Selling Up? Add Value To You Home First

In the first few years of owning your home, you might want to make a few (or many) changes. Ins 2018, a survey by Chubb asked 1200 homeowners in the USA how they felt about their property.  58% said they would most likely be renovating and improving the property. Of those that responded that they would probably make changes, 65% planned to spend at least $10,000, and a further 20% planned for $10,000 – $40,000.


But the more significant the spend, the more you will want to make back when you decide to sell the property at a later date. It is a good idea to know the highest value of property in your area, this will give you a good indicator if your project is ‘worth it’ or a little excessive. If the homes are being sold at around 550,000 and you purchased for 535,000, your max value additions and renovations should be somewhere in the region of 15k.


“Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful.” – Hazrat Inayat Khan, spiritualist

Photo by Rustic Vegan on Unsplash


Kitchen & Bathroom

A good thing to note is the most ‘worked on’ places are the kitchen and the bathroom. They can raise and lower the asking price with ease. Bathroom and kitchen remodeling is now easier than ever with companies like IKEA stepping up to the plate with complete kitchens for a few thousand pounds.


In general, the kitchen will give you the most significant return on your investment as most house viewings will center around the kitchen. People like to open and close cupboards and check the size, space, and weight. But if you can’t add a whole new kitchen, then what? Well, swapping out countertops for dense wood or marble is like an instant facelift. Small details like the backsplash panels and tiling matter too – get something cohesive that works with the rest of the house also. A little personality is cool, too much is too much!


For the bathroom, it being clean is critical. The cleaner it looks in those realtor photos the more likely you’ll get people arriving for viewings. A bathtub is an excellent addition if you have a room.


Depending on the type of property you have, this will make a difference here. Some properties can get away with having a very simple paved outdoor area, while others typically you’d want to see a big lush lawn… kind of like the ideal family garden. If you know roughly what you want, then you should check out landscaping. It will boost the value pretty quickly. Big trees, flowers blooming and growing, and row upon row of multicolored plants look stunning in the sunlight. Why does this work? Well, it is frankly just prettier to look at, and people want beauty.


Think smart here, plant native plants, so they have the most opportunity to flourish well and be easy to maintain. If you are planning to sell, remember to plant early in the process, so that when it comes to viewings and the brochures, everything is in bloom.


A space to eat outside that is either paved or has some lovely decking is something worth the time and energy too.



Carpet or not, veneer vs. laminate, underfloor heating, dark wood, grey-toned… natural stone. There are so many options. But when it comes to flooring the best option is something that is going to last many years. No one wants to view a house that will need to have all of the floors redone in the next year of their living there.


For higher traffic areas, you might want to think about putting some rugs down so that they protect the floor in the longer term.

Kerb Appeal

The walk from the pavement or sidewalk to your front door needs to be inviting. Clean, well-kept path, trimmed, and neat lawn. You might think about adding something like fairy lights or solar-powered lamps along the path. Large terracotta pots filled with fragrant herbs around your front door will smell very inviting on a warm day and looks very pretty too.


“Now, one thing I tell everyone is to learn about real estate. Repeat after me: real estate provides the highest returns, the greatest values, and the least risk.” – Armstrong Williams, entrepreneur

Build Up

If you have the available space, you might like to consider building upwards. Adding skylights, windows, and even extra bedrooms in the form of loft conversion is all smart. It adds quick value and doesn’t cost a lot to do. A loft conversion can add somewhere in the region of 15% to your house value, which is pretty substantial. This one will probably need a few weeks’ worth of work but will be worth it.


Build Out

Conservatories can add up to 10% and more if they are expertly finished. A fully glazed conservatory will combine your indoors and outdoors. It can be ultra modern with sleek lines and minimal facia, or grand and traditional. There is a range of glass options – double, self-cleaning, tinted, solar control, and so much more. Look at your budget before committing to a type of glass. It is worth remembering that while conservatories are usually considered to be permitted developments, you will still need to meet specific building regulations.


Build Under

If you are the lucky owner of a cellar, then you can make a very smart move here. A cellar conversion can add a massive 30% value added to your home. It isn’t as complicated as some other projects, but will of course still take some time. The cellar will need a unique set of skills to complete due to the nature of the materials. This is a brilliant way to add usable square footage.



If you have space around the house, then you should apply for planning permissions. Planning permission is super handy. This simple few pieces of paper (albeit official documents) can add up to 10% value.


