Thursday, 13 January 2011

Can you extend your way out of the property slump? part 1 of 2

Falling house prices can mean costly mortgages. Avoid them by adding to the value of your home.

According to Halifax, the average home lost £2,000 of its value last month, and prices are expected to fall further throughout 2011. That could be a problem for many people with mortgages, because if your property loses value, your loan-to-value ratio increases and you may have to pay a higher rate if and when you remortgage.
But there may be a way of preventing your home losing value. According to Nationwide, some home improvements will add more value to your property than the cost of carrying them out. What's more, with savings rates at an all-time low, this could be a more lucrative use of any spare cash you have stashed away, and you would get to enjoy the fruits of your labour into the bargain.
But you will need to do some careful homework to ensure that your Grand Design pays off. It is also hard to gain finance in the current climate, so you may need to think laterally about how to borrow any money you might need. But if you get it right you could end up with a home that keeps its value throughout the year, and a cheaper mortgage to go with it.

Pick your project

While some renovations will markedly improve the value of your house, others will not add a penny. As a rule, anything that adds floor space to your home (unless you are eating up a tiny garden) is a good investment, but other projects may be more questionable.
According to Nationwide, increasing your floor space adds almost five per cent to the price of a typical house, while if your house is detached, the price will go up by seven per cent. If you convert your loft, adding a bedroom and a bathroom, you could add up to 20 per cent to your property value.
The National Association of Estate Agents calculates that an extension could add between 10 and 50 per cent to the value, while upgrading the exterior of your house could see an uplift of 15 per cent. A new kitchen can also be a good investment, adding between 10 and 15 per cent.
On the other hand, putting in a swimming pool or a home gym won't give you any payback. The swimming pool is the classic example, By all means put one in if it gives you pleasure, but it won't add value."

Talk to the experts

The figures above are merely average ones, since every property and location is different. If you're unsure whether to go ahead with an extension, talk to the people who know your area best. Talk to agents, they are not just there to sell your home –they will want to build up relationships as use them

A good estate agent will tell you whether your home will benefit financially from an extension, loft conversion or other project. Variables to consider include whether you have sufficient downstairs living space to support an extra bedroom above, and whether you will lose a bedroom on the first floor if you put a staircase up to the loft.

simply paying attention to neglected areas of your home could reap the greatest rewards.
Homefinders have become more choosy, so it's good to enter a house that's clearly loved. That means it's been well maintained and presented. Investing in a modern kitchen and bathrooms will always make a return on investment, Leaky roofs or gutters full of dead leaves will end up with water seeping into the house, and that can seriously affect the worth of a property. Out-of-date electrics are a turn off and will allow a buyer to offer substantially less than the asking price.

Even if you aren't thinking of selling in the next few years, attention to these details will stop the value of your home drifting down further than the rest of the market.

Other useful related links

No comments:

Post a Comment