Phil Spencer on how you can add value to your home
We caught up with property guru Phil Spencer, 48, on location (location, location) at The Ideal Home Show to chat trends, moving and improving…
What trends are worth following to make your home more desirable?
Technology – look into the latest tech, and go as up-to-date as you can. Whenever you’re renovating, it’s a long-term thing: you only do it once, hopefully, so it’s important to keep it as modern as possible.
If you can’t afford a loft extension or a conservatory, how else can you add value to your home?
Even if you can’t afford a loft, get planning permission. Then sell the house with the planning permission in place. That will put value on immediately, because people like the idea of what they can do once they’ve bought it, and it takes away the doubt.
Is it true kitchens are what sell homes?
Kitchens are more important than ever, because we spend more time there. We cook, sit, read, play games, watch telly… They’re the most expensive rooms to get right, but they are the rooms buyers notice. And they’re not as difficult to renovate or refurbish as people think. You can change the look of a room quite easily, as long as you’re not moving the plumbing.
You relocated out of London two years ago. Did you find moving hard?
It was a big change for us, but it was good for me to go through the process myself, having not moved for 11 years. My wife would be getting the details through on the internet and showing me the rooms and I was just thinking, ‘What about the garden?’ We had plastic grass in London.
What did it teach you?
When I say to a client, ‘Come on, it’s only another 10 minutes to the railway station, and look what you get…’ Actually, that 10 minutes is a lot. It has made me think. We now spend a lot of time in the car. But the trade-off is I get a lovely big garden, nature, greenery, birdsong, space.
Is the big garden hard work?
It’s important for me to remember, when I’m pressed for time and thinking, ‘I’ve got to feed the chickens/mend the fence/mow the lawn’, that’s what I moved to the countryside for. It’s fun. I’ve got somebody coming over tomorrow to talk to me about beehives and how to look after them.
Phil’s new company, MoveIQ, provides home buyers with a comprehensive report on potential properties, covering questions you might not even know to ask.
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