5 Things That Will Devalue Your Home
From semi-permanent bad taste to ghostly goings on, here are five factors that can wipe up to 10% off the value of your otherwise perfect home
Among the devastating consequences of the severe flooding that caused misery for thousands of homeowners in many parts of the UK before and after Christmas 2015 was the effect on a property’s value if it sits on a flood plain.
The average cost of flood damage is between £20,000 and £40,000, according to the Association of British Insurers. But there is little a homeowner can do to prevent a river bursting its banks or storms wreaking havoc.
On the other hand, some home ‘improvements’ that can knock thousands off the value of your home. We ask a selection of London estate agents to identify the factors that can wipe up to 10% off a property’s optimum market value.
1 Semi-permanent Bad Taste
Bad taste and poor workmanship can decrease the value of an otherwise good home by between 5% and 10%, according to Wimbledon estate agent Robert Holmes & Co.
Examples include stone-cladding on the front of the house, nasty-looking conservatories, timber panelling, textured walls and Artex ceilings.
While these types of decorative disasters can be replaced, the cost – and effort – involved is enough to put many prospective buyers off.
2 Unlawful Extensions
While homeowners have been allowed to add single-storey extensions up to 8 metres in length without planning permission from 2013, these alterations still need consent from the local authority and must adhere to building regulations.
But some homeowners fail to gain either consent or build the extension in accordance with the details approved by the local authority, says Brixton estate agent Eden Harper.
The potential buyers will have to factor in the price or tearing down the extension in case the property has had illegal changes
You’ve hit the jackpot if a genuine artwork by Banksy appears on your property. But graffiti on the walls of urban tower blocks can seriously reduce the value of the flats in the building, says property management specialist Assetgrove.
Graffiti or failing to keep up with a house’s general exterior maintenance, such as fresh paintwork, clean windows, a neat front garden can wreck a property’s kerb appeal and reduce its value by 5% – and more if the cost of fixing the problem runs into four figures or requires specialist contractors.
4 Smells Like…
It is estimated that 46% of UK households own a pet. If the smell your dog, cat or guinea pig produces overpower visitors, then potential buyers will be put off as soon as they enter your front door.
Even worse if your house is downwind of an industrial area – or even a commercial bakery – that pollutes the air with non-natural odours.
5 Things that Go Bump in the Night
You may think ghosts and ghouls are a figment of over-active imaginations, but their effect on house prices are a proven fact, says independent Belgravia estate agent Best Gapp.
A shady history can play on the mind of a prospective buyer, and past deaths in the house (suspicious ones, at least) can cause problems when you come to sell.
Even if you have a new-build property, it pays to be wise to what was on the site beforehand. Check out the past and look into local lore; if there’s anything to send a shiver down the spine don’t despair, as with the right marketing it could be talked up as a selling point. Possibly…