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What creates the "Wow" factor for your Devon home?

One of our clients has asked us about how to create a wow factor in their home - they said - "Our house needs some improvement but we don’t really know where to start! What makes the biggest impact, in terms of both ‘wow factor’ and increasing the value of the house? 

And we said "That really depends on how much needs doing." 

If the house has any major defects such as a leaking roof, cracked or bowing walls, rotten timbers, or damp, they will all have a negative impact on its value and should be tackled first. Next up are absolute necessities like renewing or upgrading the electrical wiring and installing or improving central heating and double glazing. Underfloor heating has become very popular and quite cost effective, potentially for its energy efficiency, comfort, hygiene and aesthetics.

Are you happy with the layout of the house? Are you considering taking a wall out to create a now very fashionable "Open plan" living space, or maybe putting a wall in to give a space a specific purpose, such as a play room or snug? If so, that should be done before any cosmetic work. 

If you want to add space, well executed extensions and loft conversions are thought to add an average of around 10 - 15% to the value of a property while a good quality conservatory should add around 5% and a downstairs toilet is a convenient touch that adds appeal.
If the structure is sound and you’re happy with the layout and space, then a new kitchen could be the way to create the ‘wow factor’ you’re looking for. An elegant, stylish and well-designed kitchen with luxurious touches such as good quality integrated appliances, quality work- surfaces and mood lighting can make a massive difference to a property and increase its value by as much as 6%.

Opt for stylish white suites in bathrooms, perhaps with ‘his and hers’ areas/basins if possible. Team up the white suite with some lovely porcelain or natural tiles, or perhaps some of the striking wall panels for extra impact.

New kitchens and bathrooms are costly improvements so if you’re not looking to go that far, a simple re-decoration can often make a huge difference. Couple a fresh lick of paint with new carpets, wooden or tiled flooring to make a room look and feel brand new, and add some extra pizzazz with new soft furnishings, pictures and finishing touches. 

Even a de-clutter and tidy up can make a house and garden feel fresher and bigger. It can be really difficult to be objective  when it’s your own home so pretend you’re visiting and try to look at things from a different perspective. Just removing the bin that’s always lived in the corner of the room or the vase of silk flowers that live in the fireplace can make a difference. Give it a try and I bet you see things that normally pass you by, just because you’re used to them being there!

(Content compiled by Whitton & Laing Estate Agents and Chartered Surveyors with offices in Exeter and Exmouth, covering the whole of East Devon and beyond)