If you’ve ever wondered ‘How do I increase the value of my home?’ then you may discover that developing property to add value can be both exciting and not without its stress. But if you get it right, it can also be extremely profitable.
Whether you are the next Sarah Beeny or simply looking to ensure a proposed extension will cover its costs in added house value, the basic principles are the same. To successfully climb the property ladder and make wise investment decisions, you need to take a step back and view your property through a house buyer’s eyes.
The development of your property is now your business, your property is your product and, as with any business, your first concern needs to be your customer. It is easy to assume that your product is perfect for your home buyer, however, it is just as easy to forget that many people in the property market enjoy the process of changing the property to suit their own tastes.
Who is your potential house buyer?
The priority is to establish who your likely purchaser will be. This may not be as obvious as you first think as there are a huge number of variables. While nearby schools for families, transport links for commuters and nightlife for young couples may all be obvious selling points for buyers, you may have missed the significance of good dog walking opportunities or proximity to a golf club.
Tip: The best starting point is to seek advice from a local estate agent. You can find out the value of your property by booking a free market appraisal. Our local property experts can then give you guidance on who your market might be.
Increasing your Property’s Appeal
Once you have established who your likely homebuyer will be, the next step is to establish how you can further enhance your property’s appeal to that market and as a result, the value of the property. This may relate to the total amount of space, how it is laid out or simply to the presentation. A further source of useful information can be found by taking a tour of local new build developments. Major house builders spend thousands on market research to discover what their property buyers are looking for.
Tip: A visit to a show home will tell you a lot about popular housing market trends for ensuite bathrooms, utility rooms and downstairs cloakrooms. You may also be inspired by styles and techniques on dressing the house. Most new build developments will contain houses/apartments of several varieties. Look at the brochures and floor plans for different options, as you should find something which bears similarities to your property. You will probably also discover creative ways of making the most of the square footage available.
Learn from Successful Property Developers
This is another ‘pair of eyes’ that you should learn to view a property on the market through. One of the reasons builders make such successful property developers themselves is because they know how to carry out the development in the most cost-effective way possible. All materials and labour will be sourced shrewdly. House extensions, loft conversions and conservatories may be added to the property wherever possible. Rooms may be knocked through to make open-plan areas and cellars (where present) may be used, all to increase the property value. Be aware, though, that in most cases planning permission must be sought to ensure legal compliance.
Tip: Consulting a builder on the costs of your proposed property development will not only ensure you have anticipated all the costs involved, it could help guide you towards a more cost-effective solution. We can provide you with quotes for house refurbishments and put you in contact with locally sourced contractors. Contact us today to find out more.
Increase Square Footage to Increase House Sale Prices
The most basic way of increasing property value is to increase the square footage. In almost every case a larger house in the same location will have a higher house price than a small one of similar condition. However, it is worth noting that you can ‘overdevelop’ a property. A huge house on a very small plot will have limited appeal. You want your house to appeal to the widest possible audience to increase demand.
Tip: Property features such as garages, swimming pools, a quality kitchen and bathroom may add value to your home. However, there is a risk that you might not recover their initial costs in the eventual property sale. A double garage can cost around £10,000 to have built, but does not guarantee a £10,000 increase to the property value… conversely though, it could increase it by more than that!
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What if my property cannot be extended?
If you have a property that cannot be extended or substantially altered, such as a terraced house or flat, there are still many ways to increase the value of your home – it just may be a little trickier. This is because it depends so much on the property itself and the prospective home buyer or tenant. If the property is Grade II listed, for example, period features must be kept and even emphasised. A high-quality finish to the kitchen and bathroom is probably the most reliable way of adding value in this case. Materials such as slate and oak are instantly noticeable and will give that impression of quality.
Tip: In more modern and unlisted properties, altering internal walls to allow more natural light into the property will help a great deal as this will give the impression of extra space. In these types of properties, it’s easier to alter things to maximise the feeling of space because you aren’t limited by the traditional layout and features of listed properties.
- Know the property market – any business requires extensive market research before developing a product.
- Don’t assume everyone wants the same as you
- Appeal to the widest possible audience of potential house buyers
- Make sure you get the most property value/make the most improvement you can for the money you invest.
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Correct at time of publication (22nd November 2018). The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the individual contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of the Chancellors Group of Estate Agents Ltd or its subsidiaries. References to legislation, best practice and other matters with legal implications such as fees, rules and processes are included for information and editorial purposes only and are not authoritative, nor should they be interpreted as advice. When in doubt you should only take advice from an industry professional or solicitor where appropriate. E&OE.