Focus on... seven ways to help your property’s value
Standard Property’s occasional series focusing on tips, tricks and helpful ideas and information to help you buy or
Standard Property’s occasional series focusing on tips, tricks and helpful ideas and information to help you buy or sell. Here are seven surprising ways you can boost — or unknowingly reduce — the value of your home
THERE are many factors in play when it comes to valuing a property — some much more obvious than others, writes Lucy Boon.
From the quality of your nearest drinking hole to the toys strewn on a kid’s bedroom floor, issues that may seem insignificant can have a shocking impact on price.
Whether you’re looking to sell or moving to a new area, it’s important to be aware of anything that could have a negative impact on your property’s value and impede a future sale. Here are Standard Property’s key points to bear in mind.
1. Messy kids
Now there’s another reason to get children to tidy their toys away. A messy kid’s bedroom can knock £8,000 off the value of the average house, according to ING Direct. That threat to withhold pocket money doesn’t sound so mean now, does it?
2. What’s in a name?
Quite a lot, actually. Research by Zoopla found ‘Warrens’ are the priciest types of road, with houses fetching up to £607,267 — more than double the national average of £282,978. (Just look at The Warren in nearby Caversham, which is known for its select properties.) ‘Streets’ are much cheaper, at an average of £184,722.
As for the other half of the name, ‘Kings’ are 20 per cent costlier than ‘Queens’ (luckily for those who live in King’s Road, Henley, where four-bedroom terraced houses are now valued around £800,000).
Rude names sell for less, too, simply because of the embarrassment. Fancy living in Lancashire’s Slag Lane or Bell End in the West Midlands?
3. Counting the cost
Numbers, too, have a surprising influence. A Zoopla study revealed that, on average, odd-numbered houses fetched £538 more than even-numbered equivalents.
And it seems we are a nation of superstitious so-and-sos. If you own a number 13 — deliberately missed out in Downing Street and others — your home is likely to sell for £6,500 less than its neighbours. Unlucky.
4. The truth about cats and dogs
Most of the 39 per cent of people who own a dog or cat in the UK will have no related issues selling their house. However, if your pets are intimidating, smelly or there are just too many of them, that could cost you dearly — knocking up to five per cent off the asking price.
5. A decent local
A noisy, rowdy drinking hole with ne’er-do-wells spilling out on to the pavements every night can really put potential buyers off and have a negative impact on your house price.
Equally, a lovely local pub with craft ale and a delectable line in homemade pies is a major plus.
Similarly, the “Waitrose effect” is a real thing — last year a report by Lloyds Bank suggested an upscale supermarket can add 12 per cent or £40,000 to the average property. (Good news if you live near our local Waitrose behind Bell Street).
6. A question of taste
You might completely adore that floral carpet, but does everyone else? Perceived bad taste can knock between five and 10 per cent off the value, according to experts.
If your main purpose is to sell your home for the highest possible return, stick to relatively neutral, non-offensive decor. That way potential buyers can more easily visualise putting their own stamp on the place.
7. Everybody needs good neighbours
No matter how well-heeled an area, how good the schools and how lovely the local pub, disputes with neighbours can have a terrifying impact on prices.
An estimated one in five homeowners will encounter serious problems with neighbours, whether it’s arguments over noise and territory or just living next door to people with antisocial habits or behaviour.
A survey by Halifax Home Insurance suggested this can shave up to £31,000 off the price of the average property. Before exchanging, talk to the seller about the neighbours and try to get a feel for the area. You can also contact the local council to see if any disputes have been recorded.