The property market has been badly affected by the covid-19 pandemic over the middle part of 2020, but agents and lenders are reporting a surge in demand for houses. London has always been a strong market and remains so. With many people having been inspired to look for a bigger or more suitable home during the recent lockdown, now could be the time to think about adding value to your London property. Here are the best ways you can increase the value of your house.
1. Convert a Cellar
Not everyone will be able to take advantage of this, but if you do have a cellar – and many older London houses do – converting it into a usable space is a certain way of adding value to the property. Cellars are often converted into storage space, and in many cases a living space. They are used for playrooms and games rooms and, according to propertypriceadvice.co.uk, a sensibly converted cellar may add up to 30% to the value of a London home.
2. Utilise the Garage
It’s often the case that a garage is full of stuff that you have put there and forgotten about. It’s a potential living area that could be easily converted into a very usable room. In many cases, converting a garage into living space may not need planning permission – the same goes for most cellar conversions – so this is a simple and effective way of adding more space. Always check with your local authority planning office for clarification.
3. Loft Conversions
Probably the number one choice when looking to add space to a London property is to go upwards. Your loft space is doing nothing, and according to onthemarket.com, a loft conversion can add as much as 24% to the value of a property in London. This is one of the most cost-effective ways of putting value onto a home and loft spaces can be made into very beautiful rooms for a variety of uses. As a master bedroom, for example, a loft conversion can be made to be surprisingly light and airy, which is what people want in London.
4. Add a Conservatory
Modern conservatories can be very beautiful rooms in their own right. Offering a space willed with natural light and a wonderful place for use as a family room, putting a quality conservatory onto the house will certainly add value. They can be fitted to the rear or side of a house, depending upon where the adequate space may be, and you’ll find it an excellent selling point should you decide to move on.
5. Build an Extension
If you have the space, you could consider adding extra rooms at ground level by building out. Many people add an extension to a rear-facing kitchen, thus creating a larger kitchen area or a completely new room, and it is advisable to consult with an expert in the construction industry who will advise you as to the best and most cost-effective place and design. There will be planning restrictions on this addition hence you will need to talk to your local authority, but once you have a design finalised and agreed, the work should be completed quickly and value added to your home to the tune of up to 15%.
6: Garden and Kerb Appeal
If you are thinking of selling and want to get the best price for your property, don’t overlook the importance of ‘kerb appeal’. First impressions count a great deal when looking for a house to buy. Get a painter and decorator in to give the exterior paintwork a fresh coat. Replace the front door with a newer, more secure and attractive example. Make sure the exterior of the house looks as fresh and tidy as the interior. Also, pay attention to the garden. As gardens are at a premium in London, if you have such a space ensure it is well-kept, tidy and attractive, with a regularly mown lawn. An attractive garden will certainly help your property sell for the best price.
7: Re-model the Interior
There is a trend for open-plan spaces in London homes right now. The ground floor of many houses will lend itself to this treatment. Is yours one of them? You might have a vision that you want to achieve, and we recommend that you get an expert to have a look at your house and give you valuable advice on what can and cannot be done. Open-plan living is not for everyone, however, so while this will add value to your home, it may put off some otherwise potential buyers. If it is for your own pleasure and satisfaction, converting to open-plan can change a dull and ordinary ground floor into a bright and light-filled space that is a pleasure to be in.
8: Add a Bathroom
Converting an existing and little-used space in a home can be a selling point. People do like to have more than one bathroom in a house, and more where there is a family involved. The downside is that while it will help sell the house, an additional bathroom will only add up to perhaps 5%. This is because the conversion can be complex and quality bathroom fittings – which are essential if you want it to be a selling point – are not cheap. If you’re looking to sell in the near future, it might be a worthwhile investment.
How will YOU add value to your property?
The above is not an exhaustive list of ways to add value to a London property. For example, if planning to sell, you can add value and buyer appeal by getting planning permission for one or more of the above where it is required.
What the list does show is that there are ways to improve your London home and increase its potential value, and some are not as expensive as you might think. Get a builder to have a look at your property and they will be able to advise as to potential areas of improvement and make your house the one everyone wants to buy.