Many people get back from summer holidays and start making big life decisions in September, such as whether to move home or not. This is borne out by statistics which show it’s the second busiest month for property websites Rightmove and Zoopla, according to home seller eMoov.co.uk.
But with moving costs on the average home adding up to around £12,000, or £30,000 in London, according to the Daily Telegraph, is it worth it? Might home owners in fact be better off staying put and improving where they live?
Spending money on creating a nicer, possibly larger space to live in can mean less wasted money and hassle. Here are five ways to improve a property and add value without moving, for a variety of budgets and home-types:
Many property experts say that adding an extra bedroom in the roof-space is the most cost-effective and sensible way of both adding value and improving a home.
A typical loft conversion costs between £30,000 and £40,000, but can increase a home’s worth by 20%, or even 50% in London.
Another way of adding space and, possibly, a decent amount of extra value is by building a conservatory.
A really well-blended additional ground floor room, with quality fittings that’s properly incorporated into a property’s structure, costs around £15,000 to £20,000. According to Phil Spencer of Location, Location, Location fame, it adds between 7% and 14% to a property’s value; that’s up to £35,000 on a house valued at £250,000.
Kitchens are just about the most crucial space in a home for most buyers. A new one costs, on average, around £8,000, according to consumer champion Which?, but adds 6% in value.
That’s £15,000 on a £250,000 property, or almost double the cost of the work.
Of course, if you build a kitchen extension into a garden, say, you could easily add £15,000 to the cost, but it could be worth it in terms of increasing space without the hassle of moving.
For those with a somewhat lower budget, outside space can be improved to the point where it’s almost an extra ‘room’.
Adding French windows that open onto a good-size deck, as well as heaters, fresh turf, extra fencing for privacy and outdoor lighting might not be hugely cheap – expect to pay around £6,000 for all this – but could be well worth it.
A lovely garden can add 5% to 10% to the value of a home, experts say. Just think about it carefully, do it tastefully and don’t overspend.
Creating open-plan rooms, stripping floorboards and opening up fireplaces
Removing a wall between a dining room and living room (assuming it’s a supporting wall), and making good, should cost around £2,000 in a typical home.
Taking up carpet and stripping and varnishing old floorboards in the new space will cost another £500, while opening up a ‘hidden’ fireplace in a chimney breast and making it attractive about £600.
Add in redecorating the remodelled downstairs, and for around £3,500 the house could feel and look dramatically nicer, and even bigger!
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Published 16 August 2017