We all know that property is one of the best investments you can make – be it to utilise market growth or to generate income through rent. Here at Howick and Brooker we are regularly asked by homeowners what improvements they can make to their homes (prior to selling) in order to increase the property’s value. The rule of thumb here is to utilise what you already have and remember that additions that are too costly might not bring you much of a return when you sell, so work with what you’ve got and make it more useful for potential buyers - it’s important to think about who the most likely buyers are and to go for improvements that will be most beneficial to them. E.g.: is your home good for commuting? A Young family? First time buyers?

Here are five ideas that can add great value to your property:


Kitchen - It’s extremely fashionable nowadays to have a large, spacious kitchen (ideally with an island unit) that can be used to entertain as well as prepare food. If you only want to improve one room, then definitely concentrate on the kitchen and add a few wow-factor touches to make it stand out. According to various sources a new kitchen could give your property a value boost of up to 8% value.

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Bathrooms and Heating - After the kitchen, your bathroom should be next on the list for an overhaul if it’s looking dated. Choose a crisp white bathroom so it appeals to lots of people and add some ultra-stylish features to add impact. Additionally, buyers prefer at least onebathroom in a property, so if your home only has the one and the possibility exists to add a second, please do. Many Victorian cottages only have a downstairs bathroom – it’s beneficial to move this upstairs if you can. It might seem obvious, but adding central heating to a property that doesn’t already have it will help to increase its value and its appeal. For most people central heating is essential and buyers will try to offer less money if they need to have it installed.

Garden - Large gardens and particularly front gardens have become less attractive but we all love an outdoor space! What we do with it however can be important to the value of your home. Creating an ‘outdoor room’ or can add heaps of value to your property, especially if it is currently run down. Adding a deck, patio or seating area can make a lovely space for entertaining or for the family to enjoy in the spring and summer. Summer houses are welcome additions, and are often considered veryattractive when they can be utilised as a playroom or office. They effectively add an additional room to your property

Conservatories are another great way to add square footage to your property and they’re excellent if added next to your dining area or kitchen to increase the size of that shared, family space. A good quality conservatory is imperative – ideally with proper insulation – if the room is either too hot or too cold it willput potential buyers off. A  conservatory could put up to 15% onto the value of your home.

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Conversions - Speaking of extensions and additions do you really need that garage? Most people would much prefer an extra reception room, so if you can get permission it’s well worth converting the garage to add square footage to your home. Depending on where it’s located it can also make a fantastic playroom or home office.The loft is another often unused space and can make a stunning extra bedroom – please make sure you have permission to convert! A converted loft can add up to 20% onto a property’s value. Even boarding out a loft space is beneficial.

Add parking space - Having somewhere to park the car is a big plus for most buyers. Parking spots are becoming even scarcer, making them especially valuable. Even if your buyers don’t drive, they will value the space for when family and friends come to visit. If you don’t already have parking, but do have a front garden, consider paving part of it to create off-road parking.  You might have to apply to have the kerb dropped, but it is worth investigating.

Before undertaking any major work such as an extension, you can consult your local Guild Member to ask for their advice on property values. And please undertake careful research re costs before undertaking any substantial alterations. Good luck!


The Howick & Brooker Partnership - is the leading and longest-established estate agency in Harlow. Howick and Brooker are members of the Guild of Professional Estate Agents.


If you are interested in moving into the Harlow area please get in touch.

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