Unconventional ways to increase house prices
In the competitive world of buying and selling property, every percentage point that the house price moves up or down matters. After all, a house is likely the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, and any additional fraction of a six-figure number is going to mean a lot more money in your pocket!
With that in mind, here are our top five tips to increase your home’s perceived value.
Add a dash of colour
Drive through Bristol or the south of Ireland and you often see rows of houses with each house painted a different colour. There is no question that these houses are eye-catching and have a touch of individuality.
However, there is a fine line between upsetting your neighbours by painting your house a lurid colour and at the same time decreasing the value of your property (and possibly theirs) versus finding a subtle pastel shade that will give your property the edge you are trying to create for it.
Change its name!
Oak Tree Lodge, Moor View, Heath House are all names that conjure up images of a rural idyll. Giving your house a name so it isn’t simply a number on a road, street, or avenue can make it more appealing and, ultimately, help you get a higher price.
Try to choose a name that isn’t too personal and is likely to appeal to buyers. Avoid hackneyed names such as Dunroamin or messy amalgamations of you and your partner’s names; Chez Sueallan or Villa Madgedom, for example. If your house already has such a name, our advice is to change it.
If you do decide to change the name of your property, here are the steps you’ll need to go through:
- Contact your local council to make sure you understand what to you need to do to get the name registered;
- Contact Royal Mail at email@example.com;
- Register the name with the Land Registry;
- Get the name added to the Electoral Register; and
- Tell other organisations, such as your bank, electric and gas providers.
Increase the glass ceiling of house prices on your street
No matter what size extension you add to a house, there will be a maximum value that it won’t exceed, related to the area and to other houses in the vicinity. However, you may, over time, be able to increase this slightly through schemes run by the residents themselves aimed at getting everyone to keep their house and gardens in good condition. Some might not be able to do this because of age or disability, but your community could find a way to help these.
Have a word with the council about enforcement of byelaws in your area. Foster a good relationship with the local community police officer, set up a neighbourhood watch scheme; these are all things that will help improve your locality and make it safer and a more pleasant place for people to live.
Everybody needs good neighbours
Perhaps your house isn’t reaching its maximum selling potential because of the state of the houses on either side of you. Maybe they need some exterior renovation, or perhaps rubbish needs removing from the garden and hedges and trees need a prune. If you neighbours are simply not into maintaining their home, or are unable to, perhaps you could offer help?
Take things to the tip for them or get busy with your hedge trimmer. You may ask, why should I have to do this? Well you don’t. But if your objective is to sell your house, you need to do what you can to make that happen.
If you have a verge outside your gate, don’t churn it up with the wheels of your car; instead ask the council if you can help maintain it, keep the grass short, add some white painted stones to discourage others from parking on it and perhaps install a few bedding plants.
National influences on house prices
The Office of Budget Responsibility estimated that recent budget measures announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer increased the cost of houses by 3%. As home owners, we all want more initiatives at national and local level that will ultimately stimulate the house market.
New infrastructure projects can also increase house prices; perhaps the building of a new school, bypass or link road. When putting your house up for sale consider what is going on locally that might affect the price, make yourself known to your local MP, and do what you can to gain their support for improvements that have a positive effect on the property market.
Bonus tip: do your research
By using tools such as Property Price Advice’s online valuation calculator, you can investigate how improvements in your home might affect your potential sale price.
Our advice is to play around and – hopefully – get some inspiration on what quick and low cost improvements you can make before putting your house on the market.