efficiency of your home so you’ll be comfortable and save money. The priority for insulating your home should be ceiling and underfloor, followed by walls.

Today, this is considered an absolute necessity by many home buyers, in fact not having insulation can easily create the perception of an unhealthy home. With the EECA Energywise programme subsidising the cost of insulation, there really is no reason not to. For more information on the subsidy head to: energywise.govt.nz/funding-available/insulation-and-clean-heating

Insulating will create a warmer, drier and healthier home will certainly add value.


6. Refit the Kitchen

If you’re only going to improve one room, make it the kitchen. Not only the heart of the home, the kitchen area has now become the showpiece area of the whole house. We don’t just cook in it, we do homework in it, we even watch the telly in it and hold dinner parties there. The number one priority is creating a handsome and efficient work surface and ensuring easy access between the three points of the kitchen triangle, that is, the sink, fridge and cooker. A tidy, modern looking kitchen can seriously improve the value of a home.

refit your kitchen

Appliances and cabinets are typically the most expensive items to replace in a kitchen. If you don't have to replace them, you'll save a ton of money. However, if your cabinets are dated and beat-up, your house might not sell if the cabinets aren't replaced. Resurfacing is an inexpensive option.

Whether you’re looking to replace or recover, your key targets are benches, cabinets, drawer fronts, skirting; handles, whether door, drawer or cabinet are noticed more than most people realise and new or cleaned handles can make a big difference at little cost. For a few hundred dollars, you can replace the kitchen tap set, add new cabinet door handles and update old lighting fixtures with brighter, more energy-efficient ones.

Another addition to your kitchen that can really bring a modern feel is splashback glass, it has a very clean look and comes in a wide range of colours to suit any colour scheme.

You’ve heard it before, “kitchens sell houses”, and it’s true. Giving your kitchen a re-vamp is a sure-fire investment.


7. Buff up the Bath

The Bathroom is another area that has really taken off lately. Spiffing up the restroom is a sure bet for adding value to your home. It may not be economical to do a major reno if you are trying to spend as little as possible before putting a house up for sale. But some upgrades and improvements are cheap, easy and fast…especially in the bathroom.

bathroom renovations

The secret is to keep things simple. You don’t need to do a lot with the room, it’s all about the features that you put in, such as a set of new taps, a heated chrome towel rail, a big new shower head , a power shower, a glass screen or glass door instead of a shower curtain. If the tub is stained, consider refinishing the tub. All relatively inexpensive but can bring great gains when selling a home.


8. Add a Deck or Patio

If you have the room and the budget, adding a deck is one of the simplest ways to add a lot of vaule to your property. A deck is one of the best ways to create the much-desired ‘indoor-outdoor flow’ which, after all, is part of the quintessential Kiwi summer way of living. They’re also great for entertaining, something potential homebuyers will want to visualise when inspecting properties.

Creating an outdoor living area can cost anywhere from $5000 to $15000 and can add about 30% value to a home.


9. Create Space

Adding a room, wardrobe space or bathroom can be a good investment. Also, more and more people want dedicated rooms for hobbies or crafts, whether it’s an exercise room, knitting room, play room or home office. Going one step further, having an extra income stream with a granny flat or minor addition adds big value to a property and opens it up to a wider buyer pool with lower budget buyers able to service a bigger mortgage. And for investors the lift in the rental return is obviously attractive.

However, if you’re purse strings don’t stretch quite that far, the best way is to simply use the existing footprint and change internal walls without adding load bearing walls. Open plan is popular to buyers these days. An inexpensive tip is to create the illusion of space by hanging more mirrors. This increases the light that shines through the house and if you can hang two mirrors in the same room, put them on opposite walls this will you’re your room seem bigger.


10. Create a Mancave

Ok so this one is optional but let’s be honest, what man hasn’t dreamt of having their own area to play pool, have mates over, and generally have a good time. The concept of the “man cave” is probably more important than it has ever been before because the idea is actually becoming a “thing”.

awesome man cave

Bust out the stubbie coolers and themed bar mats, set up the big screen and Xbox for a haven where men (or women) can retreat to play video games, drink a cold one or watch the All Blacks match.

Whether it be a shed or garage workspace to tinker, or a loft space or spare room dedicated to the ultimate male relaxation or bonding experience, it’s worth considering to add a little ‘talking point’ and value to your home.


11. (Bonus) Don't Overdo It

Remember, always consider the small things that will make a big difference.

Have a go at trading and bartering for skills and labour. If you have friends who have skills you are missing, you may be able to barter with them by sharing your skills with them. Don't forget, the trade doesn't have to be in remodeling. You could cook, babysit or run errands while they work on installing lighting fixtures for example.

Also, if you need some big scary tools to get the job done, you may find a tool lending library in the city, or a place that rents tools. Since you will only need the tool for a short time, you can avoid the cost of buying it and finding a place to store it.

When taking on renovations around the home, there’s always a risk of over-capitalising so the advice here is don’t over invest and also, don’t try to do it all either. Sometimes it is best to leave something for potential investors to do themselves.

Don’t be afraid to approach your local real estate agents as they can offer a wealth of knowledge and experience, particularly within your local market. RealEstatePros is a free service that makes it super easy to find and compare the best Agents in your area. By providing a few simple details online, RealEstatePros can put you in touch with the 3 best local Agents in your area. From there you can simply hire the right agent for you based on their agent profiles and reviews. By using RealEstatePros you know that you are being connected with trusted and customer reviewed Agents who are professional, capable and dedicated to help.


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