If you are intending to buy a property, many investors (rather than homeowners) will want to know that they can make some improvements if the planning permission is available already, it makes it a much tastier proposition.

Break Walls

Instead of adding extras to the space, take things away. Making your downstairs open plan instantly gives more space and light. Most people remove the wall between the kitchen and the living room or dining area. You’ll need to call in the professionals to check if the wall is a load-bearing wall though.


“In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.” -Seth Godin



When it comes to looking for a new home, eventually everything begins to look the same, the white walls, white kitchens, gleaming bathroom, and perfectly manicured lawns. Perennials that are in full blooms, hedges that give you just enough privacy, but not too much.


What makes your home stand out?


Buyers decide in the first 8 seconds if they are going to buy a house, so put yourself in the shoes of your prospective buyers. What do you see? What could be better? Are you highlighting that fantastic space under the stairs?


Small ponds and water features in the garden sound incredible and look great. They add a fixed point of interest and a layer to the garden. Equally small outhouse buildings and sheds are great too. Unique things like maximizing the kitchen space by adding slim, one-press roll-out spice racks, or if it’s a compact house then a mini fridge is clever too. Not having a front garden doesn’t stop you from adding window boxes and a beautiful knocker.


Make the best use of nooks and crannies by adding shelves and increasing the storage size.



When it comes to your open house day, make sure that you are either baking fresh bread with lavender and lemons, or arranging a candle or room scent plug-in to fragrance the house. Both of those scents are very welcoming.


People like to imagine themselves using space. So make sure it is very clean, has no clutter anywhere, and looks ‘homely’. If you have pets, make sure that you have your furry friend stay with someone else for a day or two so that the house doesn’t have that doggy smell lingering.


Have photos of you enjoying yourself in the house. Building memories is something we all enjoy when we do it within our own four walls. So have a selection of ‘this could be your photos.

Photo by Aaron Huber on Unsplash


“A man builds a fine house, and now he has a master and a task for life; he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days.” Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882).

Things To Know Before Selling To A Real Estate Investor

Photo by Bobby Allen on Unsplash


If you’re thinking of selling your property to a real estate investor, you need to make sure you’ve done as much research as you can beforehand. Whilst it can be incredibly beneficial the process can be long and complicated, meaning preparation is key.


With that in mind, here are things you need to know before selling your home to a real estate investor:


– Is Your Property Going To Be Hard To Sell?


One of the first things you need to think about is whether or not your property is going to be hard to sell. Whilst you may be finding it hard to sell your property, there are people out that that can help you get the job done.


The best approach to take towards selling to an investor is recognizing that there WILL be an investor out there that is willing to take the property off your hands, helping you sell it much quicker than you would have if you were to go it alone. Real estate investors often pride themselves on being able to sell hard to sell properties, so never underestimate what they can do for your old home.


– Find Out How To Locate The Perfect Real Estate Investor For You


If you have decided you want to use a real estate investor to sell your home, you need to be sure you’re going to be working with the best possible person for you. There are lots of different places to find your perfect real estate investor, including the internet, by direct mail, through listings, and through online estate agents. Whilst it may take some time to find the right fit, it will be worth it when you know you’re in capable hands. For more tips and tricks on finding the perfect real estate investor for you, you can visit this handy guide here.


– Vet Your Real Estate Investor


To make sure you are 100% certain you have the best possible real estate investor, you will need to vet them before you get started. Whilst this may sound like a difficult task to do, it’s vital if you want to have the best possible experience. There are lots of different things you can do to vet your real estate investor including meeting them in person, using respected directories, searching for video testimonials, asking for proof of funds and checking their social media presence and website. For tips on how to test for legitimacy using social media, you can visit this guide here.


– How Can They Help You?


Finally, you need to think about how they can help you. Prepare a list of the things you’re worried about before you meet, making sure you ask as many questions as you possibly can. If you’re unsure on the process and need more information, try speaking to people that have been through it before, they may be able to help!


Are you looking to sell your property to a Real Estate Investor? What do you need to consider beforehand? Let us know in the comments section below.

