Your home is your castle, so they say, and if it’s not as grand as you would like, now is a good time for improvements. Why? Largely because of the state of the economy. On a long term scale, we are at an economic low point. Properties are difficult to sell at other than a bargain price, tradesmen are short of work, and interest rates are low. With the cost of borrowing likely to be low for some time, a good case can be made for renovating your home to make it larger or more comfortable rather than selling to upgrade. Negotiate a good price with tradesmen and suppliers to keep the total costs down and potentially you can add significant value to your house without having to outlay a large amount of money.
Now is also the time to take advantage of the subsidies available for insulating your home. Insulation has the advantages of making your home more comfortable and easier to sell with the added benefit of reducing your power bills. More information on home insulation subsidies is available here.
There are some words of caution, however, if you are thinking of embarking on a renovation project. Strictly speaking, your home is not an investment; it is what financial planners refer to as a ‘lifestyle asset’. If you have spare funds, you can usually get a better return on your money by investing in assets which give you income as well as capital gain. If you need to borrow to do your renovations, don’t borrow so much that you are living from payday to payday to keep up with the mortgage payments. Finally, do your sums and check local property values to see if your resale value will improve by more than the cost of your project.