EXPERT EYE: How to boost your home's value and potential

Author: Adrian Ramsay  Online Publication: Houzz  Date: October 15, 2018

When looking to optimise your property’s value and potential, the first thing to decide is if you’re looking through the lens of a home owner or an investor. Why? Because your approach is likely to differ depending on whether you want to live in a home rather than simply maximise your financial return on a sale. Here are some ideas for boosting the value of your home from both perspectives.

How to Add Value to the Home You Live in

1. Make sure your home reflects the neighbourhood averages
How many bedrooms, bathrooms and parking spaces do the homes in your suburb generally have? These figures set the standard for the market, and your house needs to match it as competitively as possible.

2. Have a standout feature
What does you home offer that others in your area don’t? For example, does it have a cracking view? If not, can you create one with smart landscaping? You can create show-stopping features in other ways too, such as:

  • If you have a swimming pool, light it to create a beautiful water feature.
  • Transform an unattractive side fence into an appealing feature using an evergreen wall or vertical planter boxes.
  • If you live in an elevated home where the living areas are separated from the garden, bring nature inside using indoor planter boxes, potted plants and hanging plants.

3. Ensure you have a great kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of the home and an area where most of us spend a lot of time. So you want to make sure your kitchen is stylish and functional with a layout that provides plenty of space for cooking, prepping and entertaining friends and family. This won’t just be an attractive feature to buyers, but will make it a more enjoyable space for you to use too.

4. Show your entrance some love
The front door and hallway are the start of your home’s emotional journey, so it’s important to get it right. Keep the area clean, clutter-free and add a few personal details that give a hint into who lives here and what matters to them.

5. Pay attention to your home’s flow
How the different spaces in your home transition into one another is very important as it affects how easily and comfortably you can move through the home. This has a huge impact on your experience of living in a house.

When looking to improve your home’s flow, focus on the things that will make life easier or more convenient, such as:

  • Where is the garage positioned in relation to the home?
  • How easy is it to get groceries from the car to the kitchen?
  • How spacious and relaxing is your ensuite?
  • Is there smooth indoor-outdoor flow?
  • Is there a decent alfresco area where you can enjoy a meal in the warmer months?
  • Have you incorporated a quiet space (other than the bedroom) where you can escape the hustle and bustle?

Another feature of flow is ventilation: a home needs to breathe. When looking to improve your home’s functional flow, look for ways to improve the natural movement of fresh air – you might like to consider louvres, larger windows or door openings, or invest in generous exterior doors that open up your home to the garden or deck.

How to Optimise Your Home’s Value When Selling

1. Make a great first impression
Remember, when potential buyers arrive at your house for a viewing, their experience of your home starts from the street the moment they get out of their car. Make sure the journey from the car to your front door is a good one. Consider these points:

If potential buyers enter via your garage, is it tidy and well-organised and is there space to park the car?

  • If they will be walking along a driveway, is it in good condition and free of trip hazards?
  • If they will be walking through a front garden, is the area well manicured?
  • Is the walkway to your front door easy to navigate?
  • Is it wide enough for a couple to walk side by side?

2. Consider the view from the front door
Potential buyers will get their first view of your home’s interior from the front door. Take the journey yourself and experience what they will see. Would the front door benefit from a fresh coat of paint? Could you smarten up the area with planters on either side of the front door?

Once people are inside your hallway, assess what they will see – not just in your hallway but in the rooms beyond it. If your living room can be seen from the front door, does it present well? If the kitchen is on view, is it clean and clutter-free? Is there a clear path from the hallway to the spaces beyond?

3. Choose a kitchen design that ticks as many boxes as possible
When thinking re-sale, it’s vital to get the kitchen right. In order to reach as broad a market as possible, consider these elements:

  • The layout should make the kitchen feel easy to use, with plenty of space for several people to use it or move through it at once (this is particularly important if the kitchen doubles as a thoroughfare).
  • It never hurts to oversize a kitchen – it adds to the feeling of luxury in your home.
  • Good storage, plenty of bench space and easy-to-clean and maintain finishes are key.
  • There are very different types of cooks out there: some will want to use the kitchen every night, while others will barbecue four nights a week. Consider this and install a great kitchen, backed up with an outdoor area set up for alfresco cooking and entertaining.

4. Give your bedroom and ensuite some TLC
Next to the kitchen and living spaces, the most important rooms to get right are the master bedroom and ensuite.

  • They should feel spacious and tranquil.
  • Try to include a generous robe (ideally a walk-in).
  • Create a restful atmosphere by choosing muted colours and finishes, and warm, low-level lighting (pendant lights and lamps are far better than harsh overhead ceiling lights).

5. Create a garden that suits your market
When it comes to the design of your garden, consider your market. If your home is likely to attract young professional couples, they probably won’t want a garden that will need daily tending. Hard-to-maintain gardens may be an area of resistance for these buyers. Consider alternative types of gardens that can be maintained with simple reticulation and minimal weeding, such as native, pebble or succulent gardens. If your home is better suited to families, a shaded deck or patio and a lawn are likely to be important features.

Tip: Gardens are often ruined when renovating and plants can take a long time to bounce back. Be aware of this when planning your renovation and set aside a budget to buy some established plants. This will mean no waiting for plants to grow before putting your home on the market.

6. Plan ahead
People who successfully – and continuously – increase the value and potential of their home have one thing in common: they plan. It’s a good idea to enlist the help of a designer who can assist you with the overall concept for your home and put a solid plan in place for achieving it.

Remember: keep it simple, plan for the entire home (including landscaping), and keep your target market top of mind.

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EXPERT EYE: How to boost your home's value and potential