6 Reasons Nobody Is Interested In Your House

Selling your house is a long process and you need to be prepared to wait a while before you find a buyer who’s willing to give you a good offer. But if you’ve been at it for months and months and you still haven’t had any interest at all, there might be some underlying issues with the house. There are certain things that will always put a buyer off and if you don’t sort these problems out, you’re never going to sell the place. Before you start looking at the house, you should speak with your real estate agent and ask whether there is anything else they could be doing. In some cases, they might be prioritizing other properties and not working that hard to promote your place. You might find that changing real estate agent will solve the problem. But if that still doesn’t work, you need to look out for these common reasons why your house isn’t selling.

Marketplace Aboard Sign Property Open House House



The Price Is Too High


This is the most obvious reason that people won’t make an offer. You’ll have a figure in mind, of course, but you need to check whether that’s actually realistic. Have a look at other similar properties that are for sale in your area. If you’re asking for way more than they are, why would a buyer go for your house and not one of the others? The simple answer is, they wouldn’t. It might be disappointing to sell the house for less than you thought you’d get, but if the price isn’t competitive, you’ll never find a buyer.


Bad Photos


Before people even get to the house, they’ll look through photos of properties online to find one that they like the look of. If nobody is calling up for a viewing, it might be because the photos on the listing really aren’t selling the house. If they aren’t taken properly, they can make the house look dark and dingy or smaller than it really is. The best thing to do is get some friends or family to look at the listing and tell you whether it’s an accurate representation of your house. If it isn’t, you need to speak to your real estate agent and get them to take some more. When you’re getting photos of the house, you need to think about what the major selling points are and highlight those in the pictures.


Now that you’ve got the pictures sorted, you might start to get more viewings. But what if people are coming to see the house but none of them are making offers?


A Cold House

Snow Cold Weather Fur Jacket Woman People



Nobody wants to live in a house that’s going to be freezing cold all the time and potential buyers will take notice of the temperature when they’re looking around the place. If you’ve noticed that your house is cold, you need to do something about it before you start showing people around. There are plenty of cheap fixes to a cold house that will make it far easier to sell the place. Putting up thick curtains, moving furniture that is blocking radiators and maybe putting some extra insulation in the walls will all make the home feel nice and warm.


High Utility Bills


Utility bills are on the rise so buyers will often ask about how much it costs to run the house every month. If your utility bills are especially high, that’s really going to put people off. This is often linked to having a cold house because you’re going to be paying a lot of money to heat the place. If you’ve made those small changes, that should help out, but you might need to do more. Old windows and doors are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to high energy bills so consider replacing them with some good quality energy efficient ones like Renewal by Andersen windows. You’d be surprised just how much money you’ll save on your energy bills while you’re still living there and it’ll make it so much easier for you to sell the house. You should also look at any appliances that you’ve got in the house because they can cost a lot to run as well. Older appliances are incredibly inefficient and they’ll use a lot of electricity. But if you swap them out with some new ones, they won’t cost anywhere near as much to run every month. It’s a bit of an investment but it’ll be worth it if it helps you to sell your house.


It’s Too Personal


Putting your own stamp on a house is important if you want it to feel like a home, but it can hurt your chances when you’re trying to sell the place. Not everybody has the same tastes as you and if the house is decorated in a way that they just don’t like, they won’t be able to imagine themselves living there. It’s not always a huge problem because people are going to decorate after they move in any way, but it can impact their decision. When you’re showing people around, you need to help them imagine themselves living there, that’s why the house should be a blank canvas. Repaint the walls so they’re a fairly neutral color and try to get rid of some of the junk in the house. If it’s filled with all of your stuff, that’ll make it look smaller as well.


It Isn’t The Right Time To Sell



Sometimes, it’s not a problem with the house, it’s just that the market is slow right now. When the market picks up, people are going to be put off by a house that’s been on the market for months. The first thing they’ll wonder is, what’s wrong with it? If the market is particularly slow right now, it’s worth taking it off the market for a while. When things pick up again, you can put it back on the market and you’ll have more success.


Selling your house is never going to be easy so don’t worry if it’s been a few months. But if you just aren’t getting any interest at all, you should make some of these changes.


Don’t Let These Cracks Crumble Your House Sale

When it comes to selling your house, you should do everything you can to impress potential buyers. After all, they stand to spend a fortune. They need to be sure this house is an investment rather than a money trap. Hence why most homeowners take care of maintenance work and set the home selling stage as much as they can. All the better for reaching a fast and cost-effective deal.

