17/03/2015 11:01 GMT | Updated 16/05/2015 06:59 BST

Always Think Ahead

As a twenty-something, I am currently going through something that many twenty-somethings will go through - buying their first home. It's been quite exciting, looking at different properties and imagining what my life would be like living there.

Then, the finance writer came out in me and I began to think about a different scenario. I began to imagine what my return would be on this property if I decided to sell it down the line. What would I have to do to it in order to get the maximum price back?

And I think that this is a good attitude for anyone my age to have when they are buying their first home. Yes, it might be the home that you start your family in and spend the rest of your days in - however, it's more likely that you won't. Statistically, you will pack up sticks and move onto somewhere bigger and better after 13 years.

So, with all this in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to have a look at what you can do to your home to make sure that you get the maximum value when (or if) it comes time to sell on, but also just to make sure that it's an overall great place to live.

What's the first thing you see?

Many people would give the answer 'the hallway' or even 'the living room' perhaps, but when you think about it, you actually see the outside of the house before you see any of the inside. So, this is very important when you are thinking of resale value.

There is a lot of ground to cover on your property: front garden, driveway, porch, back garden. Your home may have some of these, it may have them all. So, you need to make sure that these are all up to scratch in order not to scare off potential buyers at the first hurdle. If your garden is a mess, then this sets the tone for the rest of the viewing - same goes for anything else that they might see on their way into the property.

On average, having a well maintained and well designed garden can add between 5% and 10% to the value of your property. Add this to your new driveway and anything else that is outside, it really does make for a worthy investment in the long run, and will generally make your home a nicer place to live during the time you are there.

Moving inwards

Which room of the house, would you think that the average person spends 1.5 years in over the course of their lives? The living room? The bedroom? The kitchen? Nope. The bathroom. That's right, as strange as it may seem, we spend on average 1.5 years in the bathroom yet, interestingly, it's another area of the home that can often be neglected.

If you're spending that amount of time in the one room, you definitely want it to look and feel as nice as possible. This, added to the increased value your home will benefit from should be all the convincing you need to make sure that your bathroom is one of the nicest rooms in the house.

One other bathroom related value-increasing-move to make is adding another bathroom to your abode. On average, adding just a half bath can increase the value of your home by 10% to 12% as well as giving you another sanctuary, if you will, in case the existing one is occupied often.

Keep it fresh

While you can always point out specific parts of your home where you can make improvements, one way of making sure that your home is always looking its best and in turn, not detracting from it's own value, is regular decoration.

This will indeed make sure that your home is always looking its best. Keep the colours neutral and don't go for anything that is 'out there'. This will lend towards your home always being in fashion so to speak. If you look at some decoration pictures from the '70s for example, yeah, they were 'in' at the time, but looked so outdated just a few short years later. Keeping it simple will benefit you more than you think.

The house itself can always be improved on, and while the exterior and the bathroom are important areas to maintain and develop. You can use this home improvement tool to see exactly what certain improvements will add to the value of your home. It's worth thinking about these things now in order to save what you will need in the future, rather than waiting until the time and finding out you can't afford to improve your home.

Always think ahead.