How do you know your home will keep its value?

Property prices tend to go up every year, and so will the value of yours. Increases will differ, but it’s not uncommon for a house bought 20 years ago to be worth 4 or 5 times the price today. The pace at which house prices increase depends on many factors – for instance, prices rising at the coast doesn’t guarantee that house prices inland will grow at the same rate.

On the whole, though, you can look forward to your house becoming more valuable, especially if you bear the following in mind.


Supply and demand

House prices are largely determined by the whim of the market. Take, for example, what happens when an area becomes super popular and those wanting to buy there can’t find homes for sale. The law of supply and demand lets sellers ask a higher price because of the increased interest from buyers. So, if your home is close to a popular school, transport hub or other in-demand facilities, then you might get a premium price. By the same token, homes in areas further from facilities will be cheaper, because fewer buyers want to commute that far.

What’s important to bear in mind when house-hunting is how the suburb and its appeal could change over time. We can never be sure what the future holds, but you have to consider whether an outlying area could be engulfed by a rapidly growing metro. Or is it destined to become a ghost town, if local industries die out? It will pay you to do as much research as you can on the area you’re interested in, and even on the exact property. You can do this by requesting or buying property reports that give you deeper insight into relevant information. This includes trends in house prices and market activity that can be used to guide your buying decision.

Tip: The Home-buying Toolkit on the Nedbank Money app gives you the ability to access free property reports and so much more.


Age and condition of the home

Make no mistake, your home’s age and condition will directly affect the price that you can realistically ask in the future – so keeping it properly maintained is where you can have the most impact on its value. Investing in your home to keep it looking fresh and clean, and maintaining infrastructure like your roof, walls, plumbing and fixtures will pay off. If you have a garden, it will add to the appeal and value of your house if it’s neatly tended.


Buying a house is a big decision, and part of that decision should be to consider if and when you might want to sell the property


The verdict on whether swimming pools add value is not clear, especially if you factor in maintenance, repairs and water consumption costs. Rather add value to your home by investing in functional security and design features. If you follow the principle of creating a home that you’d want to buy, then that will clearly shine through and make your house all the more desirable to buyers.


Easy upgrades that add value

Investing in upgrades on your house can be a very tricky path, because it’s easy to spend too much and overcapitalise. There are some upgrades, though, that are sure winners.

The first is the bathroom, because you can completely transform this space without breaking the bank. If you leave the underlying plumbing in place, you can create an entirely new character with some carefully selected changes. The kitchen is another popular renovation area that can add value. A custom renovation can be more pricey than standard off-the-shelf builds, but that’s also a detail that potential buyers will take note of.

If you need to create a bit more space, building a loft can give you an extra room. This might also carry a higher price tag, but could pay off in the long run if you live in an area where extra space is highly valued.

Buying a house is a big decision, and part of that decision should be to consider if and when you might want to sell the property. So, it’s not a decision you should make without checking all the factors that could affect a home’s value in the future.