With the stamp duty holiday in place to kickstart property sales, it should be a property investors market. However, it’s no secret that despite the incredibly low base rate and the stamp duty holiday pushing homebuyers into action – getting a mortgage at the moment is very difficult. Mainstream lenders are changing their criteria, both reducing LTV’s and increasing rates just at the time that buyers need them the most. This is resulting in almost a third of buyers being denied a mortgage. As well as this, the sheer demand and amount of mortgage applications are pushing lenders to their limits. Inevitably creating delays and allowing gazumping to increase whilst buyers and sellers wait for action from the banks.
Source: MFS report – Unlocking Property Investment Opportunities
Improving, ready for moving
Whilst some buyers are battling through these issues, some have decided to simply stay put, putting their UK property investment plans on hold. However, this does not mean that everything needs to come to a standstill. There are ways that property investors can take action to increase the value of their current properties. In turn, this could then impact the equity they have available when they come to purchase another asset and decide to sell the current property. This helps when getting a new mortgage. More equity means a lower LTV, something that lenders look favourably on when deciding rates, and even whether to provide a mortgage in the first place.
So how do you go about deciding what to do in your current property that will make the most difference to both its value and its sell ability?
Our MFS Top 5 delves into some of the best home improvements that could help transform your asset into your future buyers dream home.
Find out more on our refurbishment bridging loans.
A way to potentially enhance property value and sell-abilitys to increase the number of bathrooms in the property. In fact, 70% of estate agents believe that an extra en-suite is likely to help improve a property sale. They also look to increase profits between £50,000 – £1.5m, for assets residing in the capital.
They may be some of the smallest rooms in the home, but bathroom unit refurbishment can also make the difference between a sale and a loss. Potential buyers will notice a recently refurbished bathroom, as it’s a large home improvement they’ll no longer have to fund themselves. This can then reduce the likelihood of an offer lower than the asking price.
If your asset has the luxury of space, then enhancing the bathroom with a featured bath could add a sense of splendour to the room as well as becoming a bold statement piece. Rainfall shower heads also make a great visual feature for wet rooms. Or they can be in replacement of a bath, a great way to increase floor space.
Considering this year’s pandemic, not having sperate facilities for guests is a rising concern for some homebuyers. Ensuring the property holders keep the en-suite bathrooms disinfected and quarantined for visitors, it can simply provide peace of mind to all parties, decreasing the areas of potential cross contamination between families.
The kitchen is the heart of a home and the size of the kitchen is increasingly becoming a key factor for potential buyers. Whilst smaller kitchens are considered less desirable, it really comes down to how well the space inside is utilised. As a seller, focusing on the utilisation of the space can be a good direction to take. Especially if there is no option for extension.
A popular way to make any space appear larger, is to create an open plan design. This can include keeping shelving open and using integrated units to generate a smooth feeling. Fewer eyesight barriers adapt the illusion of extra space, without physically increasing it. Hidden storage space also fills the buyer’s storage needs, whilst simultaneously keeping the kitchen looking tidy. This idea of ‘smart storage’ has become a popular trend in recent times.
A new kitchen can increase the likelihood of getting a higher offer, the same as bathrooms. However, it may not be possible to completely change a kitchen, due to cost or logistics. Whilst an island unit can eat into the overall floor space, it can be a great way to create extra cupboard, surface and dining space as well as creating a good place that people can congregate around when entertaining.
3. Home office
Since the lockdown was instigated back in March, it is no surprise that the demand for a home office has skyrocketed. In fact, its demand from buyers has risen to 27%, from the previous 8%. As it stands, currently 20% of workers are permanently working from home according to government statistics. Providing space for an office is another conversion that could increase the value of your property. Research shows that adding a home office can increase value by 8%, on average, in the current climate. With today’s announcement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the numbers may still increase.
Having the space for a home office is crucial for those looking to work from home. It allows for less distraction and a higher level of focus. By keeping work allocated to specific room, it also creates a work life detachment. This means that although you are still in your home, your mind finds it easier to relax once you step out of the office at the end of the working day. Adding large windows and calming colours to the wall are small extra features that can improve a home office.
4. Walk in wardrobe
A home office is not the only possible use for a spare room. Adding shelving units, clothing rails and a mirror or two can transform a cluttered cupboard into an easily accessible walk in wardrobe. Utilising another room in such a way can open out the bedroom space, removing the need for a wardrobe and making the sleeping space look calmer.
Mirrors can also be a quick trick to ‘create’ space in a small room. Using them to reflect the natural light coming through the windows not only brightens the space but can also create the illusion of a larger room. Something that is highly attractive to potential buyers.
Loft conversions have always been a great way to instantly increase property value. On average, they can add up to 20% to your current value, dependant on the type of conversion you install. They give a range of options and can be used for a variety of possibilities:
- Master bedroom
- Home office
- Home gym
- Spare storage space
You can find out more about loft conversions here.
They’re popular with potential buyers as they add another room to the property. Initially, it can appear as though buyers lose out on storage by removing the loft. But by developing and opening the floor space out fully, the gain could be far greater. Converting the space into another bedroom is one of the best ways to generate a higher added value, whilst adding an en-suite and transforming the loft into a brand-new master suite is something buyers can be particularly interested in.
A conversion or refurbishment bridging loan gives you the opportunity to improve an asset in your property portfolio by completing multiple improvements in one sweep. Saving you time and bringing high-quality properties to buyers in the market, it could also potentially increase rental yield if you decided to keep it for your property portfolio.
If you’re looking for more information, check out our bridging hub here.