Home Improvement: Add value to your property

Living in paradise is wonderful. But what’s even more wonderful is being able to increase the value of your Cayman crib. There are ways you can maximise the potential of your home for possible buyers.

Firstly, consider landscaping. Although it can be overlooked in the rush to refurbish, taking care of the outdoors is crucial, according to Kim Lund, owner/broker of Re/Max.

“It has a lot to do with that first impression and the feel and ambience of a property,” he explains. “The more lush and planned the landscaping, the better. It gives the property a very peaceful feel and keeps the temperature down around the house.”

All in the details
There are basic elements that can instantly make a difference to your property, Mr Lund explains.

“Flooring that’s not in good condition, ratty carpets and tired paint jobs are easily solved – inexpensive items that have a big impact on the general impression.

“One of the key areas is the kitchen; it’s an easy place to add value as it tends to be the area where a lot of family time is spent. When we’re selling a house, if a kitchen isn’t in good shape it’s almost a sure loss as a sale.”

Upgrading cupboards, appliances, flooring, light fixtures and surfaces are essential. A kitchen must adhere to certain standards to maximise its value, Mr Lund says.

“The more modern the kitchen is the more value gets attributed to the house. It can be anything from a ceramic tile floor to a stone pile floor as long as it looks crisp, clean and new.

“Similar to the kitchen, bathrooms are key. The more spa-like a master bathroom can be the better. Think about a separate shower and tub, stone countertops. Even large walk-in closets incorporated nearby are increasingly essential.”

Size matters
Having a bathroom per bedroom and creating office space can make a difference, Mr Lund explains, especially now when people are increasingly working from home.

It’s possible to increase square footage by adding a deck or a sunroom to the back of the house. For a relatively affordable investment, the house can feel considerably larger.

Mr Lund says the trend is moving towards a double, or even a triple, garage for multi-car homes or for storing toys, landscaping equipment and tools. A house with a single garage is less desirable.

Good insulation, high-efficiency air conditioning and stone surfaces are other ways to add value to a property.

Back to basics
Forget about digging up the yard for a swimming pool – it might put off potential buyers.

“In some cases it can turn a buyer away if they’ve got small children as they’re concerned about a pool. But homeowners rarely recover the costs of a pool when they sell their home,” Mr Lund says.

Other things to steer clear of are expensive fittings that may look great but are an unnecessary expense.

Above all, consider maximising space: if you have a box room, cover it in mirrors and create a walk-in dressing room, or add window boxes for colour.

Furnishing and finishes are important and a good paint job will make a vast difference. Bringing a house to the stage where it is ready to be moved in to is crucial. Living in paradise is meant to be easy, after all.