08 Feb What adds value to your house? You may be surprised.
I was valuing a house last week and the owners were deliberating whether to undertake a major refurbishment of the property in order to increase the value when they came to sell. It’s a tricky one as not all home improvement projects add value. I advised them that whilst clearly, some improvements can make a property quicker and easier to sell, some projects won’t necessarily increase its sale price.
Most people understand that the amount you spend on a project won’t necessarily add the same amount to its value. Here’s some of the points that we discussed along with a few things to keep in mind as you think about improving your home.
Don’t over do it!
Overdeveloping is the prime consideration when trying to maximise the value of your property. There will be a ceiling price for the area. This means it doesn’t matter what you do, your property won’t usually be significantly more than similar properties in the same street. Thinking like a buyer for a moment, if all houses in the street have sold for say, £150,000, then its unlikely that there will be buyers queuing up to pay £300,000 for yours.
Start with the end in mind
Think about the buyers that you are trying to appeal to. Is yours a big family house and are you about to add an extension which drastically reduces the garden size? Is your new room going to be a study, a play room, a home office or a gym?
If you’re going to spend money, concentrate on the kitchen. Remember, installing a magnificent £25,000 kitchen in a £100,000 house and you’ll never get your money back. Alternatively, putting a £10,000 kitchen in a £750,000 house and you’ll damage the saleability and the value of your property. Generally, a good kitchen can add 4.6% per cent to the value.
Knock down walls and maximise the space
This can be very cost effective. Rememeber, you are selling the lifestyle so buyers will be looking for useable space rather than the number of rooms. We’d always recommend a qualified (and insured) builder to make sure the walls are not load bearing.
Another cost effective room since they don’t tend to be very big and so the focus switches to the features rather than the size. Changing taps, shower heads, towel rails are all easy ‘wins’ although a full bathroom makeover can add 2.8 per cent to your homes value.
Paint the House
To encourage people through the door, your house should at least look better than the neighbours so clean windows and tidy garden are a must. £1000 – £2500 spent on painting the house can add up to £5000 in value so well worth looking into. At the very least, paint the front door so that the house looks appealing from the moment a buyer approaches the house.
Consider converting the garage
Converting the garage into additional living space can add plenty to the value but do your sums. First, is your property in an area where parking is at a premium? If so, then greater importance could be placed on having a garage. Second, it costs about £12,000 (depending on the size of your garage of course) to do the conversion so work out the added value by multiplying the space by the average value per square foot in the area.
Treat your garden as another room of the house
By showing the the garden is a lovely, useable space that people want to spend time in can add another 2 per cent to the value. New decking and outside lighting is relatively inexpensive.
If you need another room, this could be an alternative to moving altogether. Its not overly disruptive and can add significant value to your home. A recent survey of 110 estate agents by GE Money revealed that a loft conversion can add 12.5 per cent to the property value.
You’ll need a minimum ceiling height of 2.3 meters to make a loft conversion viable. Addititionally the steeper the pitch of the roof the better suited it is to converting. Floor joists may need strengthening depending on what you’re planning to have in the loft. Loft spaces are best used for extra bedrooms, if you choose to install bathrooms the cost will be pushed up. It is likely that a loft extension will be classed as a permitted development so you’ll save costs on planning applications.
Add a conservatory
A word of warning here. Extending your living space is generally a good idea. Make sure that the conservatory is in keeping with the rest of the house and not just a ‘bolt on’. Done well, a conservatory can act as a segue between indoors and outdoors and can add between 5 and 7 per cent. You can enhance the feeling of space and flow by installing the same flooring throughout your downstairs living area. It leads the eye on and ensures that the conservatory feels part of the rest of the house.
Done badly and they can simply put buyers off altogether.
Keep it in proportion
Installing a basement in a small two-bedroom house will just make the property bottom-heavy. The costs will be exessive and you’re unlikely to get your money back. Remember that any additions should remain in proportion to the original structure.
Knowing the local property market can be a bit of a minefield so it always pays to get free advice.
If you’d like a chat about what your house is worth why not give us a call today on 01325 776424