But, during your efforts to make your house photo-ready and fit for purpose, you may have neglected some small cracks in your interiors. In fact, there’s every chance you don’t even see them anymore. Cracks in the home, in all their different guises, are one of those things we zone out after a while. But, when potential buyers view your property with fresh eyes, an inopportune crack could cost you. Even if the person still puts an offer in, there’s every chance they’ll use those cracks as leeway for a lower price. And, just like that, your plan to sell could crumble.

To make sure it doesn’t happen, consider the three worse crack culprits, and what you can do to cover the damage.


Picture Credit


Cracks in our walls are, by far, the most worrying of all. Yet, every house has at least one here or there. That’s the way it goes. But, if your buyer spots a nasty looking one of these, they may pull out of the sale altogether. After all, severe cracks in the home could suggest structural issues. So, walk around your house and take note of cracks you spot. Then, set about filling these or covering them with reinforcement mesh. Make sure, too, to determine why these cracks occurred. It may be that a simple floor reinforcement above, or a rearrangement of furniture, could be enough to keep you in the clear.


Picture Credit


Cracked windows may be less frequent, but they can prove just as much an issue when buyers come around. After all, a crack in a window can cause problems such as droughts and damp. And, that’s not what any new buyer wants. So, take time to study your window panes. If you spot a bad crack, your cheapest option might be to look into replacement windows rather than taking a hit on your asking price. Even if you don’t think this applies to you, do a walk around to be sure. Even something like a cold day when you have the heating on could lead to stress cracks which grow over time. Even if these cracks are small, you’ll want to address them to ensure you don’t get any unpleasant surprises.


Dry Cracked Cracks Peeling Paint Wall Color

Picture Credit

A crack in your paintwork is about the best option of these three. But, it could still cost you a lot. Of course, one crack along your skirting board won’t prove a problem. But, paint which is cracked and peeling in various places will need attention beforehand. Lucky for you, taking care of this is as simple as a little redecoration.

10 Steps to go from a Renter to a Buyer

Home buying can be scary! Especially if you are living paycheck to paycheck and see no way out of it. I want to share some quick tips on how to go from paying way too much on rent to actually owning your own home.

  1. Apply at a mortgage company, this will tell you what you can afford and how much your payments will be. I love using local agents and highly recommend Guild Mortgage. Not only can they help you understand the process but they will give you suggestions on how to bring your score up and what the benefits are.
  2. Find an amazing agent. This is the important part. Your agent needs to understand and know the market, represent the buyer and make sure the worth of the home is in line with the asking price. Your agent will negotiate a better deal for you and hopefully help you with paying little to no closing cost! This is my specialty!
  3. Decide what criteria is most important, unless you are going to build a home, none will have everything you will want so you make a list of the must-haves and go from there.
  4. Start the search, your agent will want to set up several homes for you to view, sometimes it only takes one home but most of the time it takes more. Do not feel bad if you don’t find one you like the first time around. Usually, you are excited and nervous and need to see several before making such a big decision.
  5. Pick your home. After finding your perfect home, the negotiating begins! This is where it is extremely important to have a good agent! They will handle all of the legal requirements and paperwork and make sure you are being represented for the best deal possible.
  6. Once an offer is accepted and under contract you will give an escrow check. Usually, it is 1% of the sales price so on a $100,000.00 home you are looking at a $1000.00 check.  This will get deposited by the title company and kept until closing at which time it will be deducted from your amount owed. It is like an insurance payment.
  7. Then you will have the option to have an inspection and termite inspection done. This will be paid up front by you the buyer. Depending on the market the average is around $350.00 for inspection and $100.00 for termite inspection.
  8. The survey and other fees can and should be negotiated by your agent. I usually ask the seller to cover these. To lessen the amount of cash my buyer needs to have on hand.
  9. Closing, at this point you are out $1000.00 plus or minus for escrow, inspections $500.00 plus or minus and now the closing which is usually 30 days after you have signed the contract. Here you are required to pay whatever percentage the mortgage company decides. Some can pay as little as 1%, all the way up to 20%. You can ask for the best deals but by knowing this ahead of time you can start saving!! If it is only 1% you can purchase a $100,000.00 home for $1,000.00 down. Total cost would be around $2500.00.
  10. Welcome home, a lot of times people don’t realize their house payment is less than what they rented for!

Owning a home is the American dream. I would love to hear if you are a homeowner and how you saved money in the process!