As you look through the pages of most online property advice sites or property-related newspapers and magazines, you are likely to come across one survey or another that seeks to prove how various property improvements add a certain percentage to the value of a property.
There has been a marked increase in the number of people undertaking improvements whose motivation is specifically to increase the value of their property prior to a sale. If you are considering such improvements, you should approach such surveys with caution.
For example, the public’s response to a previous survey as to which home improvements were most likely to add value were at odds with the view of a panel of property valuation experts and Chartered Surveyors. The public’s view was that a new kitchen would add more value than either a loft conversion or an extension. Certainly, whilst a new kitchen might be the most impressive of the three and have the greatest initial impact, we would agree with the expert view that an extension, closely followed by a loft conversion, would generally contribute more to a property’s value than a kitchen.
This is because, unlike a kitchen, an extension of some description actually increases the size and hence usability of the property. This means that it is likely to appeal to more buyers and therefore generate a higher price for your home. This is especially true where the additional space means that your property falls into the category of buyer above that in which it stood before it was extended. For example, a two bedroom cottage suddenly appeals to the family market once a third bedroom and second bathroom are added.
There are numerous factors to consider when deciding how to enhance your property’s value and saleability.
In a survey of estate agents, carried out by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), half of those who responded suggested that adding a bedroom would be the best value for money change e.g. converting the loft space.
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Sources: NAEA, Movewithus, TradeAdvisor
Will you add value?
When the option is there to extend, many in need of more space will look to this as an alternative to moving home. By investing into a project that gives you years of self-usability there is more than just a financial gain to consider, although it is still important to think ahead factoring in the future saleability of your property. If the extension is done well, with good sized rooms remaining within the character of the property, you create more space, which will be a significant selling point.
A loft conversion
Creating another bedroom needs to be thought out; you don’t want to reduce your living space in compensation for another bedroom. According to NAEA you can add up to 10% to the value of your home by adding another bedroom, particularly if it’s a loft conversion.
A surprise to some yet in the right situation adding an extra bathroom can become a very big plus point, with a demand for en-suite bathrooms fuelling this trend. Mornings can be a busy time in the average family home and if a bathroom isn’t possible then perhaps houses with a ground floor bathroom might benefit from an extra toilet on the first / second floor level of the property. Here is a weblink with a few ideas for where you might squeeze in an extra bathroom / shower room http://www.victoriana.com/Bathroom/extra-bathroom.html
For most houses the kitchen can be a focal point and in recent years we have seen a growing trend for a combined open plan kitchen / living space, to create a spacious “family-time” area within the home. A new high standard kitchen will appeal to those buyers not wanting the hassle and inconvenience of planning for, and the installation of, a new kitchen and they may well be willing to pay a higher price; however, one should be mindful of colour combinations and the quality of the finish e.g. many developers will opt for a white high gloss finish to keep everything neutral.
When considering a conservatory there is often a trade-off. On the one hand it will give you another room; however, it will of course eat into your garden space. If you have a large garden this may not have a negative impact, whereas if your garden is already on the small side you could reduce your buying audience somewhat
If you are having thoughts about adding space to your property and would like to discuss this with us, please feel free to get in touch.