Improve, don’t move, this summer: 3 ways to update your home AND save money!

Moving house can cost thousands of pounds so, in the spirit of thriftiness, why not stay where you are and put that money to better use? Here are some fab home improvements that’ll increase your home's value & help to you enjoy living there too...

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The costs of moving house are massive. You’ve got stamp duty, estate agent commission and solicitors’ fees to sort out, and that’s before you add on the cost of physically moving your belongings and any decorating that needs to be done at the new home. Basically, you could be thousands of pounds down before you’ve even found a new home to move into. So, in the spirit of thriftiness, why not stay where you are and put that money to better use – and perhaps save some cash in the process? Here are some fab home improvements that’ll make a big difference to your house, both in terms of increasing its value and your enjoyment while living there…

1. MAKE IT BETTER

There will no doubt be niggling reasons why you’re considering moving and, if you’ve decided to improve rather than move, those are the things that you ‘have permission’ to spend money on, guilt-free! So, if you’re saving thousands of pounds on moving expenses but aren’t keen to go through another winter in a draughty home, why not look into getting new windows installed and add some insulation? Upgrading your windows not only help to keep your family cosy, they’ll also be more energy efficient (saving money on your heating bills) and are more secure, so will no doubt add value to your home.

If it’s the fixtures and fittings that are getting you down, now’s the time to look at upgrading them. It can be a simple fix, such as buying a new oven, that’ll make all the difference. Or it could be a whole new kitchen or bathroom revamp that will help you to fall in love with your home again. Again, you can feel reassured that any improvements will boost the value of your home AND you’ll enjoy living in these newly improved spaces in the meantime.

2. MAKE IT BIGGER

Here’s another option that’ll probably make the biggest difference to your life – extending the floorplan of your home. Although this may eat into your savings, you’ll certainly add value to the property and I bet you’ll only spend the same amount as you would if you moved to a new house. This project can be as small or as big as you want it to be, from adding extra sleeping accommodation with a loft bedroom to building an entire annex, and it’s the ideal solution if your family has outgrown the property.

You could convert the basement into a den for your teenagers, add a sunny conservatory or extend the kitchen with lovely sliding patio doors to bring the outside in. Whatever you think would enhance your life the most, start looking at the costs and visit your local showroom so that you can make an informed decision about investing in your home. And to be sure that you don’t plough too much money into a big project, you should first check if there’s a ceiling price for properties in your area. No matter where you live in the South East, there’s sure to be an upper limit on the selling price of houses so do your research with local estate agents or online first.

3. MAKE IT BRIGHTER

Sometimes, it’s simply the fact that your home has lost it’s sparkle that makes you consider moving house. If that’s the case, there’s a really low-cost fix that you can try before you make any decisions: redecorate. This is a win-win suggestion because all this will cost is a tin of paint, and it’ll either make you happier to stay in your home OR you’ll have a newly decorated home that looks great when you put it on the market.

Opt for bright white (often the cheapest paint colour, too) to see just how spacious your rooms could look, or go for fresh colours that make you feel happy. Take down heavy curtains and swap them for blinds that you can roll all the way up to make the most of your new windows by letting more light into your home. Plus, you can move some of the furniture around and declutter while you’re at it – that way you’ll feel like you’ve thoroughly revamped your home without spending much more than the cost of a tin of paint.

Let me know if you’ve improved your home rather than moved this year – and I’d love to hear your suggestions for refreshing your home for a fraction of the price of moving house so please share them in the comments below.

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Cassie Fairy
Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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