HOMES AND CONSTRUCTION
Joyce Asiimwe has been trying to sell her home for the past two years because she wanted money to venture into agriculture. "I want to start up a farming business in the village after selling my home in the city, but I have failed to get buyers," she says.
Just like Asiimwe, many homeowners have failed to sell their homes even after putting them on the market for several years. Therefore, experts suggest functional improvements and upgrades on such properties before they are put up for sale because making functional improvements and upgrades on a home attracts buyers.
Rogers Matovu, a real estate lecturer at Makerere University Business School explains that functional improvements are extra additions done on a property which make a potential buyer see its worth and the reason for buying it. "In addition to sleeping in it, a buyer will have to weigh the benefits of buying the said home.
I would advise people to give their property more functions that make it stand out on the competitive market," Matovu says. Furthermore, Matovu adds that functional improvements create an impression which attracts buyers.
"Impression is everything because it adds value to the home and makes it more desirable for the buyer to choose it even in a competitive market," Matovu says.
What should be improved on a home?
According to Matovu, home sellers of say, storeyed buildings, should concentrate on improving technological advancement projects like installing elevators instead of stairs. He says the elevator will ease the hustle of climbing up and down to the different rooms as opposed to using stairs.
Automatic gate and windows
Buyers will easily be tempted to purchase a home with an automatic gate and beautiful windows than a just a home with a painted gate and windows. "Does the home have an automatic gate were I only press a button to open it even when I am inside my car. Does it have better and attractive windows that create a beautiful view for the house?" Matovu says.
Homeowners should ensure that the home is electronically fenced with security cameras to offer protection to the new owner. Such a home has a higher value. "The seller should ensure that the home has an alarm system to alert the owner when thieves try to break in," Matovu advises.
Swimming pool construction
Grace Mukamwezi, a Property Consultant at Spectrum Real Estate Solutions says a home with a well-constructed and clean swimming pool will attract buyers. For instance, Mukamwezi says the buyer does not want to incur extra costs to go swimming elsewhere.
"Many swimming pools have been closed since the COVID-19 restriction was announced, but those with swimming pools in heir homes do not have to miss their swim for lack of a swimming pool," Mukamwezi says.
Matovu says outdoor sheds at the back and front of the home are important because they are places were the homeowner relaxes with their family. He clarifies that Ugandans have not invested in fire places, but if installed in homes, they are essential places that create family bonds. Families can converge there and have a barbecue.
Matovu says a buyer who has children will be looking at a small play area for them. He advises home sellers to construct such facilities to raise the value of homes they plan to sell. "Even if it is constructed in a small area, it will still attract buyers with children," Matovu says.
David Mwesigwa, a landscaper says attractive landscaping implies that the home is well maintained. He says landscape maintenance results in a quick home sell. "Ensure that the outside stands out by mowing the lawn, pruning shrubs, applying mulching and planting fruit trees," Mwesigwa says.
Additionally Matovu explains that planting flowers is a plus because they are a favourite for female buyers. "For example the home seller can install pavers and tarmac in the walkways and the compound to prevent mud when it rains. This will attract more and bigger buyers," Matovu says.
A home seller should also check out the road that leads to the home. Visible roads allow easy movements of the home owner's vehicles from the main road to their house. "For example, how can one access the property they are going to buy? People have moved to places like Najera and Namugongo, which look good, but have found they are difficult to access," Matovu says.
For rentals, Matovu says the owner should first concentrate on free monthly improvements that bring services closer to tenants. The services include easy access to water, free garbage collection and security.
"Some landlords take years to renovate or upgrade their rentals. This keeps the property at a low value," Matovu says. It pays if the seller puts more emphasis on functional and technological home improvements to attract buyers than just replacing sockets, bulbs and repainting the home
Price incurred in home improvements
According to Mukamwezi, the cost one incurs to improve their home varies, but in the end, the seller will be paid according to the appearance of the home. "And I can guarantee that the cost you put in will always bring returns because a house will speak for itself, especially if the seller wants serious buyers," Matovu says.