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Ask the experts...Amanda Ake offers an opinion on adding value

PUBLISHED: 15:21 06 March 2013 | UPDATED: 19:26 02 April 2013

Ask the experts...Amanda Ake offers an opinion on adding value

Ask the experts...Amanda Ake offers an opinion on adding value

I'm keen to buy a property that has potential for improvement so I can add value. What should I be looking out for?


As the experts

Spotting potential

Im keen to buy a property that has potential for improvement so I can add value. What should I be looking out for?

A straightforward property renovation, that brings the interior up to date, tidies up the exterior, and deals with any structural or maintenance issues, will add value, but in the current market will rarely pay substantial dividends.

However, a great deal of value can be added to a property by increasing its size, and / or improving the way the space is organised to make it more ergonomic or appealing. The element of the property brochure that often holds the best clues to potential is the floor plan. From it you can see whether the layout works for you in its current form, whether it has the potential to be improved or adapted, and how it interacts with the outside space.

Some of the best methods of improving layout include:

Replacing small separate kitchen and living areas to make a large kitchen/living space

Adding a downstairs cloakroom if one doesnt already exist

Adding a bedroom

Adding a bathroom or en suite shower room if the current accommodation doesnt have a good enough bed to bath ratio

Opening up kitchen/dining to the outside

Incorporating an integral garage into the living space (replace lost garage storage space with a big garden shed)

making bedrooms and bathrooms en suite

The floor plan, together with pictures, will also give you a fair idea of whether there are opportunities to extend either out, up, or in some cases down. When budgeting for a straightforward extension, you can work on the basis of 120-150 per square foot for shell and first fix. Crucially, check in the brochure (and ideally with the agent too) whether the property is Listed or in a Conservation Area both of which will have an effect on what you are and arent allowed to do, and on your budget.

Whatever you do to the property, unless it really is for life, consider the resale value. You may be making the space work better for your own needs by turning four smaller bedrooms into three larger ones, but it will almost certainly have a negative effect on value. Similarly, changing the balance of the accommodation, so that theres too much living space for bedrooms, or vice versa, will have a negative impact too.

Contact Amanda Ake on 07974809624 or amandaake@stacks.co.uk or see website stacks-ake.co.uk


As the experts


Amanda Ake offers an opinion on adding value

Im keen to buy a property that has potential for improvement so I can add value. What should I be looking out for?


A straightforward property renovation, that brings the interior up to date, tidies up the exterior, and deals with any structural or maintenance issues, will add value, but in the current market will rarely pay substantial dividends.


However, a great deal of value can be added to a property by increasing its size, and / or improving the way the space is organised to make it more ergonomic or appealing. The element of the property brochure that often holds the best clues to potential is the floor plan. From it you can see whether the layout works for you in its current form, whether it has the potential to be improved or adapted, and how it interacts with the outside space.


Some of the best methods of improving layout include:


Replacing small separate kitchen and living areas to make a large kitchen/living space
Adding a downstairs cloakroom if one doesnt already exist
Adding a bedroom
Adding a bathroom or en suite shower room if the current accommodation doesnt have a good enough bed to bath ratio


Opening up kitchen/dining to the outside
Incorporating an integral garage into the living space (replace lost garage storage space with a big garden shed)
Making bedrooms and bathrooms en suite


The floor plan, together with pictures, will also give you a fair idea of whether there are opportunities to extend either out, up, or in some cases down. When budgeting for a straightforward extension, you can work on the basis of 120-150 per square foot for shell and first fix. Crucially, check in the brochure (and ideally with the agent too) whether the property is Listed or in a Conservation Area both of which will have an effect on what you are and arent allowed to do, and on your budget.


Whatever you do to the property, unless it really is for life, consider the resale value. You may be making the space work better for your own needs by turning four smaller bedrooms into three larger ones, but it will almost certainly have a negative effect on value. Similarly, changing the balance of the accommodation, so that theres too much living space for bedrooms, or vice versa, will have a negative impact too.


Contact Amanda Ake on 07974809624 or amandaake@stacks.co.uk or see website stacks-ake.co.uk


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