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Since Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a stamp duty holiday to stimulate the housing market, there has been no sign of the crash once predicted – instead there has been what experts are calling a “mini-boom”.
Stamp duty tax will be suspended until 2021 on all properties up to £500,000, and this has prompted a flurry of activity on the housing front. According to the Treasury, nine in 10 homebuyers will dodge stamp duty over the next year, saving on average £4,500.
So how busy has this made the housing market? Between July and August alone, sales in many areas have surged, with Rightmove reporting the highest number of sales agreed in a month since it started tracking this data more than a decade ago.
Every homeowner wants to get the best possible return on the sale of their home, and UK homeowners are known to spend an average of £20,000 on maintenance and renovations with the potential to boost the value of their home before putting out the ‘For Sale’ sign.
Getting your home ready
But getting potential buyers to view your home in the best possible light isn’t always easy. The most common advice you’ll hear is to clean up, fix broken items and declutter/depersonalise. The psychology behind it is to make the rooms feel open and airy, while encouraging to the potential buyer to see themselves living in the property.
"Buyers respond best to space and light, so letting the building show itself and not overcrowding a space is most important," the Modern House’s James Klonaris tells House & Garden.
We couldn’t agree more. Here are a few more top tips to help you create an irresistible home…
Address its kerb appeal
First impressions are important. Begin with a well-manicured lawn, have tidy flowerbeds and demoulded sidewalks and driveway. In spring and summer, add thriving plants and flowers. If you’re anticipating evening viewings, ensure your driveway, pathway and entranceway are well-illuminated, for safety and to give your potential buyer a fitting welcome.
(In need of inspiration? Browse our Outdoor Lighting Collection,here)
Go for eco-friendly upgrades
With more eco-conscious home buyers than ever, upgrades made with the environment in mind carry a big potential ROI. You may not be ready to transform your home into a Passivhaus, but you can still make simple changes such as installing water-saving plumbing fixtures and tankless hot water heater. Using sustainable materials like bamboo can also give a great boost to your eco-credentials.
According to a survey from Rated People of over 1,000 UK homeowners, the number one eco improvement homeowners are focussed on is installing LED bulbs and smart lighting, setting up an automated system that can be controlled by an app.
(LED lights are now available in more styles and colour variations than ever before; to find out how energy-efficient they really are, see our blog post on LED bulbs,here)
Give the master suite a retreat feel
As we increase the amount of time we spend in our own homes and gardens, the master bedroom takes on an important role as a special place to retreat and relax at the end of the day.
Spring for a Juliet balcony, a sun tunnel or Velux window to let in plenty of natural light. Ideally all artificial lighting should be equipped with dimmers, so that whether the occupier is getting ready in the morning, or unwinding after dark, the lighting will tick the right functional and atmospheric boxes. And don’t forget to light the vanity area adequately, with side to side lighting, rather than a single overhead source.
Just like bedrooms, bathrooms can be given a retreat-like feel – in this case, a spa retreat.
Bespoke tiling and separate shower cubicle can add a feeling of luxury, while overhead “rain” shower heads can be found in the eco-friendly varieties. High quality pendant lighting can also be added to create a spa-like, restorative environment.
With these upgrades, homeowners stand to increase the value of their homes – and between now and next March, make the most of the stamp duty holiday.
For more lighting design tips and advice, follow Gwyn Carless at the Light Yard via our social channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Header image courtesy of Alexa Fotos