Home improvements: getting the balance right

Monday, September 27th, 2010

If you want to carry out home improvements specifically to boost the value of your property, how do you know whether you’re doing the right thing? There’s a very fine line to be trodden between making your home stand out from the crowd and committing yourself to expensive work that will do nothing to help your situation.

For example, how do you get the balance right between extending and retaining garden space? Are loft or basement conversions a good bet? At what stage should you involve estate agents?

The following article from The Independent addresses some of these questions and offers advice for homeowners unable to move in a stagnant property market:

How a few home improvements can add to your property’s value

It’s easy to get carried away with home improvements, so think twice before you start knocking down walls, particularly if you’re going to be losing a bedroom, as you could end up losing value instead. If you reduce the number of bedrooms experts say you could be looking at a fall in value in excess of 20 or 30 per cent.

One worthwhile thought, however, is updating your home’s green credentials. Buyers are now far more aware of energy costs and will be appreciative of improvements such as insulation in the walls, floor and roof, and a modern, energy-efficient boiler.

“Around a third of allheat is lost through the walls and loft space of our homes, and most homes should be able to have either their loft or cavity walls insulated for less than £250. If you are aged 70 and over, or on benefits, you could even qualify to have your home insulated for free,” says Susan Jones, the energy efficiency advice manager at the Energy Saving Trust (EST).

Green homeowners could take it a step further by installing renewable energy saving technologies – the EST says that a typical £6,250 photovoltaic system would save £200 a year in electricity bills and earn £900 in cash back each year under the Government’s feed-in-tariff. Read the full article here.

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