7 Home Improvements That Will Net You the Biggest Profits

Eric Bramlett, property expert and owner of Bramlettresidential reveals the changes that will add the most resale value to your home, and help sell it faster in even the most competitive markets.

Smart home technology increases value by a staggering £40,040

You don’t need to be an expert and spend a fortune on cutting-edge gear; there are ways to automate without blowing your whole budget. A new report by the Department of Energy and Climate Change found that homes featuring smart technology could increase their value by up to 38% in some parts of the country, with a 14% increase on average.

When looking to add budget-friendly smart home features, it’s about laying the foundations for future buyers. Knowing which smart home products operate without the need to connect to a hub is a better option for people with more modest budgets; while hubs offer advantages, they’re not always essential. The most important thing to prioritise is ensuring a good wireless router can reach all corners of your home.

When looking to appeal to tech-savvy buyers, one of the best ways to make a positive first impression is by introducing smart lighting. According to Pinterest, searches for ‘warm apartment aesthetic ‘ are up 10,000% this year, showing that lighting is front of mind, especially as we move into winter. Many smart lighting systems work perfectly well without being linked to a central hub. They can still interact with smart home products like Amazon Echo and Google Nest.

Many buyers are interested in smart thermostats besides lighting to align with cost and energy savings. A Nest Thermostat is a great and affordable option if you have the remaining budget. You can also incorporate home security technology such as Ring or multi-room audio systems.

Creating a home office nook can add £20,020

Buyers’ needs changed drastically during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this trend is something we’ve seen continue into 2023. On average, adding a home office to your house can increase the sale price of your house by 7%. Homeowners short on space for a full home office can instead create a clever nook that will increase the resale value by at least 2%.

With increased remote work, more buyers list having a home office or an area out of the way where they can work in peace as an essential component of their housing search.

Crafting a home office nook on a budget calls for resourcefulness. Start by identifying a compact corner or under-utilised space that can be repurposed. Use existing furniture, such as a sturdy table or large shelf, as a makeshift desk. Opt for affordable organisational tools like wall-mounted shelves, pegboards, or storage bins to keep essentials within reach. You can establish a functional and inspiring home office nook without straining your budget by prioritising functionality, creativity, and repurposing.

Energy efficiency updates to increase value by £16,626

With utility bills at an all-time high, more buyers are increasingly prioritising energy efficiency in their home search, and these updates can add around 5% to a home’s value. The best and most cost-effective way to attract eco-friendly consumers is to look where you can seal drafts. Use weather stripping, caulk, and foam sealants to seal gaps around windows, doors, and other openings to prevent drafts and heat loss.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) use around 70-80% less electricity than the equivalent traditional bulbs and last almost ten times longer. Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED lights that consume less energy and last longer, or consider switching to a smart lighting system.

Focus on high-return rooms to increase value by £16,626

If your budget is limited, you should focus on sprucing up communal areas that offer the most return on investment. Typically, an updated bathroom can add up to 4-5% to the value of your home, and there are easy and cheap ways to make it look more presentable to buyers.

Modern bathrooms can instantly make your home more attractive, but not every seller has the cash to splurge on a full renovation. Making small tweaks could improve the resale value of your property and help it sell faster. For example, a lick of blue paint can make it a more calming and inviting space.

Simply re-caulking the tub and sink can give your bathroom a new feel. Upgrade the taps and showerheads to a neutral chrome material. More recently, trends have led homeowners to install black faucets, which are impractical and difficult to keep clean. Freshen the bathroom with new towels and accessories to channel that ‘just moved in’ feel.

Curb appeal is real and increases value by £11,440

As one of the most overused terms in the property industry, and homeowners often prioritise interior areas, it’s little wonder why the term ‘curb appeal’ can turn off sellers. If you’re selling your home, adding curb appeal can increase your home value by 4%, according to Consumer Reports. First impressions count, and even with the new market of tech-savvy buyers, this traditional methodology will likely never change.

Typically, buyers will drive past the property on an evening and glance at the exterior before viewing it. It’s important to think about how your property looks in the dark and consider ways of highlighting unique features through lighting.

Buyers love quirky front doors and painted windows; you can easily update the colour of windows through a good exterior paint. In average-sized homes, you’re looking at an initial outlay of around £200, and the benefits it can have on helping your home sell faster can be outstanding. If you’re not looking to undertake lots of labour, another way to boost the attractiveness of outdoor spaces is to plant low-maintenance shrubs and flowers. Add potted plants, illuminate pathways with solar lights, and ensure the front yard is well-maintained to create a welcoming exterior.

The small kitchen improvements offer a return of £2,860

Often described as the heart of the home, the kitchen layout and aesthetic can make or break the sale of a property. If you opt for a smaller kitchen upgrade, your estimated ROI is 75% to 80%.

Focus on making updates to create an illusion of space and airiness, especially in homes with smaller kitchens. Begin by updating the kitchen’s colour scheme with light and neutral tones. Next, consider replacing outdated or bulky cabinets with open shelving or sleek, multi-functional storage solutions. Free up valuable counter space by maximising vertical space through pot racks or hanging storage. Install reflective surfaces, such as mirrored backsplashes or glossy countertops, to amplify the perception of greater interior space.

Adding faux architectural details can add £1,430

Enhance the value of your property by adding unique and historical-inspired features. It’s estimated that for every pound you spend adding these interior design features, you’ll see around a 50p return, and not only that, but it’s likely to sell your property faster.

The character adds value, and although it’s difficult to quantify, we see homes sell much faster if they’re sympathetic to the era the property was built in or if historical features and details have been restored. There’s also a subsection of buyers who love the illusion of character, even in modern properties.

Use mouldings, trim, and wainscoting to add architectural interest to walls without the cost of major renovations. Start by selecting the architectural element you want to replicate, such as crown moulding, wainscoting, or decorative ceiling medallions. Lightweight materials like foam or MDF can mimic the texture and appearance of real wood or plaster, making them cost-effective alternatives.

Employ paint techniques like faux woodgraining or marbleising to achieve the illusion of expensive materials. Incorporate peel-and-stick wallpapers that imitate brickwork, stone, or intricate tiles for a fraction of the cost. To achieve the look of built-in shelving, arrange standalone bookshelves and paint them to match the wall colour.