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Property Tips: adding space and value to your home

Author: Craig Bees Published: 7th April 2020 09:06

Make the most of the space in your house, including the basement.  Make the most of the space in your house, including the basement. 

With the current property lockdown many of you are now looking ahead to the summer and beyond. With that in mind here with a few ideas to get you started on what you can do to maximise your home’s potential when it comes to its saleability.     

Selling your home quickly and for the right amount is about giving your property the edge over others.
Major conversion projects, such as excavating cellars or building conservatories, take time and money but they can yield excellent returns. Loft conversions, for example, can add up to 15 per cent to a property’s selling price. But there are other smart tricks that cost very little and can considerably enhance your property’s “kerb appeal” – giving it that wow factor when prospective buyers pull up outside your house for the first time.

Here are 10 ways, ranging in cost, to boost space and value:

Lick of paint
It might sound cosmetic but a coat of new paint (keep the colour neutral) can make a house feel clean, hygienic and cared for. While you are at it, update the front door furniture if it’s looking tired, replace any rotting window timbers or loose tiles and give the front flower beds a weed. First impressions count.

Add parking
An unkempt front garden could be worth converting into an off-road parking area. Depending on the surface, this can be a cost-efficient way to add value, particularly if other properties in your street can’t offer the same.

Planning permission
A property that comes with planning permission can often tempt buyers who have long-term ambitions for the property. Pay an architect to draw up plans for an extension, spend a bit of time getting them through planning and you could find yourself with a very desirable property (allow at least £2,500 to cover architect and council planning fees). Again, it’s about giving your property an edge over others.

Turn the garage into an office
A lot of today’s garages are no longer fit for purpose, having been designed when cars were smaller. They have become dead space and can easily be converted into another room. Before you do anything, though, find out what buyers are looking for in your area: is it houses with lots of bedrooms (families), or properties with an office (young professionals)?

Increasingly vendors and landlords realise that by creating viable home office space they can attract people who want the option of flexible working and who want to be able to stay productive if transport links fail or childcare means the 9-5 grind isn’t an option. In fact office space could be taking over from the luxury en-suite as the must-have home enhancement.

Loft conversion
These are not cheap or always straightforward but they can add considerable value to a property, particularly when space is at a premium. According to recent research, a good loft conversion can add 10%-15% to the value of a home.

Make sure you don’t eat into existing living space and remember to tell your insurer if you are using the space for another bedroom. Costs vary but a small conversion will set you back £15,000; a large one up to £40,000.

Add a conservatory
The key to a successful conservatory is to ensure that it flows from your existing rooms, rather than looking as if it’s just been tacked on to the outside. A good one could add as much as 12% to the value of your home in London, 5% for the rest of the UK as well as give you a lot more living space although this is at the expense of your garden. Expect to pay anything from £5,000-£15,000.

Install a new kitchen
The kitchen is what most house hunters will look at first. Sparkling work surfaces and new appliances can woo a wavering buyer. An average new kitchen costs £8,000 and can add 6% to your property’s value, according to consumer watchdog Which. With the current trend for open plan living make sure your kitchen has a sense of space.

Side return

Converting a side return into a useful space is often an easy way to create an airy, open-plan kitchen or reception area but it can cost more than you think. Victorian town houses are particularly prone to having a dingy passageway running down the side of the property and this can be a good way to utilise the space. It can certainly add the wow factor and help properties to sell quickly. We estimate it can add 5%-10% in city locations although a bit less in the countryside.

Extra bathroom
Bigger houses need more bathrooms, particularly family homes - nobody likes to queue in the morning. The view is that more value is added relative to cost in a bigger property where a good bathroom count is really important. Make sure all your existing bathrooms are spotless too as it sets the right tone. According to Bathstore.com, the average cost of a new bathroom in the UK is £4,500 – however if the suite is only a few years old and in good condition, one of the simplest ways to upgrade a family bathroom, if space allows, is to install a separate shower cubicle next to the bath. Increasingly, when given the choice, people would far rather have both and will pay a small premium for this – and cubicles are relatively straightforward to fit, too.

Dig out the cellar
Not cheap but in cities where the price per sq ft is high, returns can be considerable. Work on the basis that it will cost £300-£500 per sq ft to dig out and fit a basement and see how that figure compares with your area. Alternatively, waterproof an existing basement space, paint it, install some lighting and use it for storage or as a utility room - much cheaper.

Whether you want to spend money on a cellar or are only prepared to fork out on a tin of new paint, there are lots of ways to add value and space to your home. And if you really don’t want to spend anything at all, you could do worse than decluttering your property. It’s amazing how much bigger a space can feel when all the stuff we don’t need in life is removed.

Coronavirus Update

Quick reminder that we are taking the current coronavirus issue seriously and will do all we can to minimise the risk to you and our team.

You can contact us via e-mail.

Lettings: towcesterlettings@bartramandco.co.uk

Sales: towcestersales@bartramandco.co.uk

If you do not have email phone 01327 359164, leave a message and we will get back to you.

Help to Buy Scheme:
still available on all Moat Lane development properties in Towcester with part exchange also considered. Contact us on (01327) 359164.

Monthly draw: why not enter our monthly draw for the chance to win a case of Italian wines (red/whites/mixed) or a one month’s membership at Whittlebury Hall Leisure Club.

How To Enter: every valuation and instruction for sale or rental between now and Monday April 27 will be entered into the draw, the winners being notified by e-mail.

If you’re thinking of selling or letting your property and want to win one of these great prizes on offer call (01327) 359164 and speak to our sales or lettings team.

Until next time.

Craig Bees, MD Bartram & Co

E-mail me at craigbees@bartramandco.co.uk

Visit our website www.bartramandco.co.uk and follow us on Twitter@bartramandcotow

Tel: (01327) 359164

Fax: (01327) 359166

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