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6 ways to increase the value of your property

If you're planning to climb the property ladder, then knowing how to add value to your home and ensure the best return when you decide to sell up and move on is crucial

There are plenty of ways to help boost the overall appeal of your home to make it more attractive to potential buyers. Converting the loft or renovating the kitchen are the most obvious examples (and potentially the most costly), however there are other improvements such as sprucing up the garden or giving your rooms a fresh lick of paint that won't necessarily break the bank. Here's six top ways to improve the value of your home...

1. Increase the square footage. Extending your property through incorporating a side return to make a more spacious kitchen or moving up into the loft to create an additional double bedroom complete with en suite are probably the two of the most popular ways to increase the value of your home. Indeed recent reasearch by the Nationwide Building Society suggests such improvements can add up to 23 per cent. However, they're likely to be the most expensive, setting you back anything from £50,000 upwards. They're also potentially the most disruptive, too. It's always worth speaking to an estate agent first to get an indication of how much value the improvement will add, allowing you to make an informed decision and weigh up the pros and cons. But if you have the capacity - and planning permission if necessary - it's certainly worth considering.

2. Freshen things up. If extending the property is out of the question then a slightly cheaper and less invasive option is to refurbish. This could be anything from installing a new, all singing all dancing kitchen or bathroom, through to simply redecorating. Costs will vary depending on what you do - a good kitchen could cost anything from £25,000. But whatever you decide, it's important to keep improvements neutral in taste. You want your home to have the broadest possible appeal, so avoid anything too quirky or unusual.

3. First impressions count. It's well worth investing some time and money on the outside of your home to boost that all important kerb appeal, after all prospective buyers form an opinion on a property within the first 7-10 seconds of seeing it. Installing 'on trend' windows and doors or a neat looking, low maintenance driveway are popular improvements. Getting around to those little 'odd jobs' such as fixing the guttering or weeding pathways is also a good idea. The more boxes a home ticks, the less likely it is that buyers will ask for a reduction in price.

4. Spruce up your garden. Now more than ever, buyers are viewing their outside space as an extra room. Whether it's a landscaped formal garden, somewhere for the children to play or a new patio, decking or barbecue area for al fresco dining - creating an aesthetically pleasing outdoor space is a relatively straightforward and easy 'win' that can make a big difference.

5. Invest in some tech. We live in a day and age that's dominated by technology - where pretty much everything is available at the click of a button. Homes are no different. To ensure yours has the greatest appeal invest in some of the latest mod cons. Larger properties may benefit from a high end security system, while for others it could be a case of installing mobile phone controlled central heating or an integrated entertainment system.

6. Add something extra. If you have the option - such as a redundant barn, outbuilding or garage - then it could well be worth converting it to ancillary accommodation. Home office space, garden rooms, gyms and annexes for elderly relatives are all increasingly popular with buyers and will all add value to your home. What's more, many such buildings no longer require planning permission, providing they fall within permitted development guidelines. The exact increase in value will vary depending on what you have done, so again, speak to an estate agent to find out what to expect.











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