How to increase the value of your house & the urbanization
Owning a property in Spain is not just about having a place to call home or owning a little slice of paradise during holiday season; it’s also a significant investment that needs your continued love and care to keep it in perfect shape. Whether you are simply looking to maintain your property, plan to sell your house or want to enhance the value and appeal of the entire urbanization (a residential area with shared facilities), there are essential factors to consider that can make a substantial difference in its worth. Understanding what potential buyers on the Costa Tropical of Granada are looking for and taking steps to improve your property can lead to increased demand and higher property values for you and your neighbours.
At Cumbre Villas, we know the real estate market and your neighbourhood intimately. We are local property experts with over 20 years of experience in selling amazing villas with stunning views and are in daily contact with people looking to buy their next dream property on our beautiful Coast of Granada. Drawing from our wealth of experience and expertise, we’ve compiled some invaluable tips to make your property shine in the market. Together, we’ll unlock the true potential of your home and the entire urbanization.
Key factors buyers consider when buying a new house
Let’s start at the beginning, if we want to increase the appeal and value of our property and neighbourhood, we need to know what attracts people and where potential buyers are looking for when buying a property in Southern Spain. Location, price range and property type are the initial factors buyers decide on when they start their property search. While there are elements we cannot change, such as the location or orientation of our home, there are others that we can easily improve and do not have to cost a lot of money.
So, what differentiates your property from your neighbour’s? And what makes your urbanisation more appealing than the others in the area? In general, the following five factors are important to buyers:
Condition: The overall condition of the property is crucial. Buyers are attracted to homes that are well-maintained and in good shape, with no need for renovation.
Home improvements and renovations: Upgraded and modernized homes tend to fetch higher prices in the market. Well-executed improvements can significantly enhance property value.
Amenities: Desirable amenities like a well-maintained garden, a swimming pool, a functional garage, and a covered terrace can make your property stand out from others.
Usable square footage: Buyers often look for homes that offer ample space for their needs. Well-distributed layouts and extra rooms or a versatile basement area are highly appreciated.
Views and surroundings: A property with pleasant views and access to green spaces or other attractive surroundings (including the neighbouring houses) can boost its appeal. Most people looking to buy a property on the Costa Tropical are mainly looking for sea views. Silence, privacy and an easy, well-maintained access road is also important here.
Factors lowering your home’s value the most
On the other hand, there are a number of factors that can significantly reduce a property’s perceived appeal or even damage its value. The main ones are:
Deferred or neglected maintenance: Failing to address maintenance issues can lead to a decline in property value over time.
Home improvements done wrong or not built to code: Poorly executed renovations, including low-quality craftmanship and the use of cheap materials, or renovations not carried out according to the regulations – which is unfortunately quite common in Spain – can negatively impact the value of a property.
Outdated kitchens and bathrooms: These are areas that buyers pay close attention to, and outdated designs can decrease the overall appeal because they might require renovation before being able to fully enjoy the house.
Bad or ugly landscaping: Neglected gardens or poorly designed landscapes can create a negative first impression.
Neglected houses nearby and neighbours’ exterior maintenance: The condition of neighbouring properties can affect the perceived value of your own.
Tips to increase the value of your property
It is important to know that often times superficial changes make a bigger impact on the value of a property than more intensive renovations. So, start with updating your home’s finishes, such as cleaning, decluttering, repainting and upgrading fixtures, which can make a significant impact without the need for extensive renovations.
Below, we highlight key aspects of home improvements that will help you and your neighbours make both your home and the urbanisation as a whole more attractive, which in turn can lead to higher demand and property values.
1. Clean and declutter
A clutter-free, well-maintained home appears more appealing to potential buyers but also helps you to feel more relaxed in your own home. There is really only one rule to keep in mind: less is more.
Keep the decoration simple and use neutral colours to create a sense of space and benefit from the amount of sunshine the Costa Tropical offers year-round. Consider adding mirrors to enhance the feeling of spaciousness.
Clean and tidy up inside and outside areas. Get rid of outdated furniture and decoration, remove unnecessary items and things you don’t use. Go through your cabinets, drawers, closets and other storage areas, making sure you’re not keeping anything you don’t need or want and you will surely feel more zen in your clutter-free home! Pro tip: make donation piles instead of throwing everything in the dumpster and boost your sustainable self.
2. Freshen up your curb appeal
First impressions matter, so invest in improving the exterior of your property. A fresh coat of paint, repairing external walls, and replacing old doors and windows can really enhance the overall look of the property. Improve the appearance of the front of your house with regular maintenance and landscaping improvements.
Fresh coat of paint and external wall repair
Replace doors: the front door and garage door are the most important ones to update in terms of improving the overall look.
Replace windows: new window frames and double-glazing, which is also good for better insulation. Looking for something low-maintenance? Opt for PVC or aluminium window frames instead of wooden ones.
