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Improving the Value of a Property

Most property owners throughout the UK will look to improve the value of their property in one way or another.

Depending on how much you have available to invest into the property in question, you may be able to improve its overall value by as much as 25% (source: Solutio) or even more.

However, not all properties may undergo renovation or reconfiguring as there are planning laws and regulations in place in the UK, so it is always important to check what you may and may not do to a property.

There are various ways in which you are able to improve the value of a property and there are many reasons as to why you may be seeking to improve its value in the first place. Some of the most popular reasons for looking to improve a property include:

  • Maximising the sell-on value of the property
  • The desire to remortgage; properties worth more can provide the owner with a larger mortgage or remortgage amount
  • As part of an investment or property portfolio, improving a property's value increases the value of the portfolio

Two of the most common ways in which properties can have their value improved and increased include full property conversions and loft conversions and extensions.

Converting a Property

Converting a property often entails either altering its intended purpose from commercial to residential or vice versa or converting a larger house into a house of multiple occupancy (HMO). If a property is altered in this way, it will need to have received Planning Permission from the Local Planning Authority (LPA) who may or may not grant these permissions.

You will also need to factor in increased costs such as the costs of compulsory acoustic testing including an air tightness test, energy efficiency tests and others. It is also important to remember that there are often large costs associated with converting the intended purpose and use of a property, with a lot of building works required.

Changing the intended use of a property, when done legally and efficiently, can see a property used for a number of different purposes, depending on the nature of the conversion. It may take the form of a number of residential units or a high-profit commercial premises such as a retail outlet, both of which may be very attractive propositions to new buyers and investors.

Loft Conversions

Loft conversions are one of the best-established ways in which to improve the value of a property. A conversion adds more floor and living space to a property and will increase the number of bedrooms a property has. Hence, a properly carried out loft conversion on an average home can increase a property's value by as much as 25% according to many builders.

Before undertaking any loft conversion, it is important that you have considered a number of factors and answered a few important questions:

  • Cost - A loft conversion will typically cost over £25,000 so it is important you have the money set aside so there are no delays in the works
  • Permission - Although many loft conversions are Permitted Developments, this is not always the case and there are properties, such as those that are listed which will require explicit permission from the LPA
  • Party Wall Agreements - If your property is a terraced or semi-detached property, you may need a Party Wall Agreement with the adjoining properties
  • Additional Costs - If for example a Party Wall Agreement is needed or if there are planning issues, you may need to pay for surveyors, solicitors or otherwise and so you should consider whether or not your project is likely to incur additional costs in any way
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