As a nation, we are obsessed with property. We pore over stories about house prices and love to speculate about how much our neighbours spent on their extension.
So today, Money Mail’s must-read How To Get Rich series – which launched on Saturday – will show you how to use your home to its full potential.
In the last part of the series, successful businessmen and women, including City superstar Helena Morrissey, shared their top tips for boosting wealth.
Money Mail’s must-read How To Get Rich series – which launched on Saturday – will show you how to use your home to its full potential
Money Mail’s Prudent Investor, Tony Hazell, then explained how to get your journey to riches started with a full financial health check. Now, it’s time to get your bricks and mortar in order.
From renting out your parking space to investing in buy-to-let, the next four pages will give you all the inspiration you need to make your property pay.
But first we will look at ways to boost the value of your own home without spending a fortune. And who better to help us get started than TV star and property expert Phil Spencer?
He and his co-star Kirstie Allsopp have been a prime-time fixture on our TV screens for nearly two decades, hosting popular shows such as Location, Location, Location. Here, Phil explains how you could add as much as £40,000 to the value of your home with a modest £4,000 budget – and a good bit of elbow grease…
Phil Spencer says naming your home costs £0 but can add up to £5,000
1. Repaint the front: costs £1,000, adds up to £5,000
Never underestimate the importance of ‘kerb appeal’ — it’s the first impression you get when you approach a property from the street. Freshly painted window frames will show that your home is well-maintained and dispel any buyers’ fears that more serious problems lurk within. If your home has a rendered finish rather than brick, repainting the front will give it an instant facelift. Hopefully your envious neighbours will follow suit.
2. Do up your door: costs £70, adds up to £1,000
Sanding and repainting your front door in a classic colour such as red or navy will give potential buyers a fitting welcome. If you want to attract younger buyers, take inspiration from interiors magazines for on-trend shades. You can buy a new doorknob, numbering and letterbox in brass or stainless steel for less than £70. Brass adds class on an older property.
3. Name your home: costs £0, adds up to £5,000
Phil Spencer is the presenter of Channel 4’s Location, Location, Location
Giving your home a name can be the easiest way to add thousands of pounds to its value, research shows. Regal-sounding names such as ‘Crown Cottage’ or ‘Clarence Estate’ are popular with buyers, while pastoral names such as ‘Harvest Lodge’ or ‘Owl Corner’ evoke a rural setting. You must contact Royal Mail and your council to formalise the change, which is normally free, and ensure it is locally unique. It’s best to keep a number as well.
4. Tidy your garden: costs £200, adds up to £5,000
Start by planting plenty of colourful flowers to welcome visitors in the front garden. In the back, mow the lawn, re-seed bare patches and trim the hedges.
5. Hang mirrors: costs £100, adds up to £1,000
A cramped entrance is instantly offputting, but widening the hallway is expensive. Instead, create the illusion of more space by hanging mirrors. Clear away bikes, coats, prams and shoes.
6. Get planning permission: costs £0, adds up to £5,000
Converting the loft or adding an extension provides the biggest-value boost, but will typically cost between £20,000 and £40,000. Just by applying for planning permission you can sweeten the deal for a potential buyer. It might give a growing family the confidence that they can squeeze in an extra bedroom. A full planning application requires architect’s drawings, but, with a bit of research, you can often secure outline planning permission for free by applying to the local planning authority yourself.
7. Kitchen refresh: costs £200, adds up to £5,000
The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house, but a total refit is likely to cost £6,000 or more. Yet a simple makeover can do wonders at a fraction of the price. Repaint or replace the cupboard doors and buy stylish handles and drawer knobs for a fresh new look. Give taps a thorough clean with limescale remover or buy new ones for around £50.
8. Bathroom makeover: costs £2,000, adds up to £7,000
Take a similar approach to the bathroom and focus on the fittings. It’s likely to cost more than your kitchen, because of the cost of labour for more difficult jobs such as plumbing and regrouting. Hire a professional unless you are particularly good at DIY, as any leaks are damaging and expensive to fix. Buy a new set of taps for around £50, a power shower for £700 and a new glass screen for £100.
9. Carpet deep clean: costs £30, adds up to £5,000
So long as your carpets are not worn through or permanently stained, you can rent a Rug Doctor machine to bring them back to life. It costs less than £30 for 48 hours, which should be enough time to do the whole house.
10. Cash in on your clutter and make a bonus £1,000
Since you’ll be rifling through your home room by room, take the opportunity for a massive declutter — you’ll be amazed by how much bigger your home will seem. You can then sell your unwanted books, kids’ toys, clothes and furniture on eBay for a tidy profit.
Phil Spencer is co-founder of the property advice site