Posts with tag: renovation

Property Price Vs. Desirability

Published On: October 11, 2017 at 8:01 am


Categories: Finance News

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By Paul Mahoney, Managing Director of Nova Financial 

Paul Mahoney

Paul Mahoney

Seeking value is important when it comes to making any investment, but especially with property. Some property can be over-priced and others under-priced, and I know which side of that equation I’d prefer to be on.

Determining the price of a property isn’t an exact science, as even experienced surveyors generally determine property valuations based upon comparable sales in the area and a bit of good old-fashioned guess work. Websites such as Zoopla and Rightmove provide quick and easy valuation services, however, they often prove to be inaccurate, especially if there haven’t been many comparable sales to your property in that area.

When determining price, it is important to compare apples with apples. By that, I mean a brand-new property with all the latest bells and whistles, as well as the top of the range fixtures and fittings isn’t comparable to a 100-year-old property on the other side of town. Searching lowest to highest on Zoopla is a terrible idea, as you’ll first be presented with the cheapest and nastiest properties in an area.

Balancing price with desirability is very important. The abovementioned cheap properties are generally cheap for a reason, which is usually due to a lack of demand driven by a lack of desirability. This is the opposite of what you want when investing in property, as an undesirable property won’t rent or sell well. If you’re an experienced builder or fancy yourself as a Homes Under the Hammer contestant, then of course you could change that with a major renovation, but, for most mum-and-dad investors, the focus should be on passive income, not the business of property development.

Renovating properties to add value might be made to look easy by the likes of Sarah Beany, however, it is a profession and should not be taken lightly or assumed to be the easy road to riches. Many an investor has been burnt by dodgy-Dave builders, perceived fixer uppers, properties that cost way more to fix than they are worth, and estate agents that over promise and under-deliver, so buyer beware.

Balancing desirability with price is important. If you have the most desirable property in the most desirable location, it will rent and sell very easily, but that property will often be expensive. We like to target areas with strong rental yields, affordable property prices in comparison with average incomes, strong employment and employment growth, as well as infrastructure in place, as well as infrastructure spending underway; essentially, all the ingredients that equate to a market moving in the right direction.

Landlords, Which Renovation Projects are Most Profitable?

Published On: July 26, 2017 at 8:07 am


Categories: Landlord News

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When it comes to renovation projects, sometimes it takes money to make money – that’s the finding of the latest research by Towergate Insurance.

Landlords are often looking at ways that they can increase the value of their properties, either to command a higher monthly rent and therefore earn stronger rental yields, or sell the asset for a better price, which will improve capital gains.

Towergate has analysed some common renovation projects to find out which will add the most value to your property, without breaking the bank in the first place.

However, its research has indicated that sometimes it is worth putting a larger sum behind a renovation project to reap the rewards.

We used the current average house price of £220,700 (taken from the latest Office for National Statistics/Land Registry index) to calculate how much some popular renovation projects would cost on this property, how much they would increase the value of the home and the estimated profit on each.

If you would like to put in the value of your own properties, simply use the tool here:

Landlords, Which Renovation Projects are Most Profitable?

Landlords, Which Renovation Projects are Most Profitable?

On the typical UK property, the cheapest renovation project is to transform a space into open plan living, which costs an average of £2,100. However, if you’re looking to opt for this feature (something that may appeal to many modern tenants), you’ll be pleased to know that it’s not bottom of the list for profit and increase in value.

It’s actually decking that will deliver the lowest increase in value to your property, at just 2% (or £4,414 on an average home). In addition, the profit on this renovation project is just £2,239, following a £2,175 initial outlay.

The most expensive project on the list is a single storey extension, which would cost a huge £20,000 on the average home. But is this worth it? It appears not, as you’ll only receive a £4,277 profit from this job.

So, what is the most lucrative investment? It turns out that adding a garage will deliver the highest estimated increase in value – a solid 20% (or £44,140)-  and the greatest estimated profit – an impressive £28,690.

Other ideas on the list include outside décor, a conservatory and a loft – find out which will be the most profitable on your property and happy renovating!


How You Can Add £200,000 to the Value of your London Property

Published On: March 15, 2017 at 9:12 am


Categories: Property News

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Two architects have added £200,000 to the value of their London property by completely overhauling the former bedsit. And although they don’t advise anyone to live in the home while transforming it, it could be a good project for landlords…

Gary and Claire Tynan found it difficult to save for a home of their own while renting in north London, and originally planned to build their own property on a plot of land. However, this option was beyond their budget, so they decided to do up a flat instead.

