Property Turn-Offs and Opportunities
Property moving specialists Moverly has commissioned some research into the kinds of issues that put off potential buyers or, at the very least, lead to vendors having to offer discounts of up to £57,000 on the average house*. Most are also the kinds of issues that can provide the more savvy buyer, and there are plenty of those at Easymove, with the opportunity to grab a bargain and add some real value.
Any kind of structural damage is not good news, especially if it’s subsidence, which is one of buyers’ chief concerns when looking at new properties. The average discount for subsidence is the largest in the survey at 20% or £57,501. However, according to Checkatrade, the average cost to fix subsidence is just £12,500, so there could be some bargains to be had. You would, though, need some in-depth advice from an expert before taking the plunge. Conversely, if you are selling, it may well be worth getting the work done yourself.
It’s hard to believe knotweed was originally imported as an ornamental plant from Japan, as it has garnered quite a reputation. It is even claimed, incorrectly, that it can force its way through solid concrete. In reality, it can only grow through cracks and gaps. The real problem is that it’s very difficult to kill off as it keeps growing back from its extensive root system (rhizomes). It can knock up to 15% off the value of your house (£43,126). As with subsidence, the cost of removing it could be considerably less – the average removal prices on Checkatrade are around £6,500 for up to 49m2 and £9,475 above that. You would, though, need a proper guarantee and pay for a full excavation to give the new owner proper peace of mind.
Power Lines, Mobile Towers and Wind Turbines
The next biggest concerns are Power lines, mobile towers and wind turbines. The majority of buyers consider them serious eyesores and they can knock up to 14% off the value of your home (£40,251). There is not much you can do about them, except for a bit of screening with hedges, fences or trees.
Climate change has brought an increasing focus on extreme weather, and flooding in particular. If your property is in an area at risk of flooding it could be worth 13.6% (avge. £39,101) less than a similar property in a drier spot, although it would not have the same effect on its rental income.
Poor Maintenance in the House and Garden
You might not notice the peeling paintwork and the overgrown garden, but a buyer will. When selling your home, first impressions count and if it looks poorly maintained, any potential buyer will worry there could also be some more serious issues. If it doesn’t put them off, you may have to give a discount of around £36,800 (12.8%) to secure a sale. It would be considerably better and cheaper to do a bit of painting and weeding beforehand. If you are a buyer, on the other hand, a doer-upper represents the perfect opportunity to add some real value.
Nuisance Neighbours, Lack of Parking, the No.13, Power Stations and Pets
*Figures based on the Land Registry’s latest average house price (£287,506).
Even though nuisance neighbours can knock 10% off the value of your home (avge. £28,751), there’s not much you can do about them. And, if parking is a problem in your area and you can’t convert your front garden into a parking spot, it will reduce the price of your house by 6.8% (avge.£19,550). Superstitious buyers will want a 6% discount if your house is at No.13 ( avge. £17,250) and a nearby power station will knock off 5% (avge. £14,375). Pets are a more tractable problem, but if you don’t clear up their hairs and give the place a good airing, it could cost you an average of £13,800 (4.8%).
Moverly co-founder Ed Molyneux has some helpful advice for any vendors whose properties suffer from any of the problems listed above:
"The key is to try and rectify any issues that you can before bringing your home to market and for those that you can’t, such as structural issues, be upfront from the offset and ensure that your agent has all of the information they need to make buyers fully aware.
For buyers, the key is to make sure you know exactly what is involved (and consult experts where necessary) before you take the plunge.