Will an Extension Increase the Value of my Property? 9 Tips for Success
First of all, we must make it clear there are no guarantees in property. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t issues you should consider when planning an extension:
- Location: Before thinking about adding an extension to your property, look at the rest of the properties in your street. An extension can add a lot of value to your property, but believing your property could be worth £600k when the average price in the street is £400k is unrealistic. Being aware of the prices in your area can help ensure you don’t over spend.
- What can your property offer? Whilst studying the prices of the properties in your area, it might also be worth looking at what they offer. For example: how many have garages? Is parking an issue? How many are open plan? If your property can offer something the others don’t, it can be a good way of ensuring a realistic premium over your neighbours. This is also the time to think about who your buyer could be: Who are they? What do they want? How can your home best attract them? It’s important to have these considerations in the back of your mind throughout the entire process.
- Plan, Plan, and Plan Again! When considering how your extension can meet your needs, don’t just think about now, but also what your needs might be in 5 years time. This will help future proof your property, and make it a more attractive long-term investment for a potential buyer. An easy way to do this is to ask yourself questions: Do I want to have breakfast in the morning sun? Am I fed up of running between the bedroom and bathroom? Is the oven a bit too low for me in the kitchen?
- Timescale: When do you want the work to be completed? Are you prepared to live through the mess? What will you do if it takes longer than expected? How financially stable is your position – can you absorb any cost overruns? These are all considerations which can help prevent nasty surprises.
- Priorities: Buyers normally have 4 priorities when viewing a property, so it is worth considering these before designing your extension:
- Kitchens and bathrooms: these are the most important rooms for buyers in any property. They are also the rooms where money spent is most likely to see the greatest return.
- Usable space: buyers are looking for space, not rooms. Creating light, airy, open spaces rarely goes unrewarded. Think about taking down non-load-bearing walls, and using decoration to ‘zone’ your living areas.
- Storage: for both you, and your potential buyer, is key as it provides room for potential growth.
- Bring the outside in: bi-folding doors, garden rooms, big windows, and well-maintained gardens can create a real impact, and go a long way to making your home stand out from the crowd.
- Design: From an aesthetic point of view, it is important your extension complements your existing property. First impressions are incredibly important to buyers, and it is worth thinking about how your extension can create the right impression. This is also the opportunity to balance your property: are there enough bathrooms? Could you move the downstairs bedroom upstairs? Do you have ‘through rooms’ which could be closed off? Once you have that brilliant design, make sure you think about the materials. Poor quality materials can ruin even the best designs and are the first thing buyers would replace.
- Budget: Make sure you get a number of quotes, and always question those that appear overly optimistic. Moreover, be prepared and have a contingency for any unexpected costs.
- Befriend the neighbours: always take those around you into consideration. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it can substantially decrease the likely-hood of any difficult situations arising regarding party-walls etc.
- Legislation: it is absolutely essential that your extension meets all the relevant planning criteria. This should be approved before construction begins, and completed paperwork will be required when the time comes to sell your property.
Hopefully these tips will help you make the most of your extension, on a financial as well as personal level!