Archive for June, 2015

UK housing market activity sees ‘gentle rise’

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

UK housing market activity sees ‘Gentle Rise’

Mortgage experts are predicting a “gentle recovery” in activity in the UK housing market as new figures show lending rose slightly.
Gross mortgage lending rose by 2% in May compared with April to £16.2bn, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
This, and economic indicators, signalled a “limited” increase in activity in the coming months, it said.
However, it pointed out that lending was 3% lower than in May last year.
Mortgage rates are currently at very low levels as lenders aim to entice buyers to enter the market.
But brokers say there remains a shortage of properties being put on the market.
“The gap between what people earn and what they can afford to buy continues to be an issue. There is little incentive to sell when there is a lack of choice as to what to buy,” said Jonathan Harris, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris.

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This is why we at Four Corners Properties can help you to gain more money from your property by improving your home. Extensions, Loft Improvements, General Maintenance, etc., are keys to keep and get more for less. Let us help you and call us to guide you in what can you do to get more.

Source:BBC News

Improving your home

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Money that is spend on home improvements not only makes your house a much nicer place to live, but if done correctly it will also increase your properties value. We find when refurbishing or improving a home most customers will want to know about returns as it can be seen as an investment to improve your living environment while recouping the money and more when you come to sell. Most home improvement are said to give a healthy 10 per cent profit on top of what they spent. Below we will look at a few areas in which we have recently researched to see what is currently giving the best returns for your money.

Conservatories

This is a great cheap way to add that bit of extra space to a property. These cost a lot less than extending a house while still adding some extra space and in summer months with the sun shining through it can be a real place of tranquility. Unlike building an extension, conservatories do not require planning permission as long as they are no more than half the area of the land of the of the original house is covered. They are also exempt building regulations as long as at least half of the new wall and three quarters of the roof is either glazed or translucent material and if the conservatory is separated from the house by external doors. All of this helps to save money and reduce the time and effort to get it build. Below are the averages for what most people who have had conservatories built found with their money.

Average cost: £5,300

Average profit: £5,750

Return on investment: 108 per cent

Gardens

These are sometimes forgotten when people look to improve a home. Quite often people let them get overgrown and messy especially when it is cold and wet like most days in this country. But if well maintained this is something that will make a real difference to a property as it is something you can always see out the window and when you arrive and leave if you have one in front of the house. Especially from a buyers point of view it will impact on their first impression which is very important. You can easily tell if a garden is well looked after as the colour of the grass will be different and you can see dead or no plants. Plants add a bit of colour to the garden and help top give a nice smell as well as giving a nice feel and look to your home. All of this can make a difference to giving your home a warm, welcoming modern feel. Of course you can always use slabs or decorative stones to add pathways to more style to a garden. Below are the averages for what most people who have had garden conservation on their property found with their money.

Average cost: £4,550

Average profit: £4,000

Return on investment 88 per cent

Exterior

As well as a garden, the exterior of your home is one of the first and main things anyone will see. If the paint is worn down or faded or you have poorly maintained bricks then this will lower your houses appeal. There are many ways to decorate the exterior of a home. One new option that really draws the eye are fibre cement cladding. These can be made in most colours and are durable and had wearing due to the cement. Other ways could be to repaint or K render. These are just a few of the choices you have when you come to improving the outside of your home. You should alway look at all the options to make sure you get the one which will best suit your home and the neighbourhood. Even just fixing any cracks on the outside walls as well as giving it a clean could surprise you by how much of a difference it can make. Below are the averages for what most people who have had exterior work done found with their money.

Average cost: £6,000

Average profit: £4,500

Return on investment: 75 per cent

Extensions

Extensions are a great way to add the extra space to a home by expanding a room or adding more. This can be done on one or two floors deepening on how much space you wanted to add and your budget. These do require planning permission and all work must be check by building regulations to ensure they are up to an acceptable standard and meet the criteria. Extensions are a great way to expand your current house without having to move which is always great and are known for showing great returns as long as they are designed and built properly. There are a few guidelines that you must follow when planning but these have all been covered in one of our previous articles if you wanted more information. Below we have some averages from what people who have had extensions added to their properties found from their money.

