15 Apr 2013
Buying property is one of the largest investments you will make in your lifetime.
This is according to Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Volkers Southern Africa, who says maintaining your investment is therefore important, especially if you want to increase its re-sale value.
Hutchison shares a few tips on how to increase your property’s value once you’ve decided on what your budget will allow.
1. Spruce up the landscaping
A low maintenance garden could attract a buyer and can be just as appealing as a high maintenance garden.
Making use of plants and shrubs that are indigenous to the area will alleviate unnecessary watering and care.
For an attractive garden, ensure that the existing plants and trees are pruned regularly.
An automatic watering system and a water feature will add value to the garden, and laying down some paving will not only increase its attractiveness but also be an asset during the rainy season.
And finally, plant seasonal flowers for colourful flower beds.
2. Create atmosphere
Adding a deck could enhance the outside entertainment area especially if the property has a pool.
Ensure that the pool is maintained and kept in good condition because this area is one part of the home that some buyers specifically look at.
Create atmosphere with a steel fire pit or install a sound system outside with a TV for sporting weekends. A pizza oven and a built-in braai is another possibility.
3. Add modern touches
Old cupboards and old closets could be replaced with something modern, depending on the style of the home.
Carpets could be replaced with tiles in areas where there is heavy traffic and a built-in desk will add value to the bedrooms.
Moving to the bathrooms, make sure the tiles are clean and if a tile is cracked or chipped, replace it.
Make sure your showers and baths are spotless.
To give your home an updated look, remodel your bathrooms by tiling them and ensure the fittings are well designed and modern.
It has been said that the kitchen is often the selling point of a home so replace the electric stove with a gas stove and possibly install a convection microwave as a permanent feature.
Old work surfaces can be replaced with granite counter tops because they are practical and easy to maintain.
Sufficient cupboard space is essential so add some additional cupboard space or even a walk-in pantry. Adding a breakfast nook will be a plus.
4. Upgrade the security
This is possibly one of the most important features for re-sale value. Upgrading your home security will not only be lucrative for you when you decide to sell your property but will also benefit you currently.
Adding some features like electric fencing, beams and perhaps security cameras or merely upgrading your fencing will create a safer environment for you and for the potential buyer.
5. Live green
The ‘green’ concept is becoming more apparent these days so it’s a good idea to revise your home’s energy consumption.
Many buyers look at the amount of energy a home saves because of the contentious increase in electricity costs.
To cut down on electrical expenses, install a timer on your geyser. Timers have been known to save up to 50 percent on electricity bills.
Energy saving lights are also cost effective so replace your old lights and save on your monthly bill.
6. Use the garage space
Many homes have double garages.
To boost the re-sale value of your home you could build a flatlet above the garage. Potential buyer s could view this as a way of generating additional income as it could be rented out or used as office space.
Make sure the existing garage is fitted with shelves and perhaps cupboard space. Your potential buyer may well be inclined to be a handyman.
7. Make roof repairs
Roof tiles should be fixed securely and a corrugated roof should not be in need of painting.
A leaky roof must be repaired and no signs of damp should be visible in the house.
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