It seems as though many experts are predicting that house prices will level out or even fall over the following months.
Whilst this news will not be greeted with open arms by current home-owners, for those trying to get on to the housing ladder, it should mean a mortgage will be that little bit more affordable. Instead of the current situation where house prices have been rising faster than young people can possibly save their deposits, they may well find some breathing space.
For those who’ve grown used to trading up their homes on a fairly regular basis, they may find it better to stay put until the market regains its impetus – which it undoubtedly will eventually, if only because of the shortage of homes in the UK.
We’ve grown used to house prices rising just for the sake of living in them, – or even leaving them empty – but maybe the time has come to actively do something to make your home more desirable to keep up the value.
Converting your loft is number one on a list of home improvements virtually guaranteed to up the value by over 20%. A fair-sized conversion of around 300 sq ft should offer the potential for a double bedroom with en-suite or extra bathroom. There are firms that specialize in loft conversions and for an average cost of around £17,500, this could add £20,000 or so to a typical home currently valued at £200,000.
Adding another bedroom is an excellent idea. Splitting a double bedroom into two single ones is probably not a good idea overall but if you can actually increase the floor space by going over a garage or kitchen extension you’re looking at over 10% rise in the price of your home – or £10,000 plus on our typical house.
You may think that everyone has central heating nowadays, so if you’re lagging behind on this mod con, then now’s the time to get it installed. In addition to increasing the price of your property, a modern system will save on heating bills, too. It costs around £5,000 to install and will add around £14,000 to your average house.
If there’s any way you can add a parking space to your home, you can up its value and make it more sale-able. A garage will increase the value even more and if you can find the space for a double garage you could add up to £30,000 on our typical £200,000 home.
An extra bathroom or en-suite can add more than its cost and with more and more new homes being built with two or more bathrooms, it is becoming more important on the list of “must-haves” for home-hunters.
Plan carefully for any improvements and keep an eye on those fixtures and fittings – these are the costs that add up. A simple white bathroom suite can be bought for a reasonable cost, but beware of fancy radiators, mirrors and fancy shelves that can eat into the budget and may be too personalised to actually add to the value. Keep it simple, clean and well presented.