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  • 4 Top Tips To Increase The Value Of Your Home

     

    1. Add Serious Potential Value To Your Home With An Attic Conversion

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    We are aware that this is a daunting and expensive task but hear us out. If done correctly an attic conversion could add up to €50,000 to the value of your home. If done incorrectly, it could cost more than you get in return. 

    Benefits Of An Attic Conversion 

    Saving Time & Money 

    When you are selling your home and you mention to the real estate agent that you have a converted attic, just watch their little face light up. Houses with converted attics generally sell for more and also spend far less time on the market. 

    3 Is Greater Than 2

    If you have the correct specifications and permissions you can add the converted attic as a bedroom on your daft.ie For Sale listing. You don’t need us to tell you that a three bedrooms will sell for more than a two bedroom. Even if you do not have the correct permission, generally homes with a converted attic fetch more on the market than homes without. 

    Potential Pitfalls 

    Size Matters

    Firstly, make sure that your attic is big enough for a conversion. Dublin houses in particular often only have space for storage. A good rule of thumb is that over 60% of your attic should have enough room for a large man to stand comfortably without having risking a head injury. 

    Potential Costs 

    Like everything in life the cost will depend on a huge range of factors. If you are capable of doing it yourself you will save quite a bit of money. If you need to hire professionals, an attic conversion in Ireland can cost anywhere between €5,000 and €15,000 depending mainly on the company you hire and the size of your attic, and the design that you choose. 

    Planning Permission

    An attic conversion in Ireland will not always require planning permission. If you are converting your attic for storage purposes, there is no planning permission needed. Of course, not all attics converted for “storage” are used for that reason, many people will use them as a bedroom. However when selling your house you will not be able to count the converted attic as a bedroom unless it has been officially sanctioned by your local council. If you are changing the structure of your home or adding a Velux window to the front of your home you most certainly will need to apply for planning permission. As most people know, getting planning permission in Ireland can be quite difficult. The whole process can come to €1,500 and you run the risk of losing that investment if the planning permission is refused. 

    Pros Vs Cons 

    An attic conversion generally costs far less than a ground-floor extension and doesn’t eat up your garden space. However we have heard of a few incidents where the returns calculated after sale have been significantly less than the financial outlay for the attic conversion. Sometimes, for example, the stairs coming down from the attic can be a bit of an eye-soar and actually scare buyers off. So although an attic conversion can add significant value to your home, if not done correctly, the exact opposite might be the case! 

    Our Homevalue Tip

    Our Homevalue tip for attic conversions is; make a list of all the pros and all the cons, look at all the costs in full and try to project the potential returns by assessing the price of other houses in your area with a similar attic conversion. Then make your decision. 

     

     

    2. Call A Professional 

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    Free Evaluation

    Professionals who sell homes for a living know instinctively what sells and what sends potential buyers running. Some Irish estate agents offer free evaluations, as long as you make it seem like you want to sell through their agency. The handy thing here is you do not necessarily need to actually sell your home after the evaluation is complete. Anyone who is a fan of the hit TV show Million Dollar Listing will know that a good estate agent will know a few simple tips on how to up the value and attractiveness of a property without a big financial outlay. These will often be a few small suggestions such as what paint will look best where, what cushions look best on what furniture and a few simple suggestions to improve the appearance of your garden. Although these suggestions may not dramatically increase the value of your home, they will increase the interest in your home and demand is a great way to increase price. 

    Do remember that the advice you will receive will not be impartial. A real estate agent will want to sell your home ASAP therefore might not suggest a ground floor extension or an attic conversion because it may take a long time or change your mind about the sale. 

    Paid Advice 

    Another option is to seek some paid impartial advice. This can be done by setting up a paid consultation with an interior designer. A good interior designer will charge anywhere between €200 and €500 for a consultation depending on the level of detail you require. After the consultation you will be given a report outlining the improvements they would advise. These improvements may range from aesthetic improvements to advice on structural change. Our tip here would be to shop around as some interior designers will only advice on aesthetic changes but others will advise on structural changes as well. 

