loft conversions

add value to your propertyMaking additions or improvements to your home can not only make it more comfortable for you and your family as you live there, but it can also increase its value when you come to sell. However, some improvements or additions will add more value than others. If you’re planning to make an investment in your home it’s important to find out how much you’re likely to add to the value of your home before you begin.

Adding space
Creating more space in your home will not only improve your lifestyle but is also a good investment. There are different ways that you can achieve more space and some are more costly/time consuming than others.

An extension is a good option if you have enough garden space. According to a recent report, extensions can give around a 70% return on investment; however, the downsides are that an extension requires more planning, finance and disruption than other home additions.

Loft conversions and garage conversions are two other great ways of creating space that require fewer structural changes to your home, however, you will need to consult with an expert, such as KJ Hill, to see whether your property is suitable. It’s possible that you could make a 50% profit on a loft conversion as the number of bedrooms is a big factor on house values.

A conservatory is one of the best value additions to a home that you can make, sometimes delivering 100% profit or more. They don’t require a large investment, they’re quick to complete, look stylish and can greatly increase the downstairs footprint of your home. Modern conservatories can provide a very comfortable living space as the right design, glazing and ventilation can maintain a steady temperature. This means that a conservatory can be multi-functional and used as a study, living space, dining space, gym, play room or an extension to a kitchen.

With all of these options, the key is that the changes need to enhance your home and be of good quality. An ugly extension is unlikely to increase the value of your home. A conservatory that’s poorly installed or a garage conversion in a street where parking is a major problem could detract from the value of your home, so as always it’s vital to take the advice of relevant experts.

Making changes
If you are not in a position to create extra space in your home then you can make other changes that will add value.

Energy efficiency is really important, both for the environment and for keeping fuel bills down. If you don’t have double glazing in your home then I would suggest installing it should be your first consideration. It will lead to a warmer and more comfortable home for you and your family, reduce your energy bills and will bring it in line with most modern houses.

A new kitchen or bathroom will really smarten a home up. Fashions can change quite rapidly and whilst many buyers are willing to overlook a shabby living area, an old or unsuitable kitchen or bathroom can put buyers off, unless they’re looking for a project. Updating a tired kitchen or bathroom can potentially give you a 50% profit on your investment, however, I would advise staying neutral in order to appeal to a wider variety of potential buyers. You also need to take into consideration how long you intend living in your home after the re-fit if you’re looking for return on investment rather than a nice new kitchen for your family to enjoy.


Stamp duty changes, December 2014I’m really pleased to hear that the government has changed how stamp duty is calculated. In the past it’s been very difficult for homeowners who are selling properties that are worth slightly over one of the thresholds, as the financial consequences to the buyer were too high.

For instance, for a property that in an open market is worth £252,000, prior to the recent changes it was unlikely to sell for this price, but was likely to be sold at £250,000. This is because once the purchase price went over £250,000 stamp duty rose from 1% to 3% on the whole amount, which makes a massive difference to your moving costs. Using the same scenario but with the new rules, a buyer would now pay 2% on the first £250,000, and then 5% on the £2,000 over the threshold.

Thresholds are now set at:

0% up to £125,000
2% to £250,000
5% to £925,000
10% to £1.5million
12 on £1.5 million +

It’s reported that the new way of calculating stamp duty will mean that 98% of homebuyers will save money. That said, it’s still a very unpopular tax, and the higher thresholds have failed to increase with inflation. The temptation to avoid higher rates of stamp duty still remains, but I’m sure that properties sold just under a threshold but with a large sum for  fixtures and fittings , will be looked at very carefully.

Having said that 98% of home buyers will save money on their stamp duty, staying in your own home and having a loft conversion or an extension is still likely to be the cheaper option and the easier one. Moving home is one of the most stressful things you can do, and is up there with other gems such as divorce and the death of a loved one. Re modelling your home by converting your garage or extending may cause some disruption to your home life, but not too much if you choose a good builder such as KJ Hill in Bedford and it does mean that you’re in control, and not at the mercy of a buyer who can’t get their mortgage approved, or maybe the people you’re buying from losing the house they wanted.

If you’d like to explore what could be done to make your home suit your current needs and lifestyle, do give us a call on 01234 765050, or e-mail us.