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Chelmsford house prices: How to add value to your home

We established a month ago that Chelmsford buyers put square footage high on their property wish list - or at least a good number of bedrooms.

So, if you're thinking of selling your home, it could pay to take stock on the space you have and consider adding more square footage to boost your property's value before you get the For Sale board up.

The natural assumption when considering how to add value to a property is to bring in the contractors and get a brand, spanking new kitchen diner or master bedroom in place.

But value can be added on a budget, too, and you should always consider how your spend will match up against what you get back in terms of sale price.

How to add value to your home

Space will always help sell a home and it could also set your property apart from the competition as well as adding significant value.

More than three quarters of owner-occupied properties in Chelmsford have three bedrooms or more, showing a clear desire from homeowners when it comes to space.

If your property is lacking a bedroom, or perhaps could be reconfigured to make your existing bedrooms or living space larger, it could be worth considering.

So, what options do you have and where should you start?

How much is my house worth?

Rather than start knocking down walls, the first thing to do is embark on some research.

Have your home valued by one of Martin & Co's local property experts and see how that value compares with other properties on your road that have sold recently.

If your area and property type has a ceiling price and your home is already close to it, undertaking major work could be a mistake and add very little to your property's value.

But if your property is not matching up to others in the street and they are selling for considerably more, there could be scope to add significant value to your home.

Extensions and loft conversions

As with any kind of major work, there are pros and cons to consider.

As we mentioned above, the first thing to do is establish whether an extension or loft conversion would add enough value to your home to make it worthwhile.

Both options can create the additional space Chelmsford buyers demand - with a loft conversion, in particular, potentially adding more bedroom / bathroom space.

If your property has sufficient bedroom space but perhaps its living space is lacking, an extension could be a better option to add a kitchen diner or extended reception room.

Pros and cons of extensions

* More flexibility than a loft conversion

* Better design space

* Less disruption than a loft conversion

* Planning permission may be required

* More costly than loft conversions

Pros and cons of loft conversions

* Often don't require planning permission

* Quicker completion time than extension

* Usually less costly than an extension

* Dependent on existing loft space

* Sloped roof limits use of space

* Harder to achieve natural light requirements

* More disruption than an extension

How much do extensions and loft conversions cost?

The average price of an extension in the UK is £1,500 per square metre, which doubles if you are looking at a two-storey extension.

There could also be added costs for using an architect, while building company quotes will almost certainly vary in price.

Meanwhile, the average cost of a loft conversion to create a double bedroom with en suite is £35,000 in the UK.

With both options, take some time to consider how best to use the additional space the work would create and obtain several quotes from trades to undertake the work.

How much value does an extra bedroom add?

According to Zoopla, an extra double bedroom can add around 11% to a property's value.

But before you start jumping for joy, consider your property's value in its current state and whether the cost of a loft conversion or extension would add enough to cover the cost of the work and leave you with some profit.

For instance, if your home is worth £300,000 and a loft conversion costs £35,000, you may only cover the cost of the work and see none of that extra value when you sell.

Adding value to your home on a budget

It is possible to add value and make your home more appealing to buyers without adding the extra space that Chelmsford property hunters appear to crave.

Making smaller improvements to aid a quick sale can be as appealing as adding significant monetary value to some sellers.

So consider the following tips to give your house an edge over the Chelmsford competition...

Fix major problems

Dealing with a major issue such as a leaky roof or damp might not be as exciting as a new kitchen, but ignoring problems like these will cost you when it comes to selling your home.

Fixing these kind of issues before putting your property on the market is a must - remember, major issues will always show up on a buyer's survey report and that could see them get cold feet, putting you back to square one.

Making your home eco-friendly

Buyers these days are extremely environmentally conscious. So, a big selling point for your property could be its energy efficiency if you're willing to do a little work.

Improvements like new double glazing or cavity wall insulation aren't always as expensive as you might think and cause very little disruption for a substantial gain in terms of your property's appeal.

Make the outdoors great

While many sellers focus on boosting their home's value and appeal through internal work, gardens are always very high on buyer wish lists.

Consider how to make your garden function better. Considering adding a patio or decking area for barbecues or a summer house for those more peaceful moments.

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