Over the past few months, COVID-19 has affected almost every aspect of the world we live in, from the way we go about our lives on a day-to-day basis to how we’re planning for the future. And, when it comes to the outlook for the housing market, its influence is also being felt in a major way.
The latest house price figures from Nationwide revealed a healthy 1.7% bounceback that coincided with the easing of lockdown in the UK, but the recovery also came with a stern warning that this was likely a “false dawn” and that prices are set to tumble as the effects of a new recession take hold. In fact, the Office of Budget responsibility has forecast a worst-case scenario that sees prices fall by 15% and take over two years to recover.
Should these predictions be correct, it’s likely your home will lose some of its value over the coming months. So, it may be worth looking at ways you can boost your asking price. This way, you will be able to negate or at least soften the impact. To get you started, here are five things you can do now that could help you increase your home’s value.
The UK Government has announced a Green Homes Grant, which will award up to £5,000 in vouchers to put towards efficiency work like loft, wall, and floor insulation. The Grant will be introduced in September 2020, so you’ll be able to severely reduce the costs of upgrading your home should you qualify (eligibility criteria have not yet been announced).
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This is why it may be worth looking to your loft. A conversion is usually cheaper and simpler than an extension, as well as not requiring planning permission, provided you’re not altering the exterior of your roof (but always check with your local planning authority before commencing any major work). Loft conversions also provide great returns when you sell up, delivering a 10% boost to your home’s value (GoCompare). It’s worth mentioning that you’ll need to speak to an expert to make sure your home is suited to this type of work.
And, unless your building really needs it, I’m not talking about a major facelift, either. For instance, if you invest in a shiny new front door or give your old one a lick of paint, it can be enough to impress any potential buyers and generate a positive impression. You could also clear up any weeds and make sure your lawn is freshly mown too, as well as adding a few potted plants to brighten the area.
In your back garden, you may also want to add a few flowers here and there, as well as making sure any grassy areas are tidy. If you have a paved space or extensive decking, it may be worth hiring a pressure washer to get rid of any mossy growth and ingrained dirt. Side areas are easy to overlook but should be given the same attention as your other outdoor areas.
It’s possible to claim Government support for this work through the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, though you need to own an EV to be able to get funding. So, if you’re planning to make the switch to an electric car soon, or if you already have one, it may be worth applying for this grant.
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