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Invest smarter to increase your home’s value

Investing can be a great way to boost the price of your home — but not all investments are worth the cost. We've looked at big improvements that may not pay off, so you can put your money where it counts.

home improvements

Everyone wants their house to look its best when potential buyers come knocking — and there are certainly ways to make it more appealing.

While many choose simple DIY hacks to add extra value to their home, some think a little bigger and tackle larger renovations to attract interest and potentially increase their property’s value.

But how do you know when a project is worth it? Sometimes an upgrade is the savvy move, but sometimes it can cost you more in the long run. To help you invest smarter, we’ve created a list of the renovations that you may think add value, but could actually cost you more than you’ll make back. 

1. Installing solar panels

Solar panels surged in popularity in the mid-2010s and although that rise has slowed in recent years, green energy now accounts for about 5% of the UK’s electricity generation.

However, as fantastic as they are for the environment, they are expensive to install (up to £10,000) and can sometimes put buyers off a property.

Not everyone is a fan of how they look on the side of a roof and, although they do save you money on bills in the long run, it can be many years before you earn back your initial investment. You may find that you should spend your money getting your new home going green.

In fact, a survey by Which? found that two thirds of estate agents think solar panels make absolutely no difference to a house’s value, and one in six (17%) think it could even lower it. So although it’s always a good idea to go green, you might want to wait until you get to your new home.

2. Adding expensive decking

Decking can make a garden far more accessible, offering a pleasant area to sit out on warm summer evenings. But if you’re selling, you might want to think twice about adding one to try to make your home more valuable. 

Decking needs a lot of maintenance to keep it up and stop it warping, and it can be dangerously slippery after rain. Buyers may not want to sign up for the effort, especially as most decking needs replacing every few years. 

With this in mind, homeowners should think hard about splashing out the £1,500 or so before adding decking — as you might not get much back for your money.

3. Building a kitchen island

Open plan living spaces and kitchen islands are lighting up social media and the trend looks set to stay as we head into 2021. If done well, such renovations can really open up your home and make it look more spacious.

However, an island doesn’t work in every property and, if you force it, you could put buyers off.

It’s so important that you have enough space for it and that, once it’s completed, you have plenty of room on each side to walk around freely. Adding a kitchen island to a small space can make it feel cramped and awkward to move around. 

And they don’t come cheap. Installing such a feature can cost up to £20,000 for bespoke designs, particularly if you add appliances to it, like an oven. If a potential buyer doesn’t like the island, it is very expensive to remove it as they’ll have to relocate gas lines. It may be smarter to put your money elsewhere, unless your kitchen is desperate for a remodelling.

Every penny you save is money that could be going toward your next home."

4. Installing lavish garden features

Garden features, like hot tubs, water fountains or ornaments, can add a burst of personality to your outside space — but be careful, as they are often very expensive to install and can put off buyers.

The initial outgoing can be hefty, but they are also costly to maintain, which can be unattractive for people viewing your property.

5. Converting a garage

While garages are rarely used for a parking space anymore, they are incredibly useful and sought-after for storage purposes. 

So, converting one into something else, perhaps another office or gym, can put buyers off — as you’re reducing that storage space and removing the sense of potential. Instead, you may want to list all of the things it could be in the description, to catch buyers looking for specific features.

It’s also a pretty expensive job (up to £7,500) and any increase in house value will be minimal, so it’s probably worth investing elsewhere if you’re looking to sell.

We always want you to get the most for your home — and that includes selling your home for free. Every penny you save is money that could be going toward your next home. Book your free, no-pressure valuation today to learn what Strike is all about.