Average cost: £19,750

Average profit: £14,000

Return on investment: 71 per cent

Roofs

Roof will occasionally need maintaining. This might be checking the tiles are not cracked or damaged and the water flows off the roof and into guttering. Regular checking and maintenance to a roof will help to keep it looking in good condition and can help prevent future damage. It is important there are no leaks and it is properly insulated to keep the heat in. These are things you will notice by living in a house and can make a property hard to sell as most buyers avoid houses with roof problems unless they are getting it for cheap. Just giving the roof a good clean can give it a new look and it is worth thinking about solar panels if you haven’t already. We have spoke about this in detail in previous articles but the government currently has great schemes in which you could save a lot of money over time, especially since some homes make more electricity than they use to run their house meaning they get more money back. Below are some averages of what people found the returns of their money was for roof repairs and maintenance.

Average cost: £4,150

Average profit: £2,600

Return on investment: 63 per cent

Carpets and Flooring

Carpets are slowly become a bit old fashioned but we still believe in the right environment that they can make a real difference to the look of a house. The biggest problem with them is that over the years they will wear, especially in hallways and stairs where people walk more. They also hold dirt and odours which which is never good. This leaves a few choices, getting them steam cleaned to try to bring them back to a newish condition or replace them. New carpet can be expensive so it is always worth looking if they can be cleaned to bring back those years. Wooden laminate flooring is the modern fashion as it is easy to clean and adds a smart look to the home. It always wears better than carpet due to the hard material. This is a fine balance as to what design you go with but we feel it has to be personal to you and what would look best in your home. If you are redecorating a whole area then is should definitely be considered about changed the flooring. Below are some averages of what people who spend money on flooring found their returns.

Average cost: £4,000

Average profit: £2,000

Return on investment: 50 per cent

Loft conversions

Loft conversions are another great way to increase the size of a property without moving. Many lofts are just used for storage and are wasted space. We feel more people should make use of this space by converting it into extra rooms and you should still have some space for storage. Loft conversions are also seen as a great way to increase the value of a property as it is like adding another floor to your home. Most homes would not need planning permission for this as it falls within the category Permitted Development Rights unless you wanted to extend the roof out to make it bigger. Planning officials are usually keen to maintain the rhythm of residential roof lines in a street, so most extensions need to have minimal external impact. Below are some averages of what people who spent money on loft conversions found their returns.

Average cost: £24,6000

Average profit: £12.000

Return on investment: 50 per cent

Kitchens

Kitchens have moved on a lot in the last few years in terms of design and the technology people have in them. All units and cookers are becoming touch screen as this is the latest fashion with white been by far the most common colour design for kitchens. Kitchens are a place where people do spend a lot of time so they like it to be modern and welcoming. Buyers always look to a kitchen to give the house their own personality. If you did this is could provide you with a more convenient place to make your meals but also increase your houses appeal to buyers in the future as buyers will pay more for a modern decorated kitchen to save the hassle of them doing it themselves. Below are some averages of what people who spent money on kitchen refurbishments found their returns.

Average cost: £9,600

Average profit: £4,750

Return on investment: 49 per cent

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are another area in which make a big difference to a home. As well as making a home a more comfortable living experience they are also a big factor for people looking for houses. Most people like their own style in a bathroom and like it to be a clean, smart and well maintained room. This might not cost you much depending on how dated your current bathroom is but it is money well spent as you will always be that bit more comfortable in there and it will definitely help with the sale of a house. Below are some averages of what people who spend money on flooring found their returns.

Average cost: £4,900

Average profit: £2,350

Return on investment: 48 per cent

It is important to remember all the figures in this article are based on national averages and these figures can vary deepening on are and condition of the house before any work is carried out. We are here to answer any questions you may have or any designs and plans that you might want done to your home. Please get in touch if you feel we could help you improve your property.

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