Valuing your Home

There is no guaranteed way to ensure that your home will keep its value. When you take out a mortgage to purchase a property, it will always mention somewhere on the documentation that ‘the value of your investment can go up or down’, and this applies to any other investment too.

Nothing is set in stone and many home owners tend to forget this when they wish to sell. The thousands of home-owners who are in negative equity will bear testament to the fact that their house may only be worth 80 percent of what they paid for it. This is only a problem if you want to recover your money in full, but if you will be buying another house, then it follows that it too will be 80 percent cheaper; everything is relative.

However there are certain steps home-owners can take to ensure that their property will command the best possible price if kept in pristine condition and treated to a regular programme of repairs and maintenance. It may also benefit from the occasional upgrade to hold its value against similar properties in the area and appeal to buyers who expect all modern day conveniences.  

Making your home the best it can be whatever the underlying market trends will always give your home the edge on others that may not have been so well cared for. Dilapidated homes depreciate in value with every passing day that they are exposed to the elements. So unless you are considering marketing your home as a renovation at some point you will need to ensure that it is treated to continual TLC over the years of your ownership.

Houses are never maintenance-free, even new-builds require a certain amount of ongoing work to guard the structure of the building against all weathers. Problems that arise inside may be purely decorative but in order for your home to keep its value you need to ensure that everything is functional and well looked after.

Be discerning in your choice of additions and upgrades because not all home improvements will add value and may even detract from it. Shoddy workmanship and work that has not complied with current building regulations can knock quite a hefty sum off a home’s resale value, so make sure that you’ve thoroughly checked the credentials of any builder you entrust to modify or add to your home.

Loft conversions and garages or anything that increases the overall living and storage space is normally a good bet as a home improvement that will ensure you doubly benefit – from usage now and on the resale price later – but don’t use up too much of the existing outside space if this is already scarce.

Befriend your neighbours and see what they have done to their homes. See what works and what doesn’t. Such properties may be carbon copies of your own on the outside but the interior layout may offer better all round family living. For instance  ‘open plan’ layouts often work better than two separate rooms and provide an atmosphere better suited to modern living.  If done correctly, this can help a home keep its value or even add value.  

You must always try to appeal to the standard buyer and not install items like a jacuzzi or a steam cabinet which will only attract a narrow section of prospective buyers. For your home to keep its value you need to see if the accommodation on offer still suits the modern family. Whilst you may think it is as good as a home can be without doing anything to it; you need to consider that people will usually expect so much more now than when you originally purchased it.

Here are some ideas to refresh your home. Why not put some of these ideas in place and you may be pleasantly surprised that your home is worth more than you thought! Easy ways to refresh your home exterior and Easy ways to refresh your home interior.

Always get the advice of a competent property professional if you’re uncertain as to whether something will help maintain your home’s value or detract from it. Do your homework thoroughly before taking any financial or structural risks.

By using on-line property resources like Rightmove, you can conduct a search of similar properties for sale in your particular area wherever you happen to be in the world. Compare them to your own home, and get a realistic idea of what yours may be worth whether you are thinking of selling or not.