What’s your home’s biggest asset?

Buyers care little for aesthetic improvements, due to having their own long term view of how they wa

Buyers care little for aesthetic improvements, due to having their own long term view of how they want the property to be - Credit: Archant

Founder and CEO of eMoov.co.uk Russell Quirk looks at the findings of a survey into what we prioritise when house-hunting

Consumer research by eMoov.co.uk shows what UK homeowners believe adds the most financial value to a home during the selling process.

The estate agent surveyed more than 1,000 UK homeowners and asked them what they think is most attractive to potential buyers.

Despite the introduction of a ‘spare bedroom tax’, an extra bedroom topped the list, with 25 per cent of those asked believing an additional bedroom adds the most value to a property. The appeal of the spare room stretches beyond its use as extra space for sleeping – it can be utilised in many ways: as a home office, salon, nursery, workshop or playroom.

Although the British summer is often a brief one, an outside space was the next best justification for a higher property price, with 19 per cent of homeowners believing it added the most value.

The garage was the third best asset a homeowner’s property can include, with 16 per cent putting it top of the value list.

Surprisingly perhaps, having an en-suite bathroom to the main bedroom was only fourth, with just 13 per cent of those asked thinking it added the most financial value.

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An extra car parking space completed the top five, with 11 per cent of those asked thinking space for an additional car was the most valuable asset when selling a property.

Good local amenities (five per cent), a strong internet connection (four per cent) and strong mobile phone signal (three per cent) were among the other assets that increase a property’s financial strength, respondents thought. Just two per cent of those asked felt a good community atmosphere added value to a property.

Often those looking to sell will pour money into additional DIY projects around the house, in an attempt to increase the value of the property and justify pushing up the asking price by a few thousand pounds or more. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, they may as well be pouring the money down the drain, as potential buyers will care little for aesthetic improvements as they have their own long-term view of how they want the property to be.

This research goes to show that it’s the fundamentals people are concerned about, the number of bedrooms for friends to stay or for starting or expanding a family, outside space to entertain or for the children to play in, a garage to store all the accumulated clutter as the years pass by, an en-suite so you can have a bath in peace or that extra parking space for when a 17th birthday rolls round.

It is a little disappointing that a good community atmosphere ranks so lowly among homeowners. It may not necessarily add value, but on the flip side a bad atmosphere can certainly lower an asking price. It does go to show that community spirit that was prevalent in years gone by is rarely thought about now. w