Home improvements and extensions can actually devalue your home.
You may think that adding that extension you've always wanted will add thousands onto the value of your home and make you loads of money when you come to move. But the reality can be far from this ideal - in many cases, extensions and improvements can significantly detract from the value of a house.
And that's not all that can shave money off the price when you come to sell-up. We've put together a handy list to help you get an idea of what you should and shouldn't be doing to ensure you get the maximum price for your house, and also some of the things that affect house prices that are pretty much out of your control!
Read on for more:
Illegal home improvements
Erecting a new feature without seeking planning permission is truly a recipe for disaster, yet many homeowners do exactly this. New buyers will inevitably have to rectify the problem, costing significant time and money, and this will be reflected in the price paid. Before you carry out a home improvement, check to see what's legal so you know you won't end up losing money and potentially getting into some trouble!
Unwanted home improvements
Even legal home improvements can shave thousands off your house value. Many homeowners construct extensions, new bathrooms and internal walls thinking potential buyers will consider these to be 'improvements.' However, most buyers want a good quality, functional house that they can tailor to their own ends. New features can hinder rather than facilitate this.
No kerb appeal!
Kerb appeal means the outside appearance of your home: the first thing a potential buyer sees when they step out of the car. Many people spend ages repainting their walls and scrubbing windows not knowing the buyer has already made their decisions based on the unkempt garden and filthy paths. So make sure you pressure wash the drive, keep your garden in tiptop condition and wash the windows to keep people interested for as long as possible.
Neighbours from hell
Halifax researchers found that 19% of homeowners experienced trouble with their neighbours in 2009. That's quite significant! Problems ranged from excessive noise to 'hijacking legal boundaries' and rude behaviour. The law requires you to divulge information about problem neighbours in your Home Information Pack, so it's likely they will affect the value of your house (although it is a grey area as to what constitutes a 'problem').
Developments in the local area
Totally out of your control, but new blocks of flats, mobile phone towers and skate parks can put people off instantly. And if they still want to buy your house, you can bet the amount they'll be offering will be far lower than the initial valuation.
Poor Ofsted reports
Local schools with poor Ofsted reports are likely to drive down the price of your house, particularly if it's the only school in the area. If you're not selling a family home this is less of a problem, but may still have an effect on the final price of your house. Young couples looking at some point to start a family may also take this into consideration.
Nothing puts a prospective buyer off more than being hit with a wall of stench when they first walk in the door. Combine this will half-chewed, drool covered chew toys and an old blanket and you can say goodbye to some value, if they want to buy the house at all. Ensure you open windows and fully deodorise all areas before inviting people inside.
Crime goes up
Again, not much you can do for this one (unless it's you commiting the crime!) but increased levels of crime can seriously impact upon the value of your house, particularly if it involves serious crime. However, property-related incidents such as burglary and car vandalism are also high on the list.
Out of touch styles
Poor workmanship and out-of-touch taste can really put a damper on the ability of your home to connect with potential buyers. Neutral, sturdy construction is a winner. Styles go quickly out of date, so concentrate on making stuff last rather than making it look good temporarily.After all, your new sellers may not be impressed with an Art Deco fireplace.
Ghosts, poltergeists and eerie histories
Believe it or not, tales of ghostly possessions and sinister histories can actually detract significantly from the value of a house. Houses were murders have taken place often sell for up to 80% less than the real value, and properties that are particularly infamous may struggle to find a seller at all. By the same token, if there's a poltergeist in your loft, your buyer may wish to re-negotiate.
If you've enjoyed this post why not check out our guide on common moving house mistakes to ensure you don't lose money in the run up to moving day?