House & Home

the home improvements that most appeal to buyers are the same ones that appeal to you

the home improvements that most appeal to buyers are the same ones that appeal to you

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You make improvements to your home to ensure it’s more suited to your lifestyle and taste.

But unless it’s your forever house, you may also be interested in what would make it more valuable when you come to sell.

Luckily, the home improvements that most appeal to buyers are the same ones that appeal to you – good news all round!

If you’re still concerned about resale though, ask local estate agents whether the work you’re considering is advisable.

They should know if you’d be spending more than the finished property would be worth and if you’d be spending your money on the right home improvements for the area and the type of people who will buy your home.

For example, a lot of cottages and other small houses have a downstairs bathroom, usually off the kitchen, which isn’t to everyone’s taste.

Sometimes moving the bathroom into one of the bedrooms will add value, but it does depend on the number of bedrooms and who you want to appeal to when you sell.

Buyers might expect a downstairs bathroom in that area or type of property, so moving the bathroom upstairs could be a waste of time and money.

If your house has two or three bedrooms and is likely to appeal to younger buyers who have a family or are planning one, they might want the bathroom downstairs – an upstairs bathroom isn’t much good if it means young children have to sleep downstairs.

However, if you expect to sell to older, downsizing buyers whose kids have flown the nest, they mostly prefer an upstairs bathroom because it’s convenient.

If you can fit a toilet (and washbasin) upstairs without compromising the layout too much, this can be a good solution.

In areas where parking is tricky, having off-street parking makes life easier day to day and is a big asset when you sell.

However, off-street parking is a better investment in some areas than others – if you live in an expensive urban area, it’s almost certainly money well spent.

You may need planning permission for off-street parking – the interactive house at www.planningportal.gov.uk has information on what you can do without planning, but check with your local council too, as there are exceptions to the rules.

In most cases, you’ll also need to apply to the council to drop the kerb to access your off-street parking easily.

Dropping the kerb can be expensive, sometimes costing thousands of pounds because the pavement has to be altered too, so it’s not a cheap way to add value but can make a big difference both now and when you come to sell.

Next week: more ways to add value