The cost of living crisis in the UK has majorly impacted thousands of peoples’ plans to move home, with mortgage lending in November of last year falling to its lowest on record since June 2020.
Souring mortgage interest rates and fewer people looking for a new home amid concerns for the future mean that the property market is predicted to slow down significantly in 2023 as property prices continue to fall.
Despite this, there’s never been a better time to increase the value of your home whilst you’re still living there, says property expert and chartered surveyor James Brook FRICS, Founder of Novello Surveyors. This downturn in the property market poses an excellent opportunity for people to increase the value of their property and improve their lived-in experience.
Here are the three best ways you can achieve this in 2023 according to James.
Convert your loft
A loft conversion is a great way to add value to your home and create a significant body of space - it can add 10-20% to the value of your home, with this number rising to 24.5% in London. However, they come with a unique set of considerations, particularly around party walls. A party wall is any wall or structure you share with a neighbour and it’s crucial to notify them of this before altering a party wall.
James said, “You will almost certainly add value with a loft conversion by adding an extra bedroom and possibly a bathroom space. However, this isn’t guaranteed, and there are a few things to consider before starting.
For example, if you’re planning to carry out a loft conversion on a three-bedroom house, check how much four-bedroom houses are going for in your area. If it’s not a considerable amount higher than the current value of your property, make sure you don’t overspend on the work, as you may not recoup these costs when it comes to selling.
The Party Wall Process can be simplified and carried out with minimal issues when there is good communication with neighbours and you are able to appoint an agreed surveyor. In compiling the award the surveyors will carry out an inspection of your neighbour's property prior to the works and will check this off following completion. Is it recommended to start this process 3-4 months before the intended start date.”
Create a garden office
Garden offices have surged in popularity since the Covid-19 pandemic, and for good reason. As well as creating a quiet space to work that’s separate from the hustle and bustle of the house, having a garden office can add a valuable increase in square footage. They can even increase the value of your home by 5-10%. James managed to increase the value of his last home by 6% by adding a garden office.
James said, “Having a garden office space is in high demand right now, and it adds valuable floor space to your home without the construction being too disruptive. Many businesses now require people to work entirely from home or use a hybrid model, so the popularity of garden offices is only going to grow.
Instead of using up a valuable room in your house as an office, you can keep that space as a bedroom in favour of a dedicated workspace in the garden, which again may have valuation benefits.”
Add a modern shower en-suite
Did you know that bathrooms are one of the first things potential buyers look for in a new home? According to research featured in Property Reporter, 80% of people said they would pay more for a home with a modern bathroom - adding an en-suite bathroom to your property can raise its value by 5%.
James said, “En-suites are a desirable attribute to homes but if you have a smaller space to work with, consider adding a shower instead of a bath.
The Pinterest Predicts trends for 2023 forecast that modern, aesthetic showers will become an increasingly popular trend amongst Generation X and Baby Boomers. The search term “amazing showers walk-in” is already up by +460% - so by creating a walk-in shower en-suite, not only will you increase the value of your home, but you’ll also tick the box on a desirable interiors trend for this year.
Don’t forget the valuation
If you want to improve the value of your house in 2023, it’s vital that you get a RICS surveyor to conduct a valuation both before and after the work takes place. Getting a valuation before will give you professional insight and impartial advice regarding which improvement works will make the biggest difference to the value of your property and the valuation afterwards will help you to see how much value you’ve added.