Whether you are buy­ing or sell­ing, the value of any prop­erty could plum­met if the bath­room is on the ground floor TOP TIPS

Glossop Advertiser - - Home Advice -

he re­cent in­ter­est rate rise by the Bank of Eng­land was just 0.25%. But that – and with some fore­cast­ing more in­creases to come – has been enough to put many peo­ple off buy­ing and sell­ing prop­erty.

Ac­cord­ing to AA Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices, one in four who had in­tended to move are now dis­suaded by higher bor­row­ing costs.

For many, the al­ter­na­tive to move is to im­prove. Sell­ing and buy­ing a prop­erty with all the taxes, le­gal and other fees, plus prob­a­bly tak­ing on a big­ger loan is a pricey business.

You may be able to stretch your home up­wards or side­ways or build a gar­den room or just make bet­ter use of the ex­ist­ing space.

It’s worth spending money if it means avoid­ing mov­ing – es­pe­cially if your re­mod­elled home will fit your needs for years to come.

But there’s one pos­si­ble home im­prove­ment you should def­i­nitely avoid. Hav­ing a down­stairs bath­room could slash more from the value of your home than it costs to build and make the prop­erty harder to sell.

New fig­ures from Direct Line Home In­surance re­veal hav­ing the fam­ily bath­room down­stairs can wipe thou­sands from the sale value of a prop­erty. Peo­ple want a bath­room near their bed­rooms. If you al­ready have one up­stairs, an in­creas­ing num­ber of prop­erty buy­ers now de­mand a sec­ond bath­room en-suite. Es­tate agents say a down­stairs bath­room can plunge a prop­erty’s value by as much as 6%, which would amount to £13,580 off the av­er­age UK prop­erty com­pared to prop­er­ties with an up­stairs fam­ily bath­room. As many as 23 mil­lion adults, Direct Line says, Mov­ing the bath­room up­stairs will add value would not even look at a home with a down­stairs bath­room – the main ex­cep­tion are those with mo­bil­ity prob­lems who can­not climb stairs.

Down­stairs bath­rooms are usu­ally found in older prop­er­ties and ac­cessed through the kitchen.

They are of­ten seen as cheap con­ver­sions – but older folk may re­mem­ber homes with­out bath­rooms where there was a weekly wash in a tin You’re laugh­ing if you have an up­stairs bath­room Even hav­ing the fam­ily bath­room up­stairs may not be enough – many buy­ers will want an en-suite too tub by the fire – some­times with more than one fam­ily mem­ber shar­ing the wa­ter!

Es­tate agents say the ex­pense of re­lo­cat­ing a down­stairs bath­room up­stairs could more than pay for it­self should you want