Everyone wants to get the maximum return on their property when selling and everyone wants to get the best price possible when purchasing. An overpriced house will put off potential buyers while an underpriced house will cause suspicion, so it is an art to get this balance correct. So, what should you be looking for when deciding whether or not to bid on a property?
Extensions, conservatories and attic conversions can all add value to a property. Almost any improvements that have been made to a property will raise its value, particularly if they’ve been done to a high standard. Also, providing they are in good condition, people are willing to pay more for original features in period homes such as fireplaces and stained-glass windows.
Even if the property has not been extended, the simple fact that it has the potential to be improved can help with the price. Could bedrooms be added, or could the property be separated into two or more dwellings to gain extra income from rents? In areas with a lack of family housing, converting a loft into another bedroom can attract a whole new set of prospective buyers with a larger budget.
Of course, it is not just what is inside the bricks and mortar that tells you what a property is worth. Where the property is located can be just as, if not more, important than the property itself.
Good transport links and high achieving schools in the area can improve the value of a property, as can having parks and shops close by. Known colloquially by estate agents as the ‘Waitrose effect’, when there are lots of upmarket shops and restaurants around, it naturally means the demographic of that area is more affluent and housing is higher priced. Just as ocean view hotel rooms cost more than other rooms, properties close to water also tend to be valued higher, whether it is by the sea, a river or a lake – the same can be said for properties with spectacular views.
Other nearby attractions like museums, galleries and sports facilities will also be beneficial to the properties selling price. Furthermore, areas that offer good job prospects naturally attract more people and thus increase property values, as do areas with low crime rates.
Conversely, properties in industrial areas, close to railway lines, busy roads or under flight paths all suffer lower valuations due to noise, pollution and aesthetical factors. Visiting an area at night can give you a better sense of what the area is truly like, as is visiting on the weekend when there are generally more people about. However, even properties in less glamorous areas can soon see house prices rise rapidly with the news of new developments, like shopping centres and improved transport links, in the area. This can be seen in the recent gentrification of many cities, with early buyers being the main winners of this growth.
The Present and The Future
In judging the potential of a property it is important to look beyond the here and now and instead look to possible developments in the structure and the area it is found in – by doing this you will truly get an understanding of the full potential of a property.