How to add value to your home on a budget

Ultimately, the value of your house is determined by how much a buyer is willing to for it. Extensions, kitchen makeovers or loft conversions are all big ways to add value to your home, but they’re not realistic for everyone - especially if you want to sell soon.

Big projects can add to the value of your property - but you’re not guaranteed to make that money back when you sell.

You can make minor changes with a limited budget that might add modest amounts of value to your property but will definitely make it more likely that you achieve your asking price.

1. Paint

It’s really simple, but a lick of paint can turn a worn home into one that brings the buyers.

A polished appearance can make a property look more attractive and appeal to buyers who aren’t looking for a fixer-upper and want a liveable property.

Touch up the walls and skirting boards and freshen up any yellowing white paint. You don’t necessarily have to paint the ceiling, only if it needs it, but paint effectively fills hairline cracks at the adjoin of the ceiling and wall. Ideally, use a neutral colour that makes it easy for buyers to picture themselves living in your property.

This job costs as much as the paint but is worth the effort for a fresh and clean finish.

2. Add more home security

Extra locks, security lights, motion sensors and visible deterrents can all help to add a little bit of value to your property.

It shows buyers that your home is secure and that they won’t have to foot the bill for any security improvements in the future.

Other security updates you can make include repairing broken fences and ensuring your garage locks and is secure. This is especially important if your garage has an adjoining door into your house.

3. Improve your kerb appeal

First impressions count. Your kerb appeal and the front of your property is your chance to wow potential buyers and set their expectations.

Simply mowing your lawn, pressure-washing patios and paving, and tidying up your plants can help your home look inviting and make it easier for you to get your asking price.

You can also smarten up your front door. If the paint is scuffed or damaged, repair it. Similarly, replace any rusty numbers or door handles to make your home look welcoming.

If you have any broken or old fence panels, fix or replace them. Not only does this improve security, but it goes a long way to making your home look presentable and inviting. It also clearly shows potential buyers the boundaries of your home.

Remember that whatever you do to your front garden, do the same to the back garden for a consistent look.

4. Deep clean

If you’re selling, this is a job to do just before you list the property, so it looks its best in photos.

The best places to focus on are the kitchen and bathroom. Give the grout a thorough scrub and get rid of any dirt that’s accumulated. In some circumstances, it might be easier to do a cursory clean and then regrout. You can also buy grout pens that brighten and touch up the grout, making it look good as new.

Replace any fixtures like taps that show signs of rust and get rid of mould that might have built up in places like the sealant. Speaking of sealant, if any is peeling or chipping away, use a sealant remover tool and some white spirit to remove it and then re-seal. 

5. Have a mini makeover

While ripping out your kitchen and bathroom and starting anew might not be an option, you can easily give both rooms a facelift on a budget.

Tile paint and cupboard paint are both really useful for decorating and transforming your kitchen and bathroom. All you need to do is follow the instructions on the tin and properly prep the surface, and you should have a different look for a fraction of the cost of completely renovating.

You can also change the handles on your cupboards too to freshen them up.

For your living room and bedroom, try to maximise the lighting. Make sure curtains are pulled back from windows and, if you don’t have a lot of natural light, lamps scattered around the rooms help create a cosy atmosphere.

6. Get planning permission

Even if you have no intention of extending or making changes to your property, getting planning permission can be a real selling point for your property.

In 2021, planning permission for alterations or extending a single house or flat in England costs £206. In Wales, it’s £230, and in Scotland, it’s £202.

If you’ve updated your property and are now ready to put it on the market, get in touch with your local Hunters office for a free no-obligation valuation.