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The surprising factors dragging your home value down

BY Ben West

30th Jan 2024 Property

4 min read

The surprising factors dragging your home value down
Estate agents must consider a number of odd factors when deciding your property value—some, like jarring decor, are within your control, but others not so much
For a homeowner, it can be frustrating to realise that properties around you in the same street, built with identical specifications, can have very different asking prices. There are a number of factors causing this.

Dodgy decor

Unless you’re a top interior designer, bright, welcoming neutral colours are much safer for realising the highest property value than clashing, strong colour schemes and patterns that were last in vogue at the turn of the century.
Dated features like pelmets and coloured bathroom suites can put off buyers.

Unusual or oppressive layouts

Pokey, cramped rooms can be off-putting and if this can be addressed by removing interior walls to make fewer more spacious, lighter rooms, this can be particularly attractive to buyers.
However, ill thought-out schemes like turning a family home into one open-plan space, with no quiet sanctuaries or individual bedroom spaces, can wipe thousands of pounds off the value.

Original features are best

Original sash windows on Georgian house
The greater number of period features an older home has, the better. Replacing Victorian sash windows with new aluminium ones or attaching an off-the-shelf conservatory that is out of keeping with the rest of the building can send values southwards.

Maintained well with extra features

Two properties that look very similar at first glance can attract very different values if one home is in a much better state of repair and the other has dirty, messy rooms and an out-of-control garden.
Extra features such as a loft conversion, and wow factors such as sophisticated lighting or having been professionally interior designed can bump up the price.

Nightmare neighbours

Disruptive neighbours or those who let their properties deteriorate, squatters and homes shared by students (who are less likely to maintain the property well) can all put off buyers or cause a valuation to be reduced.

Schools

school in neighbourhood
While being within the catchment area of a good school has for many years made a property more attractive, conversely being too close to a school or nursery can make it less so because of the extra noise.
At pick-up and drop-off time, it may be more difficult to access your drive or a parking space. 

Transport

Having good transport connections nearby can make your property a lot more attractive.
However, if those connections are too close—for example, a railway line or trunk road at the end of your garden—the price will invariably reduce.

Chic shops rule

If you have premium retailers nearby, like Waitrose or Marks and Spencer, or a nice restaurant, renowned gastropub or boutique shops, it can increase the value of your home.
But a vista of numerous fast food chains, a noisy, disruptive, scruffy pub and budget retail shops will deflate the price.

Destructive plants 

Invasive and destructive plants like Russian Vine, Himalayan Balsam, Rhododendron Ponticum and the killer Japanese knotweed all have the power to reduce house prices.

Proof of good maintenance and upgrading

Just as having a full service history can add value to a car, receipts proving that a property has a new central heating system, has recently been rewired and has damp-proof guarantees will be a considerably more attractive bet than a property with antiquated wiring, ancient open gas fires in every room, and evidence of damp.

Dated features that can be costly to remove

Many prospective buyers see things like pebble-dash walls, stone cladding, textured ceilings such as Artex, and tiled countertops in the kitchen as items that will take effort and be costly to remove.

Choice of estate agent

Simply the choice of estate agent can make a sizeable difference to the value of a home—and the true value of a property is the price someone’s prepared to pay for it.
An established agent with a big contacts list and healthy advertising budget and who knows the area and market well is likely to perform better and realise a better price than a company new to the area. 

Disproportionate extensions

While extensions can add much-wanted extra living space, one that is so large that it is disproportionate for the property or results in the garden being too small can detract from the overall property price.

Numbers and names

street number 13 reduces property value on house
Superstition dictates that homes numbered 13 are likely to realise a lower price than those around it. And a Zoopla study found that odd-numbered houses generally fetch slightly more than even-numbered equivalents.
While living in a grand-sounding street like “King” or “Princess” will add a premium, while rude and ugly-sounding street names such as Slag Lane will do the opposite.

Views

While an attractive view like unspoilt countryside, a canal, park, river or sea will all boost the value. Factors like being near a nightclub or late-night bar, under a flightpath, or an ugly view like an electricity pylon, mobile phone tower, substation, industrial estate or tip will not. 

Differing valuations

Some agents provide an excessively high valuation figure to flatter the owner into giving them the business, but it is likely they will suggest dropping the price to a more realistic level a few weeks later, when there has been insufficient interest.
Equally, some agencies under-value some properties as the likely resulting quick sale will boost their turnover.
It is important to ask several agents to value your home and compare the suggested asking prices. 
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