PROPERTY CLINIC: Which extension or renovation adds the most value to a property?
- Extra bedrooms tend to add more value than more living space, says Yopa agent
- Additional bedrooms can open up a larger pool of potential buyers
- This is due to how the search engines on property websites are tailored
- Buyers’ searches focus on three criteria: price, location, number of bedrooms
I’m staying put rather than moving because it is so expensive to do so but need more space – which type of extension or renovation will potentially add the most value to my property?
Extra bedrooms tend to add more value than more living space, says a Yopa estate agent
MailOnline’s property expert Myra Butterworth replies: Homeowners are moving a lot less than they used to because of high property prices and the cost of moving, particularly stamp duty. Getting a mortgage to fund a new purchase can also be tougher, thanks to stricter affordability criteria.
This is leading to a boom in extending homes as homeowners stay put and improve to generate extra space for their families, rather than move to a bigger home.
The question is: where is the best place to spend your money? Do you go up into the loft, or out the back into the garden to create a brand new kitchen extension? Is downstairs living space more useful – and does it add more value – than an extra bedroom?
Property search websites allow buyers to look for houses and flats based on three core criteria: price, location and number of bedrooms
James Morton, a local estate agent from Yopa, says: Generally speaking, the higher property prices are in your area, the greater the value extending a property will add.
When it comes to deciding what work to do, in my view, additional bedrooms add more value than additional living space. This is because property search portals allow buyers to look for houses and flats based on three core criteria: price, location and number of bedrooms.
If you take, for example, a standard three-bed semi-detached house built circa 1959 in North Leamington, at its original size with no extension, it would cost around £350,000.
The same property with a large, open-plan kitchen extension with bi-fold doors opening onto the garden, would cost around £400,000.
However, if you avoided the large downstairs open-plan kitchen, adding a small rear extension instead and a good quality loft conversion with en suite bathroom, you are then looking at an end property value of circa £415,000 to £425,000.
While a large rear extension inevitably adds space, value and looks great in photographs, the additional bedroom opens up a larger buyer pool because of how the search engines are tailored. It also makes your property a more desirable proposition in the long term for a purchaser, as they may not need to incur the significant cost of moving if the family grows.
However, it is worth bearing in mind that rear extensions tend to be easier, cheaper and less hassle compared with loft conversions. If you are opting for a loft conversion, there is more legislation to contend with, particularly if you live in a conservation area, compared with the rear extension, which can usually be done under permitted development rights.
These relaxed planning rules mean you can do certain building work without having to make a planning application, making the whole process quicker and less stressful.
WHAT ARE PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS?
Permitted development rights are a national grant of planning permission allowing certain building works and changes of use to be carried out without a planning application.
You can build a larger single-storey rear extension than in the past, although there are still various limits and restrictions including those on height, size and location. The size limits have doubled from four to eight metres for detached houses, and from three to six metres for other houses, for example.
Before you start building, check with the local authority whether planning permission is required. While you may not need planning permission for the works you have in mind, you should get a lawful development certificate from the council, which will answer any legal questions when you sell.