Power washing driveway, and if applicable, the façade
Removal of satellites and aerials
Prune trees to improve views (do not remove them as they provide natural shade and are good for lowering temperatures)
Add touches of colour: plant flowers, place planters, hanging pots, add colourful decoration like cushions
Regular maintenance: wash windows, mow lawn, keep the entry and street neat and tidy
3. Upgrade to energy-efficient features and appliances
Implementing energy-efficient upgrades not only attract buyers but also save you money in the long run. Consider adding or replacing the following elements in your home:
Replacing bulbs for LED: go for warm light to create a pleasant atmosphere
Energy-efficient home appliances
Smart, electric thermostat
Replacing old windows: natural light is especially sought-after, so consider adding larger windows
Installing solar panels
4. Invest in your kitchen and bathrooms
If you have a renovation budget, put your money into your kitchen and bathroom(s). These are key selling points of a property, so consider modernizing them to increase the appeal and value of your property. However, it is a common mistake for sellers to overdo the kitchen upgrades and go crazy renovating a bathroom, as you likely won’t get every euro you invest back. Midrange or modest upgrades actually offer a better return-on-investment than the most elaborate ones. So, depending on the current state and on your budget, you can decide which elements to upgrade and which to leave as they are.
Kitchen upgrades: Buyers want a functional workspace that includes good taps, cupboards, and bench-tops, and appliances in working order. In any case, be sure that the kitchen always looks tidy and attractive. If updating your entire kitchen is too big of an undertaking, a minor remodel could still have an impact on your home’s value, think:
Installing modern hardware on your cabinets
Refinishing or replacing cabinet doors
Repainting the walls or tiles
Updating the lighting system (please get rid of fluorescent tubes and use warm light)
Bathroom upgrades: A complete renovation may not be necessary to add value to your home, provided that your bathroom is in proper working order and fresh in appearance. A good bathroom space will be both functional and aesthetically appealing. The following small upgrades can work wonders:
Replacing tile grout
Painting the walls in light or neutral colours, or go for a vibrant colour like blue
Repair chips in the bathtub or sink to make fixtures look like new
Install new faucets
Replace or clean out your exhaust fan
Replace old light fixtures with more user-friendly or energy efficient models: use warm light, add vanity lights, dimmer switches…
5. Other home improvements worth investing in
Enhance your property’s exterior with practical additions like covered porches or decks to create shaded areas ideal for relaxation. Consider adding a storage room for gardening and pool equipment so you can keep the exterior clean and tidy. Utilize the favourable subtropical microclimate of the Coast of Granada by covering and heating the pool, making it usable throughout the year.
Inside the house, increase its value by finishing unfinished spaces, such as basements or secondary buildings, to create more functional living areas or to create a guest accommodation. Install essential features like reversible air conditioning and shutters to maintain a comfortable temperature year-round. A garage or covered parking space is a desirable addition for potential buyers, especially for those from abroad. Lastly, in this digital age, a reliable internet connection, preferably fiber-optic, can be a major selling point for the property as well.
Boost the appeal of an entire urbanisation
The attractiveness of an urbanisation can also be easily improved by creating a good first impression and enhancing liveability. Maintenance is key; both for communal areas and the condition of individual properties. Make sure the access road is good, that there are areas where cars can easily turn around and win even more points if there is also space for on-street parking. Ensure that communal (recreational) areas, green zones and landscape are well looked after so that it is pleasant to spend time in the urbanisation and to improve the view of the surroundings of individual homes.
Recreation and communal areas: If your urbanization has communal spaces, consider enhancing them. Create attractive gathering spots, play areas, or sports facilities that can increase the overall appeal of the urbanization. Due to the favourable climate of the Costa Tropical, it’s worth opting for opening the pool year-round too.
Green areas and landscape: as well as maintaining these areas, consider landscaping them nicely with colourful and native vegetation that requires little maintenance but can boost the overall appeal.
Walkability and viewpoints: Improve walkability in the urbanisation by adding pavements and creating viewpoints where you can sit is a big plus as well.
Security enhancements: Safety is crucial. Install security cameras, alarms, or other security features to make potential buyers feel secure in the urbanization.
Urbanization’s infrastructure: It is important to maintain key infrastructure such as water supply, sewerage and drainage, and to engage with utility companies for proper maintenance of electricity and fibre-optic networks.
When renting out your property
If you decide to rent out your property, establishing clear rules of conduct and quiet hours can help maintain a positive living environment for tenants and for your neighbours.
Remember: small home improvements can add significant worth
Increasing the value of your house and urbanization in Spain requires thoughtful planning and investment in the right areas. Remember that small home improvements can add value and appeal, but it’s essential to assess the cost versus potential return on investment. Choose improvements that suit the style of your home and address the key factors that buyers consider by making strategic improvements, so you can ensure your property is more appealing, which can lead to increased demand and higher property values for you and for your neighbourhood as a whole.
Contact Cumbre Villas to get personalized advice based on the specific location and market trends in your urbanization along the Costa Tropical of Granada in Spain. Find out more about the value of your property in case you plan to sell it with a free, non-binding appraisal of the current market value. We also offer assistance and supervision of small refurbishments to major renovations.