Adding Value To Your Property
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As you can see from this article we use lots of sketches in our reports, as well as photos, as the feedback we have from our clients is that the sketches and photos help them understand the reports in greater detail.
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Many ways to add value to your property
There are many ways to add value to your property, from making better use of existing space to extending and adding in additional space. If you wish to carry out a loft or basement conversion please see our other articles.
It has been said that assuming the basics of a house location are correct and the price is right, most houses are sold on how good the kitchen is and the bathroom(s), so we will start with these areas.
We would be more than happy to comment on any of these matters when we carry out a survey. Please telephone for help or advice on valuations on 0800 298 5434.
But first a bit more about value. When we talk about adding value to a property, the property does have to have the basics. For a family this is often a three or four bedroom house, close to schools and close enough to work. For a younger couple the focus would be on being close(ish) to work, entertainment and network of friends, whereas an older couple would possibly focus more on network of friends and hobbies and the practicalities of having a house without stairs, i.e. a bungalow.
Once the basics are satisfied then the average house hunter looks for other things, often known as the wow factors and to be honest sometimes if the wow factors are good enough the very basics get overlooked, with the focus being on the wow factor.
Enlarging The Kitchen To Make a Kitchen / Diner
It is said that one of the key factors in purchasing a property is what the kitchen is like to extend it to make it into a kitchen / diner or a kitchen / breakfast room, which can add considerable value. A kitchen / diner can become the room that you live in, almost certainly the heart of the home. A small extension may enable you, with the re-arrangement of the kitchen, to fit into a kitchen diner. You do have to think carefully about the design of the kitchen and the workflow; do you wish to use a central island, for example, with a cooking unit on or a sink, which also doubles as a table. Don't forget to also think about natural light.
Bathrooms are the next feature that most people look on for adding value, assuming the rest of the property meets the criteria they have. An en-suite bathroom is treasured if you have a large family and there are queues for the bathroom during the morning rush. An en-suite can range from anything from hiving off a section of your bedroom to have a shower in, to planning a room within your bedroom. You then have a few choices, such as should you have a shower or a bath? If you have a shower should it be a single or a double shower unit? Of course you have other options, such as a heated floor and towel rail.
Ground Floor Cloakroom
A very popular alteration if the space is available. The advantages are that it means any guests can use the cloakroom without having to enter your private living space upstairs. A popular place for a ground floor cloakroom is for it to be fitted in under the staircase, this means the work can be carried out without extending the property. The issues with a cloakroom under the stairs are major water supply pipes and of course the head room. If the drains are not conveniently located this can make it quite an expensive condition.
As working from home is becoming more popular, if you haven't got a spare room or your own home office, then you need to look elsewhere. This can range from a basic under the stairs option to a garage conversion, which we have seen where the garage door has been removed and a window and door added, so that the office has its own access. Also becoming more popular are designer garden shed offices, locating literally at the bottom of your garden.
Your Own Parking Space
If you have ever had to fight for a space to park your car and ended up parking some way down the road, your own parking space is worth its weight in gold. If you have enough space in your front garden, then you can convert this area with a hard standing. You do need to get permission to drop the kerb to have official access to the area. You may also wish to add a canopy to ensure you can get out and stay dry on a rainy day.
Extending the Indoors Outdoors
Becoming increasingly popular, and certainly adding value to the house, is having presentable gardens, for example with decking, etc. As we have recently discovered, hiring an expert to advise what plant to grow best where certainly does help out. He considered everything from the colours, to the colour mix, leaves versus flowers discussion was had, so of course was the fragrance.
This is bound to get more popular. This can range from everything from water butts to re-use your rainwater, to more sophisticated and expensive items such as solar panels, which work from the sun's rays, photo-sonic, which work from light rays or wind turbines. You should be aware that some of these require permission from your Local Authority as they fall under a planning requirement.
Energy Saving Additions
It is very difficult to quantify whether adding extra insulation to your property adds value, it can certainly save money over the long term. Interestingly it can reduce value if the neighbours, for example, have double glazing and you have single glazing. It can also cause problems in older properties, e.g. where the roofs are insulated to modern day standards and not ventilated, condensation and deterioration to the timber rafters can occur.
A conservatory offers the benefit of adding an additional room at a reduced cost. Conservatories range from everything from the DIY packs that you assemble yourself to the plastic conservatories, that are so popularly advertised, to the traditional painted wood conservatory. We like conservatories as they do extend the summer, making a very useable area during the spring and autumn months, although they can be cold during the winter. However, you do have options such as heated floors to combat this. We would also add that they can get too hot, so you do need to think about natural ventilation. It is also very much dependent upon the direction the conservatory faces.
See our other articles on adding value to your home:
If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a surveyor with regard to home improvements, surveys, estate agents, valuations, mortgages, mortgage companies, structural reports, specific defects reports, structural surveys, home buyers reports or any other property matters please contact 0800 298 5424 and speak to one our surveyors.
If you have a commercial property, whether it is freehold or leasehold then sooner or later you may get involved with dilapidation claims. You may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at www.DilapsHelp.com and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site www.DisputesHelp.com
We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).
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