Sep 15, 2015

Increasing the Value of Your Home


“Well at least it’ll put the value of your house up”.

We’ve all said it. We’ve all, more often than not, heard it said. It’s a phrase that is used, almost as verbal compensation in return for some perceived inconvenience, temporary or permanent which, in the long term, is seen as at least giving us the reassurance of a theoretical increase in the value of our property. Cold comfort of course, if you’ve no intention whatsoever of moving but, even so, it just might give you a warm and cosy feeling inside when you do hear those few words uttered for your benefit.

Having your kitchen and bathroom ripped out and replaced with all the dusty carnage and intrusion that goes with it for several weeks (“We’ve just got to go and finish another job, then we’ll come back and switch your water back on”) or longer?

The 500 year old oak tree in your garden has toppled over, flattening your greenhouse in the process?

A couple of hundred new homes are being built in the nice green field that used to adjoin your property?

Radioactive Waste Disposal PLC are setting up their new storage facility in your town with the promise of two hundred new jobs-as well as the go-ahead for the construction of that hospital extension (surely a coincidence?) they’ve been wanting for decades?

Grumpy teenage son has, along with his guitar and several hundred black T-Shirts decamped to University digs for the duration, meaning you now have a large and empty spare room to do whatever you’d like to?

You can almost hear the sighs of envy and avarice from your friends and neighbours already.

“Well at least it’ll put the value of your house up”.

The truth of the matter is, of course, that the value of your home is unlikely to fluctuate that much, certainly in a upwards direction, from events that are either outside of your control or have been instigated else put into place by third parties. Sure, it can have an influence on the overall attraction of the area that you live in. But the actual property itself? That’s more open to question.

But what isn’t open to question are three steps that you can take that will add to the value of your home. Because, fundamentally, what matters the most to the buyer is the house itself not it’s immediate surroundings. They do, of course, play a part in things, but are secondary to the main event. You are, after all, buying a house, not the nearby railway station, school, handy shops or a walk in the woods.

One of the most effective ways of adding to the value of your home is to convert your loft into living space. Adding a new bedroom and en-suite bathroom for example can add as much as 21% to the property value. On a simplistic level, that would mean a home valued at £300,000 seeing its possible sale price increase to around £363,000 whilst a house valued at half a million pounds might increase its overall worth by around £105,000.

And they’re serious figures which, more often than not, may be well in excess of the price you initially pay out to have the work done.

And fear not, we’ll be looking at all aspects of having your loft converted in a future series of blogs here.

One aspect of property investment that does seem to be on the increase is having an extension built. That could be anything from a conservatory to, in some older homes, converting what was once an old coal hole or shed into a an extra bedroom cum study for a son or daughter in need of both privacy and space to do their studies. Take a drive around your local neighbourhood at any time and, more often than not, you’ll see a home or two with the obligatory scaffolding up and a pile of bricks taking up space in the garden. Untidy? Yes. Inconvenient? Yes. But only temporarily. The extra space and light that it will bring your home will be everlasting-that and the increase in its value of 11% that adding a bedroom will bring. Making any two bedroomed home into a three bedroomed one, or going up from three to four will not only improve your living space, its manna from heaven to an estate agent. So well worth considering.

If either of these options are out of your price range or, for that matter, the overall vision you have for your home, then what about just adding an extra bathroom? Most homes have at least two WC’s now, it makes sense therefore, to have a separate bathroom for guests and one for yourself. After all, after our bedrooms, our bathrooms are the most personal and private spaces in our homes. And we don’t, in general, let the rest of the world in there to make use of it and all the facilities therein, so how about giving our bathrooms the same consideration?

Adding a new bathroom –and it’s surprising how easily and efficiently a good architect can find room where you thought there was none- can add around 5% to the value of your home as well as giving you a little more privacy into the bargain, a priceless commodity wherever and whoever you are.

Your home is almost certainly going to be the biggest investment that you ever make in your life. And, unlike money that you have in the bank, interest in it can and will be considerable and generous if you are able to make the right decisions with regard to both you and your home.

So don’t just own your home. Love and cherish it. It is part of the family after all!