Six factors that devalue property

Ever find that the property prices in your area can vary wildly? There are lots of things that can damage the value of your property. Here are six of the most common.

Curious to find out what your home is currently worth? Start your free online valuation now.

Anti-social neighbours

You can’t demand your neighbouring owners with bad habits move out. Even if your neighbours are tenants, the landlord or managing agent has to gather evidence to achieve repossession on grounds of anti-social behaviour.

Illegal home improvements

Even erecting a garden shed can require planning consent. If a property has been extended or redeveloped, your solicitor must check that planning consent and building regulation certification is all in place.

To find out how to make improvements the right way, check out our home improvement guides.

Flood plains

Properties can be deemed “liable to flooding” without obviously being anywhere near a watercourse. There may be an underground stream, the surrounding land may be unusually flat and flooding can spread toward the property from a distant water course.

You can check with the local authority, who will keep a register of properties subject to the risk of flooding, but it’s best to check with two or three insurance companies to test if the postcode has been effectively “blacklisted”.

Judge a book by its cover

Estate agents talk about “kerb appeal” and if the front of the property doesn’t look good, your first impression has been immediately ruined. Assess whether it is an expensive problem to fix (e.g. changing a drive, creating a proper porch) or really just something that fresh paintwork will fix.

Bad taste

Poor décor and “acquired taste” colour schemes do affect value, if only that the new owner has to rip it all out.

Understated, neutral carpets and walls make letting easier as the tenants can personalise their new home with a few items of their own furniture, and are more likely to settle long term.

School catchment

If the local school is highly rated it can add 10 to 20% to the achievable rental.

Obviously you can’t make a bad school perform better, so perhaps advice your estate agent to market your property toward buyers and tenants who won’t need the school.

If you are buying a property to let don’t assume that the closest state school is in the catchment. Good estate agents know which local schools have high OFSTED ratings and where the catchment boundaries fall.

Contact your local Martin & Co office today to find out more.

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