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Property -> Andrew Winter's Top Tips on 'Selling Houses'


Channel 4 presenter Andrew Winter gives his top tips for 'Selling Houses'With the combination of rocketing property prices and expensive moving costs, many UK homeowners are being forced to improve, rather than move home this year. A recent survey from Direct Line Financial Services shows that a massive 9 million of us plan to make improvements to our own homes this Spring. It's becoming increasingly important that we make the right improvement to our homes in order to get the best price if we do eventually come to sell it.

The Direct Line Survey showed that 16% of us are carrying out improvements solely to add value to our home. The survey also showed that we certainly won't be skimping on spending on home improvements in Spring:

- 19% of us will spend up to £2,500
- 11% will spend between £2,500 - £5,000
- 9% will spend between £5,000 - £10,000
- 8% will splash out over £10,000 (3)

To set homeowners on the right track Direct Line, sponsors of Channel 4's Selling Houses asked presenter, Andrew Winter to give his expert advice on how to add the most value to our homes:

- Kitchen and bathrooms. "Putting in a new kitchen or bathroom is always a safe and predictable way to spend money. Not only will you add considerably to the value of your home - you will also get a lot of
pleasure from it!"

- Loft conversions. "These offer fantastic value for money, but don't be tempted to squeeze two rooms into a loft space. Instead convert the loft into a master bedroom with en-suite bathroom, a guest bedroom, a teenage bedroom or a family games room. What's important is that you keep it as a large room, giving your home instant 'wow' factor."

- Exteriors. "Many people spend thousands improving the inside of their property without giving any thought to the exterior - big mistake! Spending money on replacing windows and doors with sash uPVC or timber windows together with fixing any loose guttering, down pipes and garden gates can have a big impact on the value of your home."

- Decorating. "Neutrals always work best - they make your rooms appear bigger and brighter. However, we are in danger of going overboard with the minimalist look. Put neutral colours on walls, floor and fittings, but introduce some colour through paintings, family photographs and soft furnishings to give your home warmth and appeal."

- Gardens. "There is not a lot you can do with the size of your garden. However, if you have an unsightly garden you need to spend money tidying it up. It will increase the value of your property instantly. Make sure you include a deck or patio area in your garden, smarten up the front garden and replace any fallen boundary fencing."

- Study. "Nearly 6 out of 10 households now have a computer. This has created an essential need for a study in many homes. Turning an under- stairs cupboard or a section of a conservatory into a study can be a great asset. But make sure it is away from the main living and sleeping areas."

- Entertainment systems. "Most new homes are now pre-wired for surround sound and broadband points. If you are thinking of having your house re-wired, remember to include this at the same time. It will save you a lot of money in the long term."

- Swimming Pools. "If you have a detached house with a good plot of garden, swimming pools have become in vogue as a major lifestyle enhancement to your home. Heated pools are much cheaper nowadays and you will instantly get your money back on your investment, with profit."

When it comes to paying for the improvements to our homes, cash savings is still the most popular way to pay, however, taking out a personal loan is also a popular option (10%), especially if planning a large improvement.


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