The Canonbury bedsit they remodelled is 1,000 square feet and part of a 1870s historic building.

Having transformed it into a modern masterpiece, the pair has added £200,000 to the value of their home.

So how did they do it, and how can you too?

Open plan 

The biggest change is the open plan living room, which now takes up half of the whole flat. Divided by a huge partition, the space includes a living, dining and kitchen space.

The design is stylish, smart and practical, with lots of ideas on how to split the space and encompass storage, which is always a winner with tenants/buyers.

Although the building had a quirky warehouse feel that the couple liked, the kitchen was tired and old-fashioned. Reworking the living area into a spacious and practical space with monochrome finishings completely altered the feel of the home.

The bathroom 

The bathroom was particularly bad when the pair bought the property – the grout was mouldy and the joists were rotting. But the couple acknowledged that it was light and had potential.

Sorting out the plumbing was particularly important, as the pair moved into the home while they were working on it. After sorting out the bedrooms, they tackled the “revolting” bathroom.

Ensuring a property has a contemporary, clean and practical bathroom is essential – it is almost as important as the kitchen when adding value to a home, so it’s worth investing in some quality fixtures and fittings.


Although the flat is in a conservation area, you don’t need planning permission for most internal work (although you must check!), so adding in another bedroom was an easy decision.

The Tynans purchased the property in January 2016 and were already expecting a baby. This made having a third bedroom a priority, so they added a small nursery off one of the two main bedrooms.

Generally speaking, the more bedrooms you can offer a potential buyer/tenant, the more money they are willing to spend. But you must ensure that the space is actually big enough to be a bedroom and will be financially viable for you.

Design features

With a keen eye for detail, the architects have created a completely modern and metropolitan feel. Predominantly black and off-white, the property is a blank canvas that can be adapted as their family and tastes grow.

The most important aspect of the design to incorporate into your own investment is the simplicity. Not only is simple design currently very on trend, but it is also timeless and elegant – and shouldn’t cost too much money.

Taking the couple’s key themes on board, you can make essential changes to your property investment that will prove lucrative – both in terms of the rental income you can receive and capital growth potential.

Have you been inspired?

Majority of Brits Unhappy with Buckingham Palace’s £369m Renovation Project

Published On: November 28, 2016 at 10:13 am


Categories: Property News

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The majority of Britons are unhappy with Buckingham Palace’s £369m renovation project, following the Treasury’s announcement of the plans last week.

Majority of Brits Unhappy with Buckingham Palace's £369m Renovation Project

Majority of Brits Unhappy with Buckingham Palace’s £369m Renovation Project

To fund the 10-year scheme, the Queen will be given a 66% pay rise, which will last for the entirety of the renovation project. However, this news has resulted in a backlash from the general public and has left UK taxpayers questioning who should pay for the work.

Consequently, a petition requesting the Queen to pay for the refurbishment herself reached its target in a matter of days, attracting more than 140,000 signatures.

Conducting its own research on the controversial scheme, leading home services marketplace has found that two out of three UK taxpayers are unhappy with the costs.

The firm revealed that 68% of Britons are unhappy with the £369m price tag. As the home of Buckingham Palace, Londoners appear more supportive of the renovation project, with just 61% saying they are unhappy with the costs. Plentific believes that this may be due to those living in the capital being less surprised by the level of funding needed for the work.

Similarly to the sentiment felt around the EU referendum, Scotland has taken a distinctly negative stance and has proven to be the most unsupportive country in the UK, with 81% saying they are unhappy with the costs. 82% of residents in Edinburgh disapprove the costs, whilst Glaswegians are more sympathetic, with 77% feeling unsatisfied.

Bristol has shown the highest level of support throughout the country, with just 54% feeling unhappy with the £369m investment. Brighton, too, shows more understanding of the costs, at 59%.

The least happy locations in England are: Nottingham, 78, Liverpool, 73%, Sheffield, 72%, and Leeds, 70%.

The spokesperson for Plentific, Stephen Jury, comments: “Whilst the price for upgrading seems steep, these refurbishments are essential to the safety of the building and will allow Buckingham Palace to continue to attract tourism and generate revenue.

“For the average UK taxpayer, the cost obviously comes across as a shock, which is highlighted by our research with the majority not being happy with the bill.”

How do you feel about the £369m renovation project?

Where to Find Fixer-Upper Investment Properties in London’s Commuter Belt

Published On: October 10, 2016 at 9:39 am


Categories: Landlord News

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With London house prices holding strong, many homeowners and investors alike are looking out of the capital for better value properties. Home improvement marketplace has found great locations where you can buy fixer-upper investment properties in London’s commuter belt for a good price.

