Giving your home an external makeover is the most cost-effective and essential ingredient in adding value. The surrounding of your house is the first and last impression a potential buyer will get, and could be a deal-breaker if it isn’t attractive and well kept. With so many homes for sale in the market these days, first appearances can mean a lot. Step away from your home and try to look at it from a perspective home buyer’s view. How is the landscaping? How is the lawn? Does the home look clean and tidy? In today’s market there are many ways to raise the curb appeal of your home, but keep in mind that not all necessarily add greater resale value but just add a nice aesthetic touch to your home. Nevertheless, a good first appearance of a home can add as much as 5 to 10 percent to the value.
One of the first things a perspective home buyer will notice is the front door. If there is nothing special about your door, try replacing it with a lead glass insert door or by adding decorative details around the entry door. Sidelights will add sparkle and shine both from the inside as well as the outside of the house. The added light will create space and make a narrow or small entryway seem larger. Moneywise, you’re not looking at a great value-booster, but this little modification greatly affects the first impression of a buyer.
When buyers look at windows, they not only judge the appeal but their practicality, too. Are your windows insulated? Are they energy efficient? Are they safe and do they lock properly? Consider all these factors if you decide to replace your windows. Something else to consider is not just replacing but also upgrading to bigger windows which will let more light into the house, making the rooms look larger and open to the world. People buy space and light; nobody walks into a really dark house and says, “I love this”.
If the landscaping is out of control, you may want to hire a professional landscaper to spice it up—maybe adding coloured stones and nice plants to the landscaping. Sunrooms, gazebos, patios and decks, and their integration with the surrounding setting, are best handled by landscape architects and designers. Hiring that kind of expertise isn’t cheap; however, professional landscaping proved to add up to 20 percent to the property value, as much as the return on a new kitchen or bathroom. An interesting fact is that mature trees have a strong impact on the saleability of homes. Several recent nationwide surveys show that mature trees in a well-landscaped yard can increase the value of a house by 7 to 19 percent.
Seeing a group of cars parked in front of your house on the street is not the most appealing sight. Just because you don’t have a garage doesn’t mean you can’t create some off-street parking. If there is no way to extend your drive to incorporate a parking space, you might want to ask your local council for planning permission to lower the curb on the pavement adjacent to your property. An off-street parking bay can add up to 10 percent to the home value.
Swimming Pool/Tennis Court
Adding a pool may prove to be a bit tricky, and depends on where your house is situated and whether you’re adding an indoor or outdoor pool. If you live in colder climes, an indoor pool or one inside a swimming pool enclosure might be more useful and will attract more buyers. An outdoor pool with a cover on it will, on the other hand, detract buyers since it would stay that way most of the year when it’s cold. But a heated indoor pool with patio doors that opens up to the terrace or decking area in the summer months could be used year-round. A beautiful pool just invites home buyers to imagine themselves having fun. And it all pays out at about a 5 to 10 percent boost in house value
A tennis court is another luxury you can add to your home, but only in certain neighbourhoods—it should fit in with the other houses. If well-designed and well-maintained, it can add up to 5 to 10 percent in value.
Both of these additions serve as a luxury that you can offer the buyer. But be aware, you may risk a reduction in the number of people your home would appeal to. However, if all goes well, you will sell your house for a price that may astonish you.
Adding a Waterside Feature
A waterside feature is likely to hold value. A survey indicates that it may add a third to the price of a property. Although there is no way you can add a lake or a small romantic stream by your house, you can build a pond in your backyard. A pond is simply a small body of water in which light can penetrate all the way to the bottom—in other words, ponds are not very deep. Depending on the size of your backyard, you can build a pond which may even have fish and other fixtures in order to make it look aesthetically attractive.
There are a number of things you need to consider when adding a pond, such as the water source, location, depth, and a constant flow of water so it doesn’t attract mosquitoes. It’s not an easy task (best planned with the help of a professional), but pays off greatly when done properly.