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5 things you can do to increase the value of your home

Most people only think of increasing the value of their homes when they intend to sell it. It’s a logical deduction. But if they spared the effort and expense to add value while still living there, they’d also benefit from the improved surroundings. So whether you decide to embark on a home improvement project now or later, let this be your guide to having a value-added property.

1. Clean up your act

In buyers’ minds, a clean house rates more highly than one that’s dingy. Put yourself in their shoes. Would you rather step into a clean and welcoming flat, or one that’s grimy and uninviting? Threadbare carpets, stained sofa cushions, rusted appliances, dirty grout and general clutter all make your property seem ill-maintained. Potential buyers will find it difficult, or perhaps even impossible, to imagine themselves living there. First impressions count, so don’t lose the opportunity to show off your property in its best light. Before putting it on the market, engage a professional cleaning agency to do a thorough cleanup. Even if you clean your home on a regular basis, there are areas you might overlook.

2. Green your home

It’s human nature to be drawn to gardens and greenery. Apartment dwellers who don’t have the luxury of outdoor spaces can still green their properties to boost the appeal. Think about greening your front door, common area, or windows. If you have ample space in the common area outside your apartment, and the area receives enough light, you can introduce shelves of plants. If there are space constraints, simply display a small grouping of plants. If you have windows that overlook the common area, consider installing a windowsill box. But what if you don’t have green fingers? Well, low maintenance plants like succulents do the trick nicely. They require minimal care (two to four hours of sunlight daily and watering every 10 days or so) and are visually attractive.

3. Trick the eye

In most cases, the bigger the space, the higher the value. If you live in a small apartment, there are ways of making your home seem larger. It all has to do with visual trickery. For instance, a bright and airy room appears more spacious than one that’s dark and stuffy. If you use curtains, consider installing a set of day and night curtains, like those in hotel rooms. Day curtains, which are composed of sheer fabric, let light in while also creating an ethereal, inviting atmosphere. Mirrors and reflective surfaces help to bounce light around the room. A large mirror, mirrored cabinet or wall will visually double the space. And last but not least, get rid of – or at least, reduce the amount of – clutter. Freeing up shelf space and surfaces from stacks of old magazines, photo frames and holiday kitsch really helps.

4. Update your bathroom

If you have a small budget set aside, consider renovating your bathroom(s). Even if you can’t (or don’t) want to splurge on a full renovation, small improvements will go a long way. Give it a new coat of paint, replace rusty/old pipes, and update the lighting. If you have the means, retile the floor and/or walls, install a new vanity, shower stall/shower system and replace old cabinets. If you have deeper pockets and ample floor space, you could even fit in a bathtub. This gives a luxurious touch, the same way an upscale hotel bathroom does.

5. Update your kitchen

Aside from your bathroom, also consider upgrading your kitchen. Bathrooms and kitchens are the two spaces that can increase your home’s value. Again, you don’t have to fork out an arm and a leg. A simple paint job works wonders, as does changing the backsplash. Replace old sinks, hobs and hoods, as well as outdated cooking appliances. However, don’t rush out to buy the latest top-of-the-line ovens and microwaves just yet. While these may appeal to a select group of buyers, having lower-priced (but well-maintained) appliances is rarely a deal-breaker. 

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