Homeowners improve rather than move

Homeowners improve rather than move

Homeowners sitting out the credit crisis rather than taking their chances with a “For Sale” board are turning to home improvements.

Research from personal loan specialist, GE Money, has revealed that property owners across the UK are improving and extending their dwellings as an alternative to entering a stagnating property market where according to property website, Rightmove, homes for sale now outnumber buyers by 15 to one in England and Wales.

In its research GE Money questioned 110 estate agents to establish which improvements add the most value to a property.

The loft conversion has the most potential and will typically add 12.5% to the value of a home, particularly if it creates a bedroom and an en-suite bathroom.

An extension that creates an extra room adds around 11% to overall value, or almost £20,000 for the average property priced at £183,630. This compares with £23,000 in added value for the loft conversion.

Other major projects worth considering for added value are conservatories at £12,000; a new kitchen £8,000; central heating £6,000; new windows £5,000; and an addition bathroom £5,000.

Solar panels are not such a good idea. They may be attractive to potential purchasers because of energy savings but add less than 1% to value of the average home.

Those without much cash to invest in their dwellings should focus on improving presentation as tatty and untidy properties tend to attract offers rather than the full asking price.

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