This is a collaborative post.
Given that moving is house is the most expensive thing any of us embark on, it makes sense that most of us look to save money throughout the moving process. When you’re spending more cash than you can bear to consider, knocking off even seemingly small amounts can ease the pain.
Despite this frugal front, though, we all tend to have a list of things any potential property MUST have. These alone can have a dramatic impact on the price we end up paying. Even with that fact in mind, though, most of us are pretty set in stone about what it is we want. With the big stuff, most of us refuse to compromise even a little. That can be something of a problem when you consider that these small requirements can end up costing an added £50,000 or more.
What’s worse is that these requirements needn’t always be the must-haves that we treat them as to begin with. In fact, many of them are things which we needn’t consider until after we’re already into a property.
If you can’t let go of that list of requirements, then, keep reading to find out just how much it could cost you in the long-run.
The true cost of character
The elusive word ‘character’ appears at the top of many a home buying list. The fact remains that most of us want a house which has a little personality of its own. More often than not, this means properties with curved walls, wonky floors, and more classic features than you can count. For some home buyers, this is such a priority that they won’t even consider anything remotely new. The trouble is that character costs in more ways than you could even realise. For one, character properties tend to go on the market for a fair old whack. That’s the joys of supply and demand, after all. There are a limited number of properties like this yet endless house hunters looking for them. As such, vendors can get away with whacking up those prices.
It’s also worth noting that the cost of period properties doesn’t end with their asking price. Most buyers find that they have to spend at least £60-100,000 extra to get an old house up to their standards once moving. Add that to the extra you paid in the first place, and you could say that character is more than enough to clear the bank. By comparison, a new property like those offered by Redrow Homes is sure to cost a fair amount less upfront. Besides which, the new condition of homes like these ensure you won’t need to pay for maintenance in at least your first few years. And, you needn’t even kiss goodbye to character altogether by doing this. It’s possible to buy things like wooden beams or rustic stoves for your fireplace. You could even go all out by buying an Aga if you want that farmhouse feel. As simple as that, you could achieve your character at half the cost.
What’s in a location?
Location is another big one for most of us. In the majority of cases, we look out for houses in areas with low crime and high potential for growth. All the better for staying safe and increasing your money when you come to sell later. The trouble is that any decent location is sure to have a pretty significant impact on price. To make matters worse, the strangest things can boost house prices through the roof. Take something simple like proximity to shops as an example. We all want to live close to at least one supermarket. Did you know, though, that the store a house is close to could see you paying well over the odds? Known as ‘The Waitrose effect’, this strange little phenomenon could hit you where it hurts. Lloyds bank found that proximity to stores like Waitrose can increase asking prices by upwards of £36,480. Even proximity to an Iceland could cost you a cool £22,767. This needn’t mean, though that you have to move way out of range of stores like these. Asda, for example, only impact prices by £4,117. Before moving near a store, then, you may well want to consider which company owns it. We all love food, but not to the tune of nearly £40,000 extra.
The location also matters with regards to city living. Inner-city areas are in the thick of the action, after all. As such, houses within the right postcode can demand much higher prices when they enter the market. And, again, demand ensures that that isn’t about to change any time soon. But, moving as little as one train stop outside your ‘prime’ location could see you knocking a whacking great amount off that price tag. It’s a lesson Kirstie Allsopp, and Phil Spencer have been teaching for years by now, and they have a bloody good point. If you’ve only looked inside the city up until now, then, hit that ‘within 15 miles’ search button. Then, get ready for some shocking truths.
Somewhere to park the car
To many of us, having somewhere to park our cars seems like more of a right than a privilege. Sadly, property valuations don’t entirely agree. The fact is that off-road parking can increase a property’s value by upwards of £50,000. That’s the most expensive parking you’re ever going to pay for, and it’s questionable whether it’s a price worth paying. You want to keep your car safe, sure, but don’t you already spend enough on the thing as it is? The thing to be careful of here is that on-street parking can increase your monthly car insurance by a pretty significant amount. In that instance, you may find that just forking out in the first place will be worthwhile. But, if at all possible, buying without parking could pay off if you’re able to create your own parking space later. This would be pretty easy to achieve in a property with a fairly large garden. It’s also worth looking out for houses with front lawns which could become driveways later on. These shouldn’t increase initial cost half as much, but they could see you bagging a whole load more for your money when you sell later.
An annexe outside
With multi-generational living coming to the fore, you may also want an annexe or outside building of some kind. These can be fantastic for giving the kids some freedom or helping out ageing parents. The trouble is that options like these can increase house value by far more than you would think. This is especially the case now options such as renting out Airbnbs are coming to the fore. Everyone wants a house with that second potential income. And, they’re going to pay for it later down the line. Of course, there is an argument that you could soon cover the extra cost if you did rent something like this out. But, do you really want to fork out that much in the first place? Before offering without question, do your research. The chances are that you’ll come to find you could build something outside for less. That would free you to save money on this large purchase without harming your possibilities.
It makes sense that anyone searching the market would prioritise these things. They’re all pretty desirable aspects of a house, after all. But, with desire comes cost. And, as you can see, it isn’t always a price worth paying.