The average house price in London is now a huge £484,716, while the typical property in the UK costs less than half, at £216,750.

Although it is no surprise that Londoners are looking to buy in more affordable commuter towns, property values in the outskirts are beginning to rise as a result of the added interest.

Where to Find Fixer-Upper Investment Properties in London's Commuter Belt

Where to Find Fixer-Upper Investment Properties in London’s Commuter Belt

So where can you find reasonably priced investment properties in London’s commuter belt? Plentific advises you to look for fixer-upper properties and make the necessary improvements to bring it up to a high standard.

The Co-Founder of Plentific, Cem Savas, says: “These five examples demonstrate what can be achieved with a budget which is modest when compared to the London property prices. Any London homeowner can exchange their flat for more than twice the space with a similar commute time. Furthermore, with some TLC and an expert pair of hands, carrying out renovations can develop these properties into beautiful family homes.

“With the rapid increase of property values in London, homeowners can now sell a studio in Balham for a townhouse in Bedfordshire, or trade in their maisonette in Edgware for a cottage with grounds in Buckinghamshire.”

So where should you look?

Bicester, Oxfordshire

With two local stations offering direct trains to London in less than an hour, Bicester is extremely commuter-friendly. The combination of its local shopping centre and beautiful countryside attract many to the town, while the latest train station, Bicester Village, is currently undergoing construction of a new train line, which will provide a direct service to Oxford by the end of 2016.

Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire

With Milton Keynes just around the corner, offering great entertainment and shopping amenities, Leighton Buzzard is fast becoming a favourite commuter hotspot. The town offers its own local attractions and restaurants, and is just a half an hour drive from Luton Airport.

Didcot, Oxfordshire

Didcot is currently undergoing a major facelift; properties are under development in the Great Western Park, the train station is being upgraded, and the shopping centre is being extended. It is just 20 minutes from Oxford and 50 minutes from central London.

Southend-on-Sea, Essex

If you’re looking to invest by the sea but still want to attract to London commuters, Southend-on-Sea could be a great investment option. It has a beach resort feel and is under an hour from the capital.

Maidstone, Kent

Looking to invest in the countryside? Maidstone has an abundance of greenery on its doorstep, is home to the stunning Leeds Castle and is still within an hour’s commute of London.

Have you been inspired to step into London’s commuter belt for your next investment property? Buy a fixer-upper and reap the rewards!

Could You Make a Profit on Your Property with Home Improvements?

Published On: July 22, 2016 at 9:19 am


Categories: Property News

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A new study from Plentific reveals that homeowners in the UK believe that they can make a significant profit on their property through home improvements.

The survey, conducted by Opinium, found that 35% of homeowners in the UK think they could make a profit on their property from a £50,000 investment in home improvements, such as decoration, extensions and renovations.

Could You Make a Profit on Your Property with Home Improvements?

Could You Make a Profit on Your Property with Home Improvements?decoration, extensions and renovations.

However, just 10% of the respondents expect home improvements to increase their property’s value by £75,000-£100,000. Lower profit expectations were forecast from homeowners in Wales, Scotland and northern England, with almost half saying they do not expect a £50,000 increase in their property’s value.

Homeowners in London and the South East were most confident, with around half expecting a return on improvement costs.

Half of homeowners in the capital expected to make a return on their £50,000 investment, while 21% predicted an increase of £75,000-£100,000 on their property’s value. Some 10% of homeowners in Bristol and London believe that they could see a rise of over £100,000 in house price following a £50,000 investment.

The survey also looked at the reasons why property owners make home improvements. It found that a huge 79% are more interested in improving living space, while just 17% are hoping to increase their property’s value.

Young first time buyers – those aged under 34 – expressed more of a desire to make money on their improvement projects, with 32% carrying out renovations to increase their property’s value.

The co-founder of Plentific, Cem Savas, comments: “Our latest consumer research highlights homeowners’ confidence in the value of home improvements. It does also paint the picture that young owners and those in the South East are more fixated with increasing property values. This isn’t a surprise considering the rise in recent times, highlighted this week in the ONS House Price Index, which revealed that properties in the South East had an annual growth of 12.8%.

“A home is an asset, but the majority of homeowners undertake home improvements simply to improve their living space and home life.”

As a landlord, making home improvements could increase both your rental income each month and your property’s value when the time comes to sell. If you are looking for a financial boost, invest in some renovation work!