We are often invited to advise local homeowners on the expected “uplift” in the value of their property if they make certain alterations.

On the surface, it is logical to assume that an extension will add significant value to your property, and this is often the case. However, we would urge caution when justifying the cost of improvements versus the expected increase in value.

There is little point in improving your property unless it significantly increases its saleability. In other words, once extended, will more people want to buy it, and if so will they pay substantially more than the combined cost of the unimproved property plus the cost of improvements?

The key questions to ask are “will there be a good balance of living to sleeping accommodation?” and “will the property be elevated into the next category of buyer?” For example, it is generally better to add a loft extension to a two bedroom cottage than it is to add a conservatory. This is because the three bedroom property will now appeal to the wider family market, whereas a two bedroom house with a conservatory will still only appeal to its original two-bedroom market.

Likewise, it is not always a good idea to become the biggest/best house in the street and the average price in the area can have a moderating effect on the value of yours.=

One thing is for certain – the larger the pool of buyers, the higher the price, and the faster the sale.

Please feel free to contact your local Oakfield branch for advice without any obligation if you are considering improvements to your property and would like to know how these could affect its future value.

Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA

Chief Executive Officer