When it comes to anything that might affect the value of our homes most of us are like little Meerkats – always on the lookout for potential threats and ready to alert the neighbours. And, whilst we’re all well aware of the importance of location, location, location (Thank you Kirsty and Phil) and the positive impact a new kitchen or bathroom can have on value, there are some things you might find surprising.
If you’re considering selling up in order to downsize or you’re looking into Equity Release, it’s useful to know about anything that could have both a positive and negative impact on your property’s value, especially those unexpected things you might well have overlooked. Where items are out of our control, such as the name of your road or transport links it’s still worth being aware to avoid disappointment. Other items such as creating a parking space might be worth considering in a bid to enjoy the highest possible value for your home.
1. It’s all in the name
Who would have thought that the name of your road or area could have an impact on property value. Of course, if we’ve already purchased this isn’t something we can do anything about but it’s still worth being aware of.
According to research carried out by Zoopla the priciest roads are Warrens – houses on a Warren fetch up to £607,267 (that’s more than double the national average of £282,978). With an average house price of £184,722, Streets on the other hand are at the cheaper end. And, if your house sits on Kings Road it’s likely to be worth 20% more than your friends living on Queens Road. If your property is unfortunate to be associated with a rude name, I won’t quote any here but you can always Google it for a giggle, I’m afraid you’re also looking at a hit on value.
2. Smelly cat, smelly cat, it’s not your fault (one for all you Friends fans)
As a nation of animal lovers we’d probably rather forgo top value for all those furry cuddles, so you’ll be glad to hear that 39% of sellers find that pet ownership has no impact on value or the ability to sell. However, if your kitty or canine companion is known to be somewhat whiffy you might want to whip out the shampoo to avoid the 5% reduction in value that this could cause. If your house has more pets than people or if Mr. Fluffy has the ability to intimidate guests rather than welcome them you’re also looking at 5% less. To overcome these value-impeding challenges some people ask a friend or relative to look after their pets for valuations, others just make sure they are outside or freshly washed. Moving dirty pet bowls is also a smart move worth making.
3. I said TIDY YOUR ROOM!!!
We all know that getting kids and grandkids to keep a tidy room can be painful but when you consider that, according to ING Direct, a messy kids room can knock as much as £8,000 off the value of the average house, it’s definitely worth the pain. Sorry, you’re going to have to keep nagging.
4. The best possible taste
We know, we know you love flamingos, pineapples and palm trees and that’s perfectly fine. The problem is that not everyone shares your exotic sense of taste. What you see as great taste can often be quite the opposite to others. In fact ‘bad taste’ can reduce the value of your home by 5-10%. So, if you’re looking at getting the highest market valuation (I mean who wouldn’t be) it’s best to go with the standard neutrals, minimal patterns and simple furnishings in place of highly decorative and personalised interiors. I know this might sound boring but trust me it’s the best way to increase appeal and up the value.
5. Now this is an odd one
Just as a name can impact on value so too can a number. Who knew! According to Zoopla houses with odd numbers fetch an average of £538 more than those with even, don’t ask me why. Superstition also comes into play here, with number 13 on your street likely to sell for £6,500 less than its neighbouring properties. Of course, if you’re a buyer this little numeral nugget could help you to bag a bargain. As an owner looking for top dollar, you might choose to give your house a name to avoid this whole numerical issue, however you will still need to use the number in the address. Get in touch with your local council to find out more about the numbering and naming policy and what’s involved.
6. Love thy neighbour
We’ve all heard the horror stories about neighbourly disputes and most of us realise how important having good neighbours is and what a difference it makes. When we viewed our house little did we know that the neighbours were surreptitiously vetting us. Luckily they seem to like us (or so they tell us anyway). Ranging from noise and boundary issues to more serious threats like anti-social behaviour and aggression, statistics show that around 1 in 5 of us will encounter serious disputes with our neighbours. And, as reported by Halifax Home Insurance, neighbourly disputes can take up to £31,000 off the value of the average property.
7. Cheers to a good local & a posh supermarket
If we’re looking at top valuations for your pad we’re talking a quaint real ale local with sedate drinkers chatting in a lovely beer garden over a homemade pork pie. What we don’t want if we can help it is a raucous, rowdy crowd spilling out on to your pavements from the big pub on the corner. The former is appears will actually increase value whereas the latter is more likely to impact negatively on value. In terms of supermarkets, what you’re looking for is the “Waitrose effect. Got a posh supermarket locally? According to Lloyds bank, the average property in your area can add a whacking 12% or £40,000 on to its value!
8. Hop on a train
It’s nice to be able to get about without always having to get in the car and in cities this is a must. Plus, with us all trying to be much more eco these days it’s important to use public transport as often as we can. In fact a survey by Nationwide confirms that the closer you live to public transport, the more your house could be worth. If you live in London and your home is situated within 500m of a tube station you can add 10.5% to your property’s value. A Glaswegian home 500 metres or less from a train station is worth an average of £9,400 more than those further away and those of you living near a Metrolink station in Manchester can add on an average of £8,300.
9. Park it!
Nobody wants to battle for a space after a long day at work or wants to lug their heavy shopping bags down the street. So, when we also share the fact that a parking space directly outside your town house (as opposed to down the road or in the next street) can add up to £50,000 it suddenly becomes clear why so many people in urban areas have converted their front gardens into driveways. If this is something you are considering you’ll need to check with your local council regarding any planning permission required.
If you do decide to release tax-free cash from your home through equity release your home will be valued by a third party professional, so you can rest assured that the value agreed is completely impartial.
Of course there is a lot to consider before you get to this stage and that’s what we’re here for. If you have any questions about equity release please get in touch with us on 0800 612 6755.
Thanks for reading, we look forward to hearing from you.
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