10 unusual ways to boost your home's value
Today few people view their home as just a place to hang their hat. It is an investment and, as such, we want it to grow in value. While building an extension, converting the loft and putting in a new kitchen are well-known ways to increase your home’s worth, here are 10 more unusual factors that can affect what someone is willing to pay for your home.
1. Street name
“The saying goes that the three most important factors in buying a house are location, location, location; our research shows that even the road name you choose can make a difference to how much you can expect to pay when finding a property,” says Lawrence Hall of Zoopla. “Where a ‘Warren’ might appeal for those looking for exclusivity, ‘Streets’, ‘Courts’ and ‘Terraces’ could offer more affordable options.”
Zoopla’s research found that homes located on ‘Warrens’ are worth more than double the national average, with a typical value of £607,267. The next most valuable are properties with ‘Chase’ or ‘Mount’ in the address. At the other end of the spectrum are houses located on the very common ‘Street’ where the average price is £184,722, well below the national average. It is a similar story on ‘Courts’, ‘Terraces’ and ‘Views’.
In recent years, councils across the UK have reported several instances of residents requesting a street name change, which can be a lengthy and expensive process. Most memorably, in 2009, the long-suffering residents of Butt Hole Road in Conisbrough, South Yorkshire, spent £300 to change their address to the more palatable Archers Way.
2. House name
If you can’t get residents to agree on a street name change, consider giving your house a name. Research by Cheltenham and Gloucester Building Society found that 88% of people prefer houses with names rather than just numbers. Making your house ‘The Burrows’ rather than 41 King Street could add as much as 5% to the value.
3. ‘Waitrose effect’
If there is a posh supermarket close to your home it can really boost the value. Research by Lloyds Bank found that living near a well-known supermarket chain could add an average £22,000 to the price of your home. But if that supermarket is a Waitrose it could boost your house price even further, by an average £38,666.
“Our findings back up the so-called ‘Waitrose effect’. There is definitely a correlation between the price of your home and whether it’s close to a major supermarket or not,” says Mike Songer, Lloyds Bank mortgage director. “Our figures show that the amount added to the value of your home can be even greater if located next to a brand which is perceived as upmarket.”
A 2013 spat in Dorset's exclusive Sandbanks peninsula pitted a number of locals against Tesco, which was transforming a former pub into a store. "We want Waitrose not Tesco! Howls of protest from Sandbanks' millionaires over 'downmarket' plans to convert pub," ran the Daily's Mail's headline.
4. Good pub
As well as having a supermarket nearby, many of us like to have a short walk to the nearest pint. Research found that 23% of buyers value proximity to a good pub, according to Winkworth estate agency. It found that having a decent watering hole nearby could add 7% to 10% to the value of your home. So if you have one, support it.
5. Posh shops
Having some smart shops on your doorstep can also help boost the asking price of your property. Research by commercial property agent Savoy Steward found that having an M&S close to your home boosted the value by 9% whereas having a McDonald’s nearby can knock as much as 24% off the value.
The research also found that being closes to a branch of Carluccio’s could add 18% to house prices whereas Primark knocks 23% off values.
6. Fishing rights
It is no surprise that a waterfront property commands a price premium, but if you also have the right to drop a fishing line into that water you could see the price of your property rocket. Winkworth estimates that fishing rights add 10% to 15% to the value of a property.
7. Heritage sites
Homebuyers are very keen on culture, according to research by Zoopla. If your property is near a UNESCO World Heritage Site it increases the value by an average 27%. Properties that benefit from the cultural status and international prestige that come with UNESCO status can be worth up to £78,000 more.
“Britain’s World Heritage Sites have contributed massively to our history and our research shows that living near to one can add significantly to a property’s value,” says Mr Hall. “Looking at the most recent site to gain World Heritage Status, homeowners near the Forth Bridge could expect to see property values increase in future, as the full benefits the award brings to the area begin to be felt.”
8. Blue plaques
If your home has ever been home to a celebrity it could significantly boost its value. Properties with blue plaques – which signify that someone of note once lived there – can be worth far more than their neighbours. Houses with blue plaques for literary figures command the biggest premiums, according to research by Knight Frank, followed by famous artists and musicians.
“For the owners of these homes, the plaques are a reminder that they are the guardians of buildings of historical interest which is a source of great pride,” says Noel Flint, partner at Knight Frank. “I have been fortunate enough to have been involved in the sale of a number of these properties and it is always met with great excitement when one comes on to the market. My personal favourites were A.A. Milne’s on Mallord Street and Bram Stoker’s on St. Leonard’s Terrace [both in London SW3].”
If you know someone famous has lived in your home, you can apply to your local blue plaque scheme to have them honoured. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
9. Creeping wisteria
Never underestimate the power of kerb appeal. Winkworth believe that a wisteria creeping across the front of your house can add as much as 5% to the value of your home.
10. Sporting venues
Plenty of people would love to live near the nation’s famous sports stadiums. Research by Halifax found that house prices close to Premier League football grounds rose by 129% in the 10 years to 2014, whereas the national average was 55%.
The biggest increase was homes close to Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium were prices went from £39,193 in 2004 to £98,178 in 2014, while the area around the Emirates stadium saw house prices rise 94% over the period.
Everything you own: all your assets (property, cars, investments, savings, insurance payouts, artwork, furniture etc) minus any liabilities (debts, current bills, payments still owed on assets like cars and houses, credit card balances and other outstanding loans). When you’re alive this is called your wealth; when you’re dead, it becomes your estate.
A property chain is a line of buyers and sellers (the “links”) who are all simultaneously involved in linked property transactions. When one transaction falls through – for instance, someone can’t get a mortgage or simply withdraws their property from sale, the entire chain breaks and all the transactions are held up or even fail entirely.
This is a mutual organisation owned by its members and not by shareholders. These societies offer a range of financial services but have historically concentrated on taking deposits from savers and lending the money to borrowers as mortgages, hence the name. In the mid-1990s many societies “demutualised” and became banks. One academic study (Heffernan, 2003) found demutualised societies’ pricing on deposits and mortgages was more favourable to shareholders than to customers, with the remaining mutual building societies offering consistently better rates. In 1900, there were 2,286 building societies in the UK; in 2011, there are just 51.