    There are online property valuations and some are even free to use. You can use these to assess the potential value of an attic conversion or a ground floor extension. However, these online resources will not advise on changes that will suit your property. 

    Our Homevalue Tip

    Our Homevalue Tip is to explore all the resources available. Use online reviews, use free online resources, look at local estate agents and what aspects of a home they chose to highlight when selling. If you still require more information at this point, it may be time to fork over the cash and call in a designer. 

     

    3. Ground Floor Extension

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    Expand Your Ground Floor & Expand Your Value 

    We all know that in places like New York, the motto is, if you can’t build out build up. Due to rules in Ireland around planning permission, often times the only option is to build out. That is why ground floor extensions are one of the most popular choices when it comes to adding value to your Irish home.  

    Do I Need Planning Permission For A Ground Floor Extension In Ireland? 

    Like attic conversions, sometimes you need planning permission for a ground floor extension and sometimes you do not. The main concerns here are the size of the proposed extension as well as the location of the proposed extension. Generally speaking, if the extension is to the rear of the property and is less than 40 sq metres you do not need to get planning permission in Ireland. The golden rule when it comes to ground floor extensions is the “Private Open Space” rule. This means that you must leave 25 sq metres open space as a living area or back garden.

    How Much Would A Ground Floor Extension In Ireland Cost & Is It Worth It? 

    This depends largely on the area of Ireland you are living in, the size of the proposed extensions, room type and the number of entrances. Generally you are looking at a financial outlay of between €30,000 and €45,000 for a ready to furnish extension. This is, on average, a significantly greater cost than an attic conversion. Depending on the market and your location this could yield a higher return upon sale of the property than the cost to build the extension. 

    Our Homevalue Tip

    Our Homevalue tip here is to assess the market, assess the potential returns with comparable homes in your area and to shop around for a trusted Tradesman. If you have the DIY acumen to take on the job yourself then you can significantly reduce your costs but this is a huge job incorporating several complicated disciplines. 

     

    4. Improve The Value Of Your Home On A Budget

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    Whether you want to drive traffic to your daft.ie listing or you want to get more money come sale time, there are a few simple things that any good DIY enthusiast can do. If your doors look a little dated in the kitchen, your sitting room could do with a new wooden floor or you could do with a modern Triton shower in the bathroom, these simple changes could really add value to your home without a huge financial outlay. A new Triton T90z shower could cost you as little as €249.95 and completely change the appearance of your bathroom. Canadia Prestige oak flooring can cost just €15.00 per panel, this will give your home a lasting impression and a different perception of value to a potential buyer. 

    Go Green

    Put yourself in the shoes of a buyer. One of the key considerations of today’s buyers is the cost of a house in the future. Although you will not be able to do much about the property tax, you will be able to make significant changes to future power and water costs. 

    Save On Water
    Although you can make your own water-butt, they are actually quite inexpensive to buy. A bee-hive finish 150 litre water butt can cost as little as €60.00. With the regularity of Irish rain it does not take long to fill 150 litres and come summer time you can use the built in tap to fill up your watering can and give your flowers some much needed irrigation. With water charges the way they are this could be a very attractive cost effective addition for any perspective buyer. 

    Save On Electricity 
    Save some money on your electricity bill and do your bit for the planet at the same time. Some people think solar panels make a house look progressive and modern while others think they look like an eyesore so this is really down to personal taste. There are grants available for solar panels which can be as much as €1,200. The average cost of installing solar panels in Ireland is very difficult to estimate as costs can vary greatly. Most installation companies will give a free on-site estimate for installation. 

    Solar panels can reduce heating costs by up to 50%. This will look very attractive to consciences buyers and could increase the value of your home.  

    Our Homevalue Tip

    Analyse homes in your area that have implemented some of these changes and use websites like DAFT.ie to see if changes like these have resulted in increased valuations. Consult your local council or citizeninformation.ie for information on solar panel funding under the Better Energy Homes Scheme.