If you’ve been browsing properties for a family home in England or Wales, you’ll be pleased to hear that an annual study by Knight Frank has found that you could sell your home for more money if you make any of these adjustments to the exterior of your property.
The data comes from its 2015 estate agent survey, which looked at nearly 45,000 properties across England and Wales and found that every gramme on your property’s exterior counts towards an increase in the value that it receives when you put it up for sale.
An increase of just 2.1% is enough to see a 35% jump in the price that you’re paid for your home. According to Knight Frank, around one in every 100 properties is sold and added to another property, a 10 gramme increase in a property’s exterior value adds the equivalent of £275 to the price when the property goes up for sale.
So, what do you have to do to increase your home’s value? Here are the top five tips and improvements that you can consider:
Get out of the way
The first thing you need to think about is where the eyes are. Try to move out of the way of larger houses. “Our study has found that the majority of properties, such as those in more rural areas, are only visited by a few agents. People expect the larger homes to be good looking, but if they do not attract a full sized estate agent, it isn’t going to sell,” says Louise Wiltshire, residential research analyst at Knight Frank.
Jack Snell, research manager at HouseSimple.com, says you need to take care to create your own desired space within the space that you have. “Don’t feel under pressure to go to the next-door neighbours – go to places that are further away where you have a little less chance of being seen. You could even consider getting creative with the front door, which is a relatively inexpensive thing to do.”
You may need to use your fence as a decoration, too. Many people put a large mural on their fence or a colourful display of plants on it when they move in. “The beauty of a fence or a conservatory as a front window is that it’s hiding something – for example, the garden if you’re having a garden extension,” says Snell. “Potential buyers might be attracted to the ‘wow’ factor.”
Keep shrubs to a minimum
The home before you buy will be where your home will be for longer, so shrubs should be small, low and greenery should also be kept to a minimum to appeal to younger buyers. You can’t expect people to want to take it out of their garden, so consider keeping your walls, windows and doors sparse.
Vinyl windows are cheap, easy to install and do not need a DIY service. A cheap option is changing your existing windows to Caesarstone or chrome types, so just remove the glass and add a trim on. You can also protect a whole room with a curtain system – try a room with small windows. “Buyers will say ‘why pay hundreds of pounds for doors and panes and windows that don’t fit?’ if they can get them for free,” says Wiltshire.
Cut the grass
People value grass in a house because it can give a sense of privacy. If you don’t want to have to cut your grass, there are many cheap and easy ways of preventing grass growth. You can grow your own grass seed. Or you can rent a lawn mower and trimmer. There are also a huge range of luxury and exclusive treehouses and helipads. If your house comes with a lawn, consider planting wild flowers to replace it.
The solar panel is the current buzz in UK homes, where they can be paid off by the electricity that they produce. That means you are able to pay off the cost of your solar panel more quickly, reducing your interest rate and saving money on your mortgage repayments. According to the Carbon Trust, a solar panel on a new house will deliver energy for seven years for £634, while an older panel will cost £1,484.
You can pay off your solar panel by selling electricity back to the National Grid, which can be done by either the owner of the solar panel or the utility company. The largest amount of energy that the owner can sell back into the National Grid is 30.6kWh per month. This means that a typical family home with two electric cars would give enough electricity to supply a family with three, four and five cars per month.