Ever heard of the Goldilocks Conundrum?It’s the situation where something: maybe your pay packet, your house or your car can feel too small, too big or just right. You know, like the chair in the story. Sometimes, you start with the ‘perfect’ size or quantity, but over time, it just becomes too small or too large.
This dilemma has plagued homeowners for years.What happened when the cosy two bedroom house you bought as newly weds? Five years on, it has become almost unbearable. Probably because you now have two children and another on the way. With the mortgage availability crisis still being sorted out, homeowners who want to move up the property ladder, are caught in the middle and get the short end of the stick. While you ponder the chances of being able to afford a new mortgage, you may decide to carry out some renovation. This may be to increase the use you get out of the property or potentially the value of the house itself. This is one situation where the Goldilocks Conundrum kicks in again. How many square feet should your new extension be? Should you go for a World-Cup samba themed living room (everyone loves football, right)? You may end up selling this house, so it’s best to err on the side of caution. Your buyer may just prefer clay pigeon shooting. Remember this very important rule – Cost doesn’t equal value. You can buy that ‘one-of-a-kind’ marble bathtub off the high street for thousands of pounds, but when you decide to sell? What if the prospective buyers think it’s too gaudy, thereby reducing your asking price? Keep that in mind as we run through the seven add-ons that have been proven to increase the value of the property you put up for sale :
1. EXTENSIONS.Since the ease on planning restrictions in 2012, over 200,000 homeowners apply for permission to extend their homes, every year. Some extensions require you to get a full planning permission. Some other types do not and are considered as permitted development. Check with the Planning Portal and your local council for the fine print. With permissions sorted, the dilemma of what type of room to add, surfaces. Some families opt for a new bedroom ‘out back’ (usually for grandparents); others prefer having a kitchen extension or conservatory built instead. The best advice is to think long term and see if you would still appreciate that conservatory when the chilly, -ember months roll around next year. Remember: cost doesn’t equal value.
2. LOFT CONVERSION.Valuers in a Halifax Home Improvement Survey, reported that loft conversions represent the best value for money. Most improvements will probably yield some ROI, but loft conversions are guaranteed to do so. Most lofts have roofs with heights that exceed 2.2 metres and are thus suitable for conversion. With many houses in the UK having 3 bedrooms, a loft conversion is usually used to add one more bedroom. An enterprising builder can even squeeze in an en-suite washroom. Some ‘brave’ homeowners choose to convert their cellars In a bid to increase square footage. The sheer hassle involved in doing this is one reason why we don’t recommend it. It is also a very expensive undertaking. Regardless of which route you take, consult with experienced architects and builders for your extensions and loft conversions.
3. REORGANISE EXISTING SPACE.With the trend for open-plan living quarters still on the rise (almost 33% of applications lodged in randomly chosen councils was for opening up internal spaces), sometimes you may not need to actually build to create more space. By simply rearranging walls and entrances, you can open up a larger living cum kitchen area. Note that before you go bashing down walls, get professionals check and make sure it isn’t a load-bearing wall.
4. KIT OUT YOUR KITCHENWith the amount of wear and tear that the average kitchen goes through, updating one when renovating is key to getting the price you want. Valuers in the aforementioned Halifax survey ranked a modern fitted kitchen right behind a loft conversion in their list of home improvements most likely to add value. With the many mod cons available from kitchen fitters (from magnetic cabinets to iPad driven kitchen appliances), it is easy to spend tens of thousands on a top-notch kitchen, but bear in mind the cost in relation to the other improvements on your list. You should also be mindful of just how the elements you choose to upgrade, look together.
Part 2 is here.
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