Are you wondering about improving, or moving? Do you find yourself browsing kitchen or bathroom brochures, and dreaming of new tiles or taps?
Perhaps you’ve always wanted a red kitchen, but you’re worried about the effect it will have on your home sale value, even if you’re not really planning on moving any time in the near future.
We know how you feel; we have conversations with lots of people who are thinking about changing their house, but don’t want to reduce their home’s ‘saleability’. But how do you know which changes to make, and which to leave for your new buyer? In fact, which improvements and changes do have a positive effect on the price you could ultimately sell your house for?
Here’s our run-down of home improvements and changes and their potential impact on your selling price:
The average house in the Lake District sells for between £250 and £350 a square foot, depending on location, position, garden size and specifications. Therefore, it would stand to reason that an extension should realise you a profit, provided that you can build it for less than the price per square foot your home is worth.
However, not all extensions add monetary value. And the time and effort it can take – not to mention the disruption to your family and home life – can be too high a price to pay.
Our advice: check with us. We’d be happy to take a look at your home, and value it with and without your planned extension. There are so many variables, it’s impossible to generalise, so share with us your plans and we’ll give you our frank feedback.
Many Lake District homes have had annexes or granny flats added over the last fifty years. Of course, if you’re taking an income from your extra area, perhaps as a holiday let, it can seem like a valuable asset to your home.
But to a buyer moving from out of area, looking for perhaps her dream retirement home, an annexe is probably unnecessary, and superfluous to requirements. If your annexe makes up more than 10% of the overall area of your home, a buyer could argue that your house is therefore ‘overvalued’ to her by that same proportion.
Our advice: if you don’t already have an annexe, don’t add one. If your house does have a separate living area, ie two kitchens, then consider how you might incorporate it into the main house so that you’re prepared to answer this question for a potential buyer, wanting a large family home.
We find buyers love to plan for a new kitchen when they’re buying a large Lake District home. It’s part of their overall dream to project manage some improvements, wherever they buy. If your current kitchen is past its best, don’t worry, it is unlikely to put off a buyer.
Our advice: If you’re considering a new kitchen to help make your home more saleable, send us a photo at email@example.com or on our Facebook page m.me/ashdownjones and we’ll let you know what we think.
Buyers do love modern bathrooms. If your bathrooms are more than ten years old, they may well put off a buyer. Coloured tiles, patterned flooring and dated taps all give the impression of a big project. Unlike kitchens, which buyers love to replace, they tend to be relieved and happy when they see modern, sparkling bathrooms, especially if they have been refitted less than three years ago.
Our advice: get a quote from a local bathroom specialist and let us know what you’re planning on spending on the project. As a general rule of thumb, we suggest spending up to 3% – 5% of your potential selling price on your bathrooms. It’ll stop buyers haggling and ultimately help you achieve much closer to your asking price.
Carpet and flooring
New carpets and flooring are almost always a great investment. Carpets that are well-worn or more than ten years old probably need to be replaced before you put your home on the market.
Our advice: Do it! Remember to stick to neutral colours, and if you’re opting for hard flooring, choose natural materials whenever possible. Don’t put carpet down in any ‘wet’ rooms: kitchens, bathrooms and cloakrooms all need hard flooring.
What buyers most want in a garden is somewhere nice to sit out and enjoy the views – preferably close to the house – and a pretty lawn. The rest really doesn’t matter that much.
Our advice: stick to maintaining what’s already there, have your patio power-washed and invest in some nice new garden furniture.
If you’re considering a change, improvement or refit in your home to help it sell more easily, a chat with us might just help save you from unnecessary expense and effort. So avoid the mess and disruption, let us know your plans at firstname.lastname@example.org or on our Facebook page m.me/ashdownjones and we’ll let you know what we think.
Sam and Phil