From renovating the kitchen to adding the right kind of lights, there’s a lot you can do to increase your apartment's appeal, says Lakshmi Krupa

Whether you are looking to sell an apartment or just living in one, it always helps to have add-ons that will not only enhance your lifestyle but also add to its market value. So plan ahead and make wise moves. Experts opine that it is better to spend a little extra right at the beginning to reap rich benefits later on.

Check for seepage

"Address seepage issues," says Sumitra Vasudevan, associate, Aprobuild architects. This is among the biggest concerns of potential buyers. "Whether it's because of rains or water from the bathroom or balcony of those living above your home, seepage issues need to taken care of ," she says. This is of more importance because you need to persuade your neighbours to make changes to their home. "If it goes uncheked, water leakage can cause damage to the building's structure too," she says.

Let there be light

Keep your apartment well ventilated. Homes that let in a lot of light and air are undoubtedly more appealing than ones that are closed up and seem claustrophobic. “A lot of old apartments have closed kitchens. These days people prefer open kitchens,” says architect Anupama Monhanram of Green Evolution. It would be a good idea to open up your kitchen and maybe even add a few bar stools across a counter, giving it a contemporary look. “You can also add mesh doors above your bedroom doors. It will bring in a lot of light and aid cross ventilation,” Mohanram adds. Add mesh doors to your wardrobe too and let your clothes breathe.

Renovate a little

“Renovating the house to add better tiles (vitrified tiles are in now ) and the toilets in particular will also go a long way,” Mohanram says. Adding water-saving flush systems in the toilet, creating wet and dry areas and even adding a glass enclosure to the shower can help. But most importantly, make the living space appealing. “Don’t paint the house in any off-beat colours if you are looking to show your apartment to potential buyers,” warns Mohanram. Lakshmi adds, “It’s best to go with off-white or beige for wall colours as these are neutral.”

Wire it right

Wiring is another important area when it comes to home improvement. “Upgrading all the electrical wiring in your home will certainly add to its value,” says Lakshmi. Adding appliances that save electricity such as star-rated air-conditioners and geysers may also help. “Be sensible about lighting,” Mohanram says, “Most often, if you keep your home ready-to-move-in, its appeal increases.”

Consider replacing large tubelights with LEDs or CFLs. "These days even CFLs come in yellow colour. These enhance a room's look while offering long-term savings."

Focus on façade

Don’t leave the exteriors of your home out of the equation. A coat of paint on the exterior walls, a little bit of work on the main door and floors, and even some bright lights on the corridor can go a long way in enhancing its image.

Furnish thoughtfully

If you are thinking of leaving behind furniture for your buyer ensure that the house is thoughtfully furnished. “Don’t overcrowd the space and add furniture that is both functional as well aesthetic,” Mohanram says.

Buy furniture which will also increase in value over time, such as rosewood and teak cupboards or tables. You can even invest in a good carpet such as hand-made Kashmiris that will gain value over the years.

It’s in the woods

Adding woodwork to your apartment will reduce the burden on the next buyer and in turn, increase its appeal. Says Lakshmi, “Since this a one-time investment, those buying the home from you will appreciate not having to spend on woodwork.” Decide on the wood, laminate, etc, based on your budget but choose something that will require low maintenance. Add wardrobes and close all lofts in your bedrooms as well as the kitchen.

But spend wisely. While these additions can increase the appeal of your home it may not always be possible to recover all your costs.