Unlocking the hidden value in your home

Monopoly house

As property prices fall and fears of a housing market crash increase, these are nervous times for home owners. However, with a little imagination you could increase your home's value significantly with little investment.
In this article we look at some the ways you can release the hidden value in your home.

In today's energy conscious society and with the recent introduction of Home Information Packs (HIPs) for three and four bedroom houses,
one great way to boost the value of your home is to make it energy efficient.

HIPs rate houses on their energy efficiency and the discerning buyer will be much more likely to offer a higher price for your home if it is energy efficient. A green home will require good insulation in the roof and walls, double glazed windows and an energy efficient boiler and heating system. This will require some investment but it should add to the value of your home significantly.

Whether or not you plan to sell in the near future, it is always a good idea to refurbish your home every once and a while. If you have money to spare, installing a new kitchen or bathroom will certainly add value to your home and improve its appearance.

Also, simple improvements such as repainting, new carpets and general cleaning should boost the value of your home and not cost you too much. If you have a garden, invest in some new flowers and shrubs and make it look as attractive as possible. You can do a lot of this work yourself, and with a little imagination and effort you can increase the value of your home significantly.

Perhaps the most effective way of boosting the value of your property is to make use of unused space. The most common way to do this is to convert your loft into an extra bedroom. This will require some investment and the work will need to be done by a professional. You can expect some disruption while the work is being done.

If you have large rooms in your house consider splitting them into two. For example, a large bedroom can be turned into an ensuite bedroom. And keep your eyes open for novel and interesting ideas. See what your friends and family are doing with their homes and pick up a few home improvement magazines, you'd never know what you might find.

If you are just about to sell, there are a number of tried and tested tricks to make the right impression with prospective buyers. First impressions count, so make sure the outside of your home is well tended and that there is no litter in the immediate area.

It has been shown that buyers go for homes that are not over-decorated. Paint your walls a neutral colour and try to have the house as uncluttered as possible.

Two of the major turn-offs for house buyers are smoking and pets. If you smoke try to rid your home of the smell of smoke and don't smoke inside during the selling period. If you have pets, try to keep the home free of their smells and hair, and make sure they are out of sight during viewings.

House prices in the United Kingdom fell an estimated 2% between mid-August and mid-September and the current global credit crunch is likely to cause further decreases. However, keep an open mind and see if you can unlock hidden value in your home.

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