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Opinion is divided over which improvements are best.

Choice will usually depend on cost and design as well as the  value of your existing property and how long you expect to stay there.
For instance:-

1.    Converting the garage - sacrificing a garage for extra living space, granny annexe, or office could be the best way of not only adding value but making more efficient  use of your property;

2.    Loft conversion – increasingly popular as the difference in price between 3 and 4 bedroom houses grows but  good design, construction, and consideration of the impact on value are vital.  It’s worth considering the addition of a  reception or conservatory on the ground floor at the same time otherwise properties can become ‘top heavy’;

3.    Kitchens – often the most popular improvement. But you should be careful not to over spend and ensure refurbishment is appropriately designed to include an eating area if possible;

4.    Open plan kitchen/living/dining – easier with non-load bearing walls. But significant extra value, natural light and useable space may result - especially if well planned and  complementing adjoining areas;

5.    Adding a bathroom – ensuite or extra bathrooms can make a significant difference to value and saleability particularly in larger properties provided bedrooms don’t become cramped;

6.    Updating central heating – a modern system is a must for most homeowners but budget for changing the  boiler and other parts of the system  if over  15 years old;

7.    Energy saving – usually an easy winner for older homes: and which may be enhanced by government  grants for  double glazing, cavity wall and roof insulation, solar panels, boiler replacement, etc;

8.    Renovating fireplaces – modern, self-lighting wood-burning stoves could make your property more cosy and inviting– especially in winter;

9.    Internal and external  repairs/decorations – a fresh coat of paint  inside and out can be an especially cost-effective way of improving a home’s value – provided  neutral colours are chosen!

10.    Front and rear gardens –may be regarded almost as an extra room in good weather and offer a welcome first impression –all the more so if contemplating a sale in the not-too-distant future.
Wisest action, always, is to request free,  no-obligation advice about what’s best for you  and your home from an RICS and NAEA qualified estate agent like Jeremy Leaf & Co,  who have been selling thousands of homes locally at excellent prices for over 30 years.

Jeremy Leaf, a former RICS Residential Chairman, is now at your PERSONAL service as an  independent North London Estate Agency Owner.
Autumn 2018