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The Extras That Home Buyers Look For

by Sarah Halloran

When we’re looking to buy a property there are always going to be obvious factors that are more important than others. The number of bedrooms, the size of all rooms and the style and look of a house should be at the forefront of a property seeker’s mind but what about those added extras?

Is a garage more important than regular public transport links or would you favour high speed broadband access over the nature of your power supply?

A recent survey of 2,000 homebuyers revealed that broadband is now a number one priority and 19% of movers make sure that their service is the first thing they activate when they move in. In fact, one in ten potential buyers have rejected a prospective property simply because it had a slow connection.

“When it comes to buying a home it seems it’s more a case of broadband, broadband, broadband than location, location, location,” said Dominic Baliszewski, of the website

“Broadband has become something people are not prepared to live without, so it’s little wonder it’s now such a major factor for homebuyers.”

Estate agents have also shown that a faster broadband speed will secure more viewers as buyers consider this to be of higher importance than factors such as a garage, off street parking or easy walking access to nearby shops.

The increase of teleworking is undoubtedly at the heart of this growing need. With more people working from home, either on a full or part time basis, a fast broadband connection suddenly becomes essential.

“In this digital age, a fast broadband connection is becoming much more important for home-hunters,” said Miles Shipside of RightMove.

“People don’t just rely on a good internet connection for web browsing, but also streaming television and working from home.

“As the consumer technologies which rely on the internet expand, the need for a strong connection will be added to more home mover wish-lists.”

Once you move beyond the desire for broadband, the more traditional requirements start to emerge. Electricity and gas fired central heating may be more attractive than isolated properties that still rely on oil for their fuel source while garages, off street parking and local amenities are still taken into consideration.

However, it’s Broadband that has emerged as the main requirement in terms of those property ‘add-ons’.

“It is very easy to check broadband speeds in a specific area so we’d urge potential home buyers to do this rather than be left disappointed,” Dominic Baliszewski added.

While it may be easy to check, estate agents are finding that the inclusion of a positive broadband speed on their sales specifications will save time and is also becoming a powerful selling tool.

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How to Add Real Value to Your Home

by Sarah Halloran

In recent weeks we’ve looked at many easy and inexpensive ways in which you can encourage buyers for your home and increase its value. Tidying your garden, painting your front door and de-cluttering are all good ideas but what about those major jobs such as extensions, loft conversions and conservatories? A recent survey by estate agents Savills told us exactly what to do if you want to make a major difference to the market value of your home. Here are the top five findings.

  1. Loft extension

The key to most of these methods is in creating extra space. A loft which is otherwise left empty or used for storage can be perfect for an extra bedroom or a home office.

It is claimed that converting your loft space can add between 10% and 20% to the value of your home depending on the total size of your property and on the area. In London, for example, where extra space is highly desirable you could expect to receive the full 20% increase on a future sale price.

  1. Side Return

The first question to ask here might be ‘what is a side return’? In Victorian times, this was the area outside the home that led from the door at the side of a house and out into the back garden.

Some viewed it as wasted space and had the kitchen extended to make a larger kitchen area or even to add a dining room if feasible. Many older properties in the UK still have a side return and by converting it, Savills estimate that you can add around 10 to 20% to your property in financial terms.

  1. A new kitchen

In the case of a new kitchen, you aren’t actually adding any square footage to your home but you are making better use of the space inside. A transformed kitchen can be stunning and comes in at third place in the list.

However, while it may add 5 – 7% to your property value, it is claimed that the initial cost of your new kitchen is rarely, if ever, claimed back on a future sale.

  1. A new bathroom

A bathroom is arguably the one place in the house that will be redecorated in accordance with the new owner’s tastes. It is also widely claimed that the thought of upgrading such a room is likely to deter prospective buyers.

Restyling your bathroom can therefore encourage a sale and it’s also claimed that it can add up to 5% to the final figure.

  1. An en suite bathroom

This represents the ultimate in luxury and convenience and more and more buyers are adding an en suite bathroom to their list of requirements.

If you have enough space in your main bedroom then you could consider adding the extra room for your own use and when the time comes to sell, you may find that you’ve boosted your property value by up to 4%.

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