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Which ‘improvements’ can damage property value?

All in all home improvements are great, they can make your home bigger, brighter and just generally better, with no need to up sticks and move. Of course, another advantage is that fixing up your place could increase its value, letting you sell it on… and, well, up sticks and move to a home that’s bigger, brighter and yeah…  just generally better.

Whenever you do consider a home improvement then it’s good to be aware that picking the wrong one could actually knock a fair few grand off the value of your house. Now, if you have no plans on moving and you want to go ahead and make some changes then by all means you should do it. But, if you’re planning to move it may be better to invest your cash into another area of the home. Here’s a few ‘improvements’ to be aware of that, statisitically, could lower your property’s value.

Unusual, or personalised decor

Whether you want to go for some outlandish wallpaper and a boldly coloured carpet in the entrance hall, your grumpy teenager wants to paint their bedroom black or your six year old wants a mural of their favourite musician on their wall. If you’re thinking about selling up soon you may want to think twice about this.

Decor that only appeals to you or your family, that any would-be buyer will want to change as soon as physically possible, is likely to knock some value off of your home, to compensate for the costs of the new owner making those changes. While you could argue that a lick of paint isn’t too much hassle, be wary of more expensive or labour intensive things to alter such as a flooring, tiling and wallpaper.

Ultra cheap UPVC windows

There’s a fallacy among home owners that double glazing is the mother of all home improvements. While those cheap, white UPVC windows are undeniably economical, make your home more energy efficient year-round, and do a fantastic job at blocking out noise pollution from nearby roads. On properties built before 1930 there’s a good chance they could actually lower market value.

On these properties it is better to fork out the extra cash and pay for more discrete double glazed windows, such as wooden sash options to retain the period charm of the property.

Knocking through bedrooms

While the new owners may love to pat a wall, before sensually muttering “First things first, knock this through, create one giant space”, if you’re thinking of doing this to two bedrooms, think twice.

If the number of bedrooms in your home  is greater than the number of family members, you may be tempted to knock through two average sized rooms and create a huge master-suite. However, this is something you should be extremely wary of. Unless your home has a relatively high number of bedrooms (say five or more) it’s likely that decreasing the total number of bedrooms will damage its market value.

If you’re thinking about carrying out this type of improvement, it is well worth consulting with a local estate agent to find out if it would seriously devalue your home.

Shoddy DIY

A spot of DIY can be a quick and cheap way to add some value to your home before a sale, whether it’s varnishing some tatty stairs, power hosing the patio or painting the front door. It’s important, however, that you only ever carry out DIY that is within your skill-set.

A recent study found that poor DIY can knock off on average £30k from a property’s value. With nine out of ten potential-buyers surveyed saying they would lower their offer if they spotted some dodgy DIY. The biggest issue? Poor or dangerous electrical works, with badly fitted kitchen units and squeaky floorboards being other issues highlighted.

Swimming pools

Now, the swimming pool may still have an air of absolute luxury to it, but unless you live in an incredibly high-value property an outdoor, or indoor, swimming pool could knock off considerable value.

Outdoor pools in particular can put buyers off, as with Britain’s climate they are seen as more of a hinderance than asset to many. While you may see an external pool and think bbq parties and long hot summers, many buyers will see constant maintenance (or removal) costs for an item that will see next to no use.

Even those indoor ‘lap pools’ that have become popular in parts of London are likely to put buyers with young children off, who may simply just see it as a hazard to the smaller members of their family.

Find out about an easier way to improve your home

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