Property Weekly: What’s the best way to increase the value of your home?

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In his latest Property Weekly column, estate agent Ian Macklin looks at how to increase the value of your home.

Investing in your home is a wise way of improving the capital value of your main asset. Whenever you decide to sell, proceeds will be free of any tax unlike ‘buy to let’ properties where there will always be a capital gains tax liability.

Spending, or more appropriately, investing, includes ensuring that the outlay is targeted at areas that will generate the best return.

For example, losing a bedroom to create an additional bathroom, although enjoyable, will involve expense and no necessary improvement in value. Conversely, partitioning a bathroom/shower room from within a large bedroom is extremely effective and likely to add more value than cost.

In older properties, the two main areas that remain undeveloped are basements and lofts. The space already exists and simply needs presenting as additional living or bedroom space and sometimes almost doubling the usable floor area.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”Ian Macklin”]Presentation is equally or even more important… uncluttered light and warm accommodation is much more inviting[/pullquote]Loft conversions are usually the most straightforward, providing that there is adequate headroom and a position for a staircase.

The loft would benefit from either windows set within the roof or projecting dormers, probably to the rear. In many houses there is room for both a bedroom and bath or shower room, creating a main or guest suite and with little loss of space to the first floor.

To maximise the living area a basement may also be incorporated effectively, forming an additional floor. Again, access is important as the “lower ground floor” must feel part of the living area rather than separate and closed away. The possibilities are endless with TV lounges, playrooms, home gyms and even a suite for a close relative.

Increasing space is therefore an ideal investment – but if it is not possible, presentation is equally or even more important. Uncluttered light and warm accommodation is much more inviting, as are well-tended terraces and gardens.

All is possible with little expenditure and mainly the investment of time, if you have any spare.

Always remember that presentation should appeal to the widest section of potential buyers. Individual taste may therefore have to be tempered as bright and vibrant colours are not of universal appeal. Also remember that any construction or other works will require building regulation approval and possibly planning permission. It is imperative that these permissions are obtained to avoid any issues when coming to sell the property.

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