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How To Increase The Value Of Your House

Aug 17, 2007
First time buyers receive a great deal of attention at the current time due to the increasing difficulty of making that first step on the property ladder. It is rarely documented however of the difficulties facing homeowners looking to move up the property ladder which is too becoming increasingly difficult.

Recent research shows that the average upscale from a two to a three bedroom property now stands at 27,100. Those looking to upscale from a three to a four bedroom house face the biggest hike in price at 64,032.

As a result of these differences in price, coupled with the fees involved in moving home, more and more people are looking to improve & extend their current home to take the effect of upsizing.

When buying a property, many property developers will look at the potential to improve, modify and extend in order to increase the value. This is also a technique now used by many buyers looking at the potential for home improvement.

It can be difficult enough to buy property, with many considerations that must be taken into account. There are many issues that can reduce property value let alone increase it; however the type of property you buy can dictate your ability to improve it or even make any additions at all.

The type of property that best suits improvement will depend on the nature of work you would like to perform. For example, if you are planning to convert a loft in an extra room then it is important that there is enough room to stand up in.

Sometimes the easiest and cheapest way to increase your homes value is to invest in an improving, up and coming area. Signs that an areas property market is set to improve can be relatively easy to find.

These signs may include looking at particular areas or streets that are already popular with buyers. It is often the case that as particular streets or areas increase in value, buyers are priced out of their preferred location, so move as near to it as they can afford.

The important thing to remember is that there is no guarantee that any improvements made on your property will result in an increase in value. Buyers in different locations will be after different things.

It is an important consideration to ensure that you are offering potential buyers what they really want. For example a conservatory may be appealing to some but not to others

A good yardstick is often to consult the local estate agents who much a property would be worth subject to improvements being carried out, such as a new kitchen or a conservatory.

Often its the smaller, cheaper improvements that can generally offer higher returns than the more expensive ones. The larger and more expensive jobs such as converting your loft or basement may seem appealing to buyers, however they are often unwilling to pay a premium that meets the expense and effort of carrying it out.

The cost of any home improvement and the likely return will vary hugely on the type of property and the area that its located. Very few developments come in under budget with the majority coming in over budget.

Quotes received from builders can often be on the optimistic side. It is therefore prudent to over budget for works.

Below is a rough guide of the costs versus the benefits:

Loft conversions:
Cost: 15,000 to 35,000
Potential value increase: 20,000
Difference: - 5,000
A loft conversion must be done properly in order to increase the value of your home. A very important consideration is that it cannot be classed as a loft conversion unless it meets specific building & planning regulations. Your local council will be able to give advice on what those rules are.

Basement conversion:
Cost: 100,000
Potential value increase: 20,000 to 25,000
Difference: - 77,500
A basement conversion is among the most expensive of home improvements. Recouping the initial outlay when selling the property is very difficult let alone making a profit. In some case it can however be very beneficial when selling the property if used as an extra bedroom.

Cost: 30,000 to 50,000
Potential value increase: 20,000 to 25,000
Difference: - 17,500
An extension is fast becoming a popular alternative to moving home in order to upsize. You will usually have to sacrifice garden space which can of course have a negative impact on your homes value. Before commencing with any planned work it is important to consult your local council as there may be restrictions on the height and proximity to boundary lines of any addition.

Off-Road Parking:
Cost: 1,000
Potential value increase: 5,000
Difference: + 4,000
Again, this work requires consultation with the local authority as the job may involve altering the height of the curb. This can prove to be one of the cheapest and most effective improvements that can be carried out.

Cost: 10,000 to 15,000
Potential value increase: 12,000 to 19,000
Difference: 3,000
Conservatories may not seem quite as attractive in todays market as they once would have done to the potential buyer. Adding a conservatory is an expensive exercise and would perhaps be best considered for personal use rather than as a tool to increase the value of the property.
About the Author
James Copper enjoys writing on all areas of personal and commercial finance. He works for Any Loans who specialise in home improvement loans.
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