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Five easy tips to add value to your home

LITTLE THINGS COUNT: Sometimes a lick of paint can make a huge difference to the look of your home - inside and out - and it doesn't cost the earth. You can even do it yourself.

You've given your body an overhaul as part of your new year's resolution - why not do the same for your home?

Here are five simple ways you can add value to your home (who knows, perhaps 2015 is the year that you'll sell your home and make a handsome profit!)

1. Don't underestimate the power of the entrance

First impressions count. According to the experts, people make up their minds in the first seven seconds of entering a house. So it's important that the entry to your home has impact.

If there is foliage obscuring the entrance, be sure to trim it back and maybe even place some colourful pot-plants around the doorway. Also assess your front door. Does it look smart? If not, give it a fresh coat of paint (don't be scared to use a bold, contrasting colour). You can also jazz it up with a brass letterbox or a stainless steel house number.

Be sure to consider the door knob and lock as well. Make sure that there are no sticky locks that a real estate agent will have to battle in front of potential buyers and if you can upgrade the doorknob to something sturdy and strong, that's a good idea too.

Once people step across the threshold, try and create an entrance way that is light and bright. Consider adding some indoor plants and a bold light fitting or a great piece of artwork.

2. Concentrate on the kitchen

If you've watched any home improvement shows, you'll know that the experts say if you're going to improve one room, make it the kitchen.

Typically, a new kitchen will add 4.6 per cent to the value of your home. It's important because it's the heart of the home - it's where we cook, do homework, watch TV and dine with friends. So put some effort into creating a great work surface and ensure that the space is functional.

It should be easy to move between the sink, the fridge and the prep space. If you have the money, install brand new equipment. A new splashback is also a great (and cheap) way to lift the space and add some personality to the room. New cupboard doors and handles are another budget-friendly option.

3. Add storage

One of the main things buyers want is storage. You can have the most beautifully appointed home, but if there's nowhere for people to store their belongings, their interest will wane.

While most new homes come equipped with lots of storage, older homes tend to lack even some of the basic storage options, such as a linen cupboard or a decent pantry. Thankfully, many of the big homewares stores now offer affordable do-it-yourself storage options - gone are the days of forking out thousands of dollars on custom-made solutions.

So consider adding an extra butcher's block with built-in cupboards to the kitchen (if there's room), extra storage in the laundry, or a new wardrobe in the spare room. Storage racks in the garage are also a good idea.

4. Give the place a fresh lick of paint

One of the simplest, most cost-effective improvements of all is paint. It's cheap and you can do it yourself.

It may not seem like a big change, but it will completely revitalise your home and buyers will notice. While it might be tempting to add a feature wall or get a bit adventurous with the colour palette, keep in mind that neutral colours will appeal to most buyers.

Also remember that light colours will make rooms look bigger, so steer clear of dark colours because they will make your home look smaller.

5. Update the floors

It's easy to forget about what's underneath your feet, but updated flooring can give your home a real lift.

Choose something that is low maintenance and will look clean in both daylight and evening. If you can't afford to spring for new floor coverings then simply give the existing floors a bit of a freshen up.

Give carpets a thorough steam clean (you can rent a machine and do it yourself), buff and polish any hardwood floors and cover any holes or tears in vinyl floors with stick-on vinyl flooring squares. Another idea is to invest in a great feature rug to lift the living space (one that you can take with you if and when you leave!).


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