Estate agent shares home improvements to avoid – ‘off-putting’

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Knowing which home improvements won’t add value to your property is vital if you are planning to sell up – or considering investing a large sum of money in a home remodelling project. In recent years, you can’t move without being inundated with advice on how to make more money on your property. From big projects to small tweaks, there are plenty of changes you can implement that will guarantee you a better return on your investment when you eventually move on, but there are some that have the opposite effect.

Speaking exclusively with Express.co.uk, Mark Wayne, director of North London estate agent Wayne and Silver, shared there are five home improvements that are really not worth the hassle of committing to.

1. Don’t redecorate using personal vibrant colours

Painting and decorating is typically the most popular change to make when it comes to improving the home to sell or hike up property value.

However, if you’re going for bright colours or a busy wallpaper, it may not be suitable to every buyer’s tastes and should be avoided.

Mark said: “Not everyone has the same taste when it comes to colour. Bold colours can be difficult for any new owner to paint over so stick to a more basic palette of muted tones for more widespread appeal. 

“It also gives your prospective buyer the chance to use their own imagination for the space as opposed to being distracted by colours they may consider garish.”

2. Don’t install overly expensive light fittings

Lighting has the power to set a warm, homely, welcoming environment that bodes well for viewings, but this can be achieved without spending thousands on designer lighting, according to the estate agent.

He said: “While the need to choose the correct lighting is important, expensive lighting won’t make a substantial difference to the overall property value.”

3. Make considered choices when choosing your white goods

If you spend a lot of time in your kitchen and are a keen cook, spending as much as possible on the best appliances may be high on your list of investments. 

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However, if you have plans to move in several years, you may want to hold off on those expensive purchases and go for something a little less high-end.

Whilst some more expensive appliance brands are considered better quality, last longer and have extended warranties, they “may not add value to your property” especially when hidden away in built in units.

The property pro advised: “Some of the more expensive washing machine brands may cost up to £1,500 pounds whilst other, just as reliable brands, could cost you half of that price. 

“Given the rising cost of household bills, if you’re considering renewing your appliances before putting your property on the market, it’s better to make a decision based on the running costs as opposed to the brand name.”

4. Turning an existing bedroom into an office space

Mark warned turning an existing bedroom into an office “won’t add value” even if it is a desirable feature to you.

He explained: “Working from home became the norm for many during the pandemic, but not everyone has a job that requires a home office. 

“Turning your property from a three bedroom to a two bedroom could in some cases stump its valuation. 

“For prospective buyers that don’t need a home office, the cost they have to consider converting it back to a bedroom could end up coming off your asking price.”

5. Avoid fitting astroturf over an existing well-maintained lawn 

While astroturf is convenient for those who have a dog or no green fingers, it will unlikely add value to your home, says Mark.

He explained: “It can again be off putting to those who may be choosing your property because it has a garden and again, the cost for converting it back to grass may be negotiated off your asking price.”

If you’re in your forever home, you’re free to design your garden with whatever lawn ideas you’d like, but if you’re thinking of putting your house on the market, bear in mind that some buyers will see it as a nuisance which they would rather have removed.

Plus artificial lawns will usually last 15 to 20 years when properly installed and maintained, so buyers may view it as just another thing they’ll need to replace further down the line, just like a boiler or roof. 

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