When it comes to selling or letting property, attracting potential buyers or tenants is key, but so is getting the most for your investment. You’ll want to ensure that the value of your property meets expectations and brings in the kind of money you are aiming for. Sometimes though, this means even more investment, yet you may face budget restrictions when approaching further home improvements.
If you take to the internet in search of answers — as you already have — you’ll likely find countless articles that discuss how to spruce up your home and improve a property’s value on the cheap before being told you should add solar panels, consider a loft conversion, buy new carpets, change the locks and landscape the entire garden. These aren’t low-cost tips — they aren’t wallet-friendly at all. Sure, they might be less expensive than structural changes or adding a moat, and in terms of commensurate value to the hundreds of thousands involved in the sale of a house, they might just be considered “cheap”, but when it comes to actual money-in-your-pocket investment, they just aren’t budget-friendly.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t have options. Today, we look at how to add value to your home on a budget — an actual realistic budget.
1. Improving Curb Appeal
Curb appeal — the aesthetic external appearance of your home as viewed from the street — can actually have major impacts on first impressions and increase property value by up to 12%. While this may sound like a costly undertaking, it really doesn’t have to be.
You can start by washing walls and the front door, tidying up overgrowth of plant life and cleaning window areas. The addition of ornaments, potted plants and outdoor lighting can also add a nice visual touch. The idea is to make your home look more appealing, hence the term curb appeal, but that can often be done with a trip to the local garden centre and a bit of creative thinking.
2. Boost Energy Efficiency
Want to increase the value of your home? You need to make the sale to buyers, which means giving them what they want. Studies have shown that in the modern era, what people want is energy efficiency; this both comes from a financial and ethical standpoint. But upping energy efficiency is expensive, right?
Oftentimes, yes. Energy-efficient technology and home improvements are usually long-term investments for long-term gains, and that isn’t going to help you when looking at how to add value to your home on a budget. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do. Insulation can be added to certain spaces, like underflooring and attics, with a bit of DIY work. You can pick up insulation padding or rolls at hardware stores and install them yourself or hire out a low-cost contractor to do it for you. This keeps energy bills and consumption down and can appeal to eco-friendly buyers.
3. Create Great First Impressions
Last year, data revealed that 84% of people agree that the most important thing about buying a property is getting a good feeling upon walking through the door, with 74% saying that first impressions mean everything when it comes to a house viewing. The result of this information is that we know by giving a good first impression, you can up your home’s value and sell for a higher price. But how can you use this data to increase your sale price on a budget?
A Fresh Lick of Paint — It’s an obvious point but still worth highlighting. A new coat of paint can liven up drab and worn-looking walls, replace damaged or unappealing wallpaper and cover marks of wear and tear.
Neutralise Design — You may have imposed a very personal design and flair onto your property, but that personality could be a detracting feature to others. Keeping colour palettes, ornaments and furniture as neutral as possible help build a better first impression. Put away lavish, lively or outlandish personal effects to avoid letting unique tastes impact buyer opinion, and definitely consider that fresh coat of paint mentioned above. Also, make sure you choose the best type of wood for your furniture.
Immaculate Upholstery — Places like the living room are key spaces, which means they need to look pristine. Dirty or worn upholstery doesn’t sell a property and doesn’t help portray a positive idea of living within your home either. If this is a problem you face, you don’t have to replace expensive furniture. Your options are either to have upholstery cleaned, if possible, or to replace cushions and sofa covers with new ones.
Brighten Things Up — Modern home buyers love bright and open living spaces, which means adding value to your property can simply be about letting a bit more light in. Removing blinds and heavy curtains, introducing good lighting like new lamps or changing dark shades, and selecting paint schemes that reflect light well can all help brighten up a property.
4. Consider Professional Cleaning
When looking at how to add value to your home on a budget, general cleanliness should be a key factor. Mess and untidiness make people unhappy, which is not conducive to selling a home. A dirty property is also going to have a major impact on those all-important first impressions.
Tidying a property yourself is a good step, but sometimes there are flaws in this plan. You may not have the equipment or expertise required to achieve high-quality results, especially when it comes to deep-rooted dirt, carpet cleaning, mould, and cleaning appliances like ovens. The process can also be massively time-consuming, which can impact your ability to get your property onto the market and available for viewing. Professional cleaning is not a significant expense and can be far cheaper than acquiring equipment like steam cleaners yourself — especially if this is a one-off job.
This low-cost investment is a cheap way of making sure your property is in the best possible condition it can be in when it comes to viewings. Aesthetic appeal is the selling point of your home, so as far as top tips go, this is an essential one to follow.
5. Take Up the Carpet
It might not be the most official of tests, but a poll on Houzz.com has revealed the majority of people prefer hardwood flooring to carpets. Many homes have good-quality wooden flooring hidden beneath carpets, which means tearing them to reveal underfloor woodwork can be one of those small changes that costs you next to nothing but can make a big difference to the value of your property.
Like installing insulation, you can handle this process yourself if you feel confident in your DIY abilities, or you can hire out a professional contractor to carry out the work for you. Being a small job, it should not be expensive to find somebody to get the work done, yet the rewards of completing the project are definitely worth it when it comes to buyer interest.
6. Upgrade Fixtures, Fittings and Furniture
As you might have come to realise, most of the changes we are suggesting are superficial. When thinking about how to add value to your home on a budget, it’s all about high-impact, low-cost methods that grab attention. With that in mind, our final suggestion is all about home decor upgrades. Buyers like to visualise and imagine themselves spending time in your home. They want an experience that mimics what they’ll potentially be living for years to come. Old and worn-out furniture, much like a bad paint job or stained sofa cushions, does not portray the lifestyle you want them to visualise, which means it is going to impact the value of your property.
The solution? Make some upgrades to anything that isn’t looking in top condition.
First things first, replace anything that is broken or damaged. This could be a dripping tap, a showerhead encrusted with limescale or a coffee table with a host of watermarks. Then, once the more noticeable issues are dealt with, consider updating items that look old-fashioned or don’t fall in line with the neutral design aspect discussed earlier. This might mean buying waterfall taps to replace your currently dated fixtures or upgrading light fixtures to something more contemporary. These changes are relatively inexpensive — even major items like bookshelves can be acquired from flatpack retailers on the cheap — but can make all the difference when it comes to building a more appealing home aesthetic.