By Leonard Gildarie
A reader asked us to explore ‘cheap’ ways to improve or raise the value of homes in Guyana.
This may be a pretty tall order. The internet is literally filled with information, but more appropriate to the US or other developed countries.
While government has figures on the number of mortgages being taken to build homes or conduct extensions, I have yet to see data on how many homes are actually going up and what percentages are being funded from personal monies.
I dare say that a large percentage of the homes going up will be from mortgages.
I would also venture to argue that many of these mortgage takers, like me, could not immediately afford to make improvements within the first few years after moving in, unless you have a kind family from overseas or have won the lottery.
However, there are a few tips that while not cheap can be done in phases and have the potential to adding value to your home.
The first idea that comes to mind that can add value is painting. While your home may have been given that job, the real estate folks have agreed that paint goes a long way in beautifying and even hiding those unsightly faults.
Freshly painted rooms, fences and even driveways give a great touch and that clean feel that can translate into a feeling of being in a sophisticated place.
A point to note here. Many people like a particular colour or shade, but have problems blending them. Any decent paint store is supposed to have programmes that can virtually paint your walls.
After making that initial mistake, the next cheapest way to correct this will be find a matching trim.
When selecting paint colours, keep in mind that neutrals appeal to the greatest number of people, therefore making your home more desirable.
While painting the entire exterior of your home can be a costly project, painting exterior doors and window trims can make a big difference without emptying your pockets.
Another problem that can bring down the value of your home is failure to address those little leaks and other hidden problems that could negatively impact. Small problems (such as a hidden water leak) can become big, expensive problems quickly – the longer you put off repairs, the more expensive those repairs will be.
A leaking gutter may only need some silicone. A broken drain pipe may need replacing. The cost of a drain pipe – $2,000-$3,000. That leak may cause you flies, smells, and even damage to the foundation.
Now, I am no gardener but if you are like me, the love for plants and what it does to improve the looks of a home cannot be underestimated. I would be the first one to say that there is no envy in my heart for the hard work that goes in to making plants do what they do best…look good.
Plants are one of the more economical of ways to liven up, add colour and have eyes zeroing in on your home.
Personally, I like hedges, but have not gotten around… yet… to find time to buy the ficus which can create a good tree wall or hedging to your fence.
Another trick is to make your home appear as spacious as possible. The presence of too many furnishings, particularly sprawling or bulky ones, can make a residence appear cramped and uncomfortable. Around the yard, leaving bicycles, old wood, old car parts and even shelves with unwanted stuff can make your beautiful home look crappy. I like an open yard that has no clutter.
It is not a bad idea to regularly wash your yard, if it is concreted, or weed it regularly. Whether your home is painted or not, an annual washing is advised.
While there are many suggested ideas for raising the value of your home, including changing lights and fixtures, and even a ‘silly’ one of clean curtains, I think perhaps one of the more important ones is cleaning.
Dust, not opening windows and mopping is bound to further reduce the way your home feels and looks. I like a home that is freshly mopped.
Hey, enjoy your weekend and don’t forget to write us at [email protected] or call at 225-8491, if you have some suggestions or would like a particular issue raised.
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