When you have invested in a property, it can be disheartening to learn that your home now has a relatively low property value to the time at which you bought it.
House value, particularly in the luxury property market, can change over time and it takes expertise to understand what decreases property value, and how to implement an ongoing programme that ensures you and your property are buffered against the risk of house prices falling.
We have considerable experience in the area of luxury property value and have put together five possible property value pitfalls. If you want to find out which factors can help protect the value of your home, read on.
Many of the period homes and most sought-after residential areas in London are subject to planning and development restrictions.
Owning a property that is a listed building or within a conservation area attracts considerable lifestyle and future-sale benefits and many buyers will actively seek out the period features and past significance that London’s historical streets have to offer
However, history and provenance comes with a caveat; home improvement choices are required to fit within the individual guidelines and permissions for your property or area. Any potential luxury property buyer will ensure that rigorous checks are made before making a purchase and it is at this stage that any improvements, whether made by you or previous owners, which fall outside the legal parameters, will be picked up and decrease property value.
It stands to reason that any seller, whether they have concerns about low property value or not, will make sure that the external maintenance on their home is in tip-top condition and of a supremely high standard before they make it available for sale.
You will almost certainly feel the impact of house prices falling if you present your property to the market in a disheveled or unimpressive state.
However, with a luxury property, it is a risk to let outside and visible maintenance slip at all across the time of your ownership. By all means give your home an extra polish just before making it available for sale, but remember also that properties acquire reputation, either for good or bad, all the time.
A property that has been admired and envied during your occupation will attract a crowd once it comes onto the market. In the world of luxury property sales, a crowd is what you are after as it puts up the chances of top-end prices and enhanced property value.
We can’t get on with everybody all of the time but, if you want to avoid low property value, it pays to keep your neighbours onside and well behaved. It isn’t difficult for upset neighbours to disrupt viewings and potential buyers will be considering and asking questions about the neighbourhood as a whole, not just your property.
Another point to bear in mind when considering your neighbourly relations is that buyers can seek compensation if they discover difficult neighbour behaviour following a sale. You don’t need to be best friends with everyone in your street but, by making sure that, even if provoked, you keep your behaviour civil and listen to the opinion of others, you can protect your property against the risks of house prices falling and low property value.
Another factor to bear in mind when it comes to neighbours is that new development in the area can sometimes lead to decreases in property value. Not only does a new development risk spoiling the view from your property, it can also sometimes create a housing surplus, which can set house prices falling.
You can’t pull down a new building once it has been built but you can make sure you make regular checks, and where necessary, objections, on planning applications in your area.
It is only natural to want to put your mark on your luxury property and furnish it with all the accouterments of a relaxing and rewarding lifestyle but it is important to remember that your interior design taste, if it has a tendency towards the unusual or outrageous, won’t necessarily have the grace required to attract high-end potential buyers and avoid low property value.
When it comes to decoration and colour, you don’t necessarily need to stick to neutrals to gain property value but we definitely recommend employing the services of a respected interior designer who understands the luxury market and will be able to help you balance your desire for a bespoke and enjoyable look with your requirement to ensure your property keeps its appeal into the future.
One definite no-no is to remove or cover any of the period features that make your home so unique and valuable. Buyers in the luxury property market will be on the look out for these features so make sure you emphasise them as their absence, when expected, is one of the sometimes unpredicted issues that can decrease property value.
Whether you have a family or not, it is important to remember that your home’s next owner might have one and that the performance and popularity of local schools can sometimes be one of the biggest factors in keeping your house value high.
Put simply, a home that is just outside a popular school catchment area or with tricky school transport links will have a low property value, compared to one that is just inside the catchment area or within walking distance.
To make the picture more difficult, catchment area boundaries can change every year so, if you think this will be an issue for you, make sure that you buy property that is well within a catchment area or has easy transport to the most desirable schools.
Remember to consider pre-school provision as well as prep, senior and sixth form opportunities. Schools are all subject to government-approved inspection, either by Ofsted or the Independent Schools Inspectorate and reading the reports created following these inspections can reap dividends when it comes to property investment and property value.
It can sometimes seem impossible to project into the future and predict where you will see house prices falling, but with some inside knowledge on what decreases property value you can make sure that your property serves you well as a comfortable place to live, and a worthwhile financial investment.
At Arlington Residential, we have over 25 years of experience as a top, independent residential property agent and offer professional help and advice for property sales and lettings in Central and North West London.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK TO OUR TEAM ABOUT HOW WE CAN HELP YOU WITH YOUR PROPERTY SALES, RENTALS OR INVESTMENTS
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