Property is undoubtedly a big investment and the trick for any savvy homeowner is to always have one eye on the future on how to secure and further this investment. This can be stamping your own authority on a home as soon as you get it, getting a property you’ve bought as an investment up to scratch for sale or simply to upgrade and improve the facilities you are living with.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to add value to your home, from transforming your loft into an extra living space, to giving your garden a good spruce. For more information on improving your home ready for a sale, download our guide to the 50 best ways to increase your home’s selling price.
Two of the most valuable rooms in your house – and therefore the most likely to add a bit of extra value onto your home – are your kitchen and bathroom. However, it’s not simply a case of applying a couple of quick fixes or installing a flashy new suite. Before you install your new kitchen or bathroom, you need to calculate whether your plans will be a sound investment.”
Most rooms around the house can be given a simple freshen up with a lick of paint or new furniture but when it comes to the kitchen and the bathroom you need to weigh up a much bigger investment to make a big difference.
While a brand new kitchen with the latest mod cons or a sparkling new bathroom suite may sound desirable, will they actually add value to a home?
The first thing to consider is your motivation. If you’re simply looking to upgrade a kitchen or bathroom in order to sell your property, think neutral, flexible and simple. Make it easy for a buyer to be able to work with the kitchen or bathroom, regardless of their taste. Plain colours – such as wooden kitchen cupboards that are neither too dark, or light, or maybe even white – are the order of the day.
Also, make best use of the space available and don’t overload the rooms. Make sure you focus, too, on ‘fixes’. A dodgy tap, scratched sink or wonky cupboard door could let down an otherwise flawless room. By ensuring that all these things are sorted you will help boost the value of your property.
If you’re not moving any time soon then be more creative. Consider what you don’t like about the room. Are there not enough cupboards in the kitchen to store food for your hungry family? Is the toilet in an impractical space? Work with a designer to put these right for a start, before you start thinking about fancy taps and door handles.
Also, if it’s worth doing it’s worth doing well. Leaving some glaring things outstanding will mean you’re not satisfied with the room and that it’s unlikely to add much value to the house. Turning a functional room into a ‘showpiece’ will make you happier and give you something to take plenty of pictures of when it comes to the sale.
So, on to the money. What’s the impact of a new kitchen or bathroom on the all-important valuation of the house? The simple answer is that it depends. It depends, firstly, on the condition of the room being replaced. If either the kitchen or bathroom is in a poor state they will eat away at the potential price of your property, up to the tune of several thousand pounds. At a bare minimum you want these rooms to be a neutral factor.
If you can push beyond that though and invest in a desirable bathroom or kitchen that is seen as a strength of your property, then you will see the benefit. If you can get the appropriate permissions and have the space you could even install an extra bathroom to add a new dimension to your home.
HSBC found that a new kitchen can add at least £5,000 to the value of a property, meaning with an average kitchen costing up to £10,000, around half of your outlay could technically be returned upon the sale of your home.
HSBC also found that a new bathroom costs in the region of £5,000 and can add about £2,500 to the price of your property. Like the kitchen, this would be a ‘return on investment’ of about 50 per cent.
There are clearly positive ways in which you can add value to a home with a new kitchen or bathroom. There are also ways in which you can avoid losing value by replacing a poor room. Whichever way you approach it, these are important rooms that you need to consider before going on the market and getting the verdict of valuers and would-be buyers.