Adding Value to Your Property - Which Measures are Helpful?

Increasing property value with open plan living

If you are looking to move in the future, adding value to your property will be one of your primary concerns. Getting the most equity out of a property gives each seller the best chance of taking that next step or securing a dream home. However, adding the most value is not an exact science. As the seller, putting yourself in the shoes of potential buyers can open your eyes to what exactly they are looking for.

There are some aspects of buying a property that will be non-negotiable for your target market and if sellers can hone in on these they can deliver a property that ticks buyers’ boxes. Beware of falling into the trap of investing heavily in ‘nice-to-have’s; these won’t necessarily give you sufficient return on your expenditure.

Some of these steps require more financial outlay than others and it’s important for sellers to consider what works for their budgets and what they are prepared to do.


Top Ways to Add Value to Your Property


  • Increasing living space


In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, our living and working habits have changed. With many of us now working from home for some or all of the working week, as well as juggling busy family lives, there is more of an emphasis on harmonious living than ever before. More space can make this easier, whether that’s by adding an open plan kitchen/diner, converting the loft or creating an extra bathroom upstairs.

However, it must be said that extensions can vary wildly in cost and impact. It is very difficult to gauge the exact value an extension will add as house prices fluctuate from one area to the next. However, a study by Nationwide estimated that an extension comprising an extra double bedroom and ensuite can add up to 23% to the value of a three-bedroom property.

Under current regulations, there is a certain amount of space that can be created without needing to obtain planning permission. Bear in mind that adding an extension will set you back at least £15000 and can come in at over £100,000.


  • Improving the garden


Pleasant, spacious gardens are just as sought-after as interior living space. While it is generally impossible to add square footage to your outdoor space, there are steps you can take to increase the appeal of your garden.

Buyers value privacy so if you have an overlooked garden, consider what can be done to offer some seclusion. Clever planting of hedges or larger plants can screen areas from view, or using structures such as pergolas.

Contemplating how areas in your garden could be used and defining spaces for eating, relaxing and entertaining enables buyers to picture themselves living there. Adding beautiful garden furniture or tasteful outdoor lighting creates a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere.

Research shows that maintaining a well-kept, beautiful garden can boost your property’s value by up to 20% - a statistic that cannot be ignored.


  • Switching to open-plan living


Open-plan living has become increasingly popular in recent years and with good reason. Removing walls encourages flexibility throughout the living spaces and allows families to come together more often, as well as creating a great space for entertaining. Furthermore, the lack of barriers allows air and light to flow more freely through the property.

While open-plan living is a design choice that will of course appeal to some people and not others, they generally make spaces feel bigger and more modern. Research suggests that a switch to an open-plan layout can increase property value by up to 15%.


  • Focusing on kerb appeal


First impressions count, whether that’s when meeting people or setting eyes on a house for the first time. Buyers don’t wait until they step into the house before forming an opinion. Appealing to them with a beautifully presented exterior sets the tone for successful viewings.

There are many things sellers can do to give the exterior a facelift. If there is a front garden, ensure that it is as well manicured as the back. Power washing the brickwork, driveways and footpaths can give everything a new, clean lease of life. The front door should not be neglected; giving it a new lick of paint, or adding some hanging baskets with colourful, vibrant flowers does wonders for that welcoming feel.

The practical things should not be ignored either. Cracked, blocked gutters or old, draughty windows will detract from the appeal of your property. Having bins on show is also a no-no; find somewhere to hide them!


What Steps Do Not Add Value to Your Property?


While these improvements are guaranteed to boost the value of your house, these are others that will do little to increase value and the likelihood of a sale. When trying to find a buyer for your property, keep in mind what improvements have more universal appeal. If a seller’s modifications are too niche, they are unlikely to add value.


  • Home cinemas or game rooms


A home cinema or a permanent game room is unquestionably a nice addition to a property, but it restricts the purpose of that particular room. Keep in mind that buyers are generally on the lookout for a blank canvas, a house that they can put their own stamp on. In a four bedroom house, for example, if one bedroom has been turned into a cinema, that reduces the available living space.


  • Luxury finishes


Every property will have a ceiling price as dictated by the area. Adding luxury finishes will not elevate your home above that ceiling price and while they are nice to have, they should be viewed as items which improve your living experience rather than ways to increase property value. Buyers are more concerned with location and space than whether there is a wine fridge or a digital shower.


  • Adding a swimming pool


The notion of a swimming pool seems appealing, but given the climate of the UK it is unlikely to get much use and can actually be a costly addition to a property which can put buyers off. Whether the swimming pool is indoor or outdoor, maintaining it racks up further costs such as heating, chemicals and cleaning. Installing a pool can cost upwards of £20,000; an expenditure that offers little in terms of increasing value.



When you are thinking of making upgrades to your property, consider your motives for doing so. If these upgrades are to make home life more comfortable, view them as improvements that enrich your life. However, if your aim is to get the most equity from your property it is essential to assess what your potential buyer is looking for.

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