Categories
Tips

Improving not moving

We’re spending more time at home than ever before, and you may be wondering if your current space is right for you.

Maybe you’ve been working from home and need more office space, or you have a growing family and want to make sure there’s enough space for everyone to have some peace and quiet.

Moving is of course an option, but often it may be better for you to stay where you are. Being near family, in a great area, in a good school catchment or just sticking with a home you love are incredibly important, and moving house can come with added stress and costs. That’s why a lot of homeowners find improving, not moving, is the best option and a great way to add value and create the perfect home for them.

At any stage, it’s important to invest in qualified advice and expertise, ensuring you make improvements that match the quality of the house you’ve already invested in and don’t leave you with issues to sort out later down the line.

We’ll talk you through some extension options, but we do offer architectural services so to discuss the perfect option for you, get in touch with us here.

The first, and arguably most common, option is a single storey extension to the rear or side of your house, perhaps creating a large open plan kitchen diner for the family to enjoy, adding an extra bathroom or creating a handy home office. A single storey extension could typically cost £25-35k*, but whilst also improving your home, will likely add significant value if you invest in the right improvements, so if you do come to sell or re-mortgage in the future, it will have more than paid for itself.

To maximise your living space even further, a wraparound extension is a fantastic option, utilising space to the side and rear of your house if you have it and creating much need extra ground space for the family. The typical cost of a wraparound extension is around £30-40k* so a big investment, but a worthwhile one to make the most of the space you have a create the perfect home for you.

If you have more to invest and want to transform your home and create even more space, a two storey extension could be the right choice for you. Typically costing from £30-60k*, it’s a big investment but will turn a house into a forever home and allow you to make the changes and additions you really want out of a property. Adding significant extra space could mean an open-plan living area, and extra bedroom and bathroom, and maybe an office (or home gym if you’re going all out).

If you want to add space and improvements but keep the costs slightly lower, a conservatory is a great option to give you more living space, and at an average £15-20k* is a cost efficient way to extend your kitchen and dining area, improving your home and adding value in the future.

There are of course other things to consider, such as conservation areas, permitted development, planning applications and party wall matters, but we’re here to help.  

We offer architectural and building surveying services to support you and provide expert advice every step of the way, so get in touch to discuss the options for you and your home, we’d love to chat.

*Prices are used as a guide and estimate but will vary based on individual circumstances such as size, materials used, labour costs and geography.

Categories
Beginners Guide

Do I need a building survey?

YES.

Buying a new home? You need a building survey. When we buy a property, be it house or flat, old or new, getting a building survey is incredibly important, but there are still so many people who don’t get one. Here’s a few reasons why a building survey is essential on EVERY property.

1. A survey can save you money.

Going in blind might save a few hundred pounds before you complete on a purchase, but most people will then find themselves with unforeseen repair costs further down the line.

Did you know 20% of people who don’t get a building survey pay £6,000 in unexpected repairs and 17% pay £12,000? We believe our surveys are free, because having a survey will flag any issues with the property, and even help you negotiate the purchase price.

2. Receive impartial, expert advice from a surveyor who works for you.

When you hire a surveyor, they’re working for you and only you. Chartered Surveyors spend years studying and working to develop their knowledge and expertise, and they’re happy to share that expertise with you. Whilst the estate agent is working for the vendor to ensure the property sells, a surveyor will be working for you to ensure you fully understand the house you’re buying.

3. Get a full understanding of the property.

Property viewings are typically very short, with lots of people quickly looking in rooms to get a feel for the place and getting in and out within half an hour, but often much less. The excitement of seeing a house you love for the first, or even second time, often comes with rose tinted glasses. When you hire a surveyor, they’ll have much longer at the house, and have years of expertise, to properly understand the property and identify any issues.

Our reports provide a clear rating system against all issues identified so you know what’s urgent, and photographs throughout the report so you can see what we’re talking about when we’re talking about it.

4. A valuation is not a building survey.

When applying for a mortgage, the bank will do a valuation on the property, and this will very likely be a desktop survey. We’ve heard lots of people think this is enough when buying the house, but it won’t highlight issues beyond high level observations which might affect the value.

How could a desktop survey identify issues which require detailed inspection and investigations? Our surveyors will go and spend time in the property to do a thorough building survey and give you plenty of answers on the condition of the property inside and out.

5. Get peace of mind.

Any house, old or new, can have issues. A building survey will give you that all important peace of mind to go forward with confidence when buying a property. We make the house purchase as stress free as possible, and save you headaches, time and money down the line.

Our reports provide a succinct executive summary with clearly defined actions for you, your solicitors and other advisors to instantly understand the key issues relating to the property and what needs to be done to ensure your investment is protected.

Ultimately, this will probably be the biggest purchase you ever make, why take the risk of not understanding what condition the property is in and what that means for you?

To discuss your property purchase, get in touch with us here. Our Chartered Surveyors would love to help.

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Our thoughts //

Response to Spring budget

There’s definitely some positive news for the property industry in today’s budget, but we believe more could be done to help people get their foot on the property ladder.

The stamp duty holiday on properties up to £500,000 will be extended until the end of June and a holiday on properties up to £250,000 will continue until the end of September, before the usual holiday on properties up to £125,000 resumes in October. If you’re currently in the house buying or selling process, this will hopefully relieve the bottleneck currently experienced as solicitors and agents rushed to get sales done before the end of March. It will also continue to stimulate the housing market, that has been lucky enough to continue operating throughout restrictions.

First time buyers will be helped on the ladder by a new mortgage guarantee enabling them to access 95% mortgages. This is very welcomed, however, demand for homes in the UK continues to outstrip supply and we believe this to be a key issue impacting prices of property, with record prices being seen across the country.

Government should take greater steps to ensure everyone can afford a home, such as:

  • Incentivise SME developers to convert existing stock, such as retail, into affordable residential homes
  • Invest in skills and training to meet current labour shortages in the construction industry
  • Ensure additional funding and resources is made available to Local Authority planning departments so applications can be dealt with quickly and new affordable homes can be built