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When you buy a new house, chances are that it will need a bit of work to get it to the level you would like it.

This is especially true if the home is old and has been lived in previously. It is no secret that properties usually increase in their value and by investing in a home, you could see your initial investment double or even treble in its value.

Although there are some factors that cannot be changed which could keep your property’s worth from increasing, such as the location as well as the economic conditions of that region, there are a couple of things you could do to ensure that it still commands a higher value, such as making improvements and renovations to your home.

If you are also of the opinion that renovations are the best way to go to increase your home’s value but don’t have the funds required to make this happen, then you should consider applying for a personal loan from Auto & General. Though a personal loan may look like a huge and unnecessary expense, it actually is a smart way to ensure that your home’s value increases.

To increase the value of your property, here are some areas you should definitely focus on improving around your home and the areas you probably should not bother with, especially when you cannot afford to spend unnecessarily.

Worth improving

The kitchen

Often described as the heart of the home, the kitchen is the one area that brings everyone together and it’s the one place you cannot afford to scrimp on when it comes to updating the look and feel of your house. By adding new cabinets, countertops and new appliances, you can ensure that your home, no matter how old, can still show off its timelessness in a fairly modern kitchen.

Top tip: By knocking down the interior walls between your kitchen and the living areas, you could make the area feel more spacious and allow more light in.  

The bathroom

While people might love older homes because they have character and charm, that doesn’t mean that they enjoy dated and tired bathrooms. No one likes bathrooms with cracked, leaking taps and outdated tiles in very ‘80s colour schemes of browns, mauves and teals. Remember that investing in a new and updated bathroom can be the secret key to unlocking your home’s true value.  

Top tip: Instead of spending lots of money changing your bathtub, consider reglazing your current one and adding in bright lighting that will give your bathroom a light, airy feel.

The garden

Whether you like it or not, your garden says a lot about your home and since it’s one of the most visible features, it is important to ensure that you keep it neat and in a good condition at all times. A well-kept garden can increase the value of your home as it shows potential buyers that you care about your house. Besides, planting flowers and mowing the lawn doesn’t require a lot of money.

Top tip: Instead of spending lots of money on fancy garden features, invest in a sprinkler system; it will appeal to potential buyers as they don’t ever have to worry too much about maintenance should you decide to sell in future.

Not worth it

Converting a bedroom into something of interest to you

It’s never a good idea to convert a spare bedroom into a specific room of interest – such as a wine cellar, a cold room or a library. Sure, it might cost you lots of money to convert a bedroom into a specialised room with specialised fridges, lighting and/or bookshelves etc., but that could end up devaluing your property. Should you decide to sell, you’ll struggle to find buyers. They may be put off by the room you have converted into something they don’t need and will be more concerned about the expenses of turning it back into a normal bedroom again.

Top tip: If you wish to convert a spare bedroom into a room of interest, don’t do an extensive overhaul. Rather keep the changes minimal so that you can easily change it back to a space that will appeal to buyers.

Adding in a pool

While adding a swimming pool to your property might seem like a pretty good move, it is one that might scare people away because of the costly maintenance it will require. Also, many young parents might be put off by it because of the potential risk it poses for small children.

Converting your garage

If you are looking for extra space and think the solution is in converting your garage into a spare bedroom, you will be disappointed when you sell and no one is interested. A garage adds appeal to a property and it’s something that most home buyers want. Rather look at adding an extension and leave the garage to remain as the garage.

Nothing beats investing in your property as it will result in your house being worth more at the end. If you are not able to afford renovations at the moment, you could look at getting other ways of financing such as by applying for an online personal loan. Auto & General not only offers building and home contents insurance but it also offers personal loans from R2000 up to R150 000.  Call them, or log on to for a no-obligation online personal loans quote.

Auto and General is an authorised financial services provider. Terms and Conditions apply.

Loans administered and managed by Direct Axis, an authorised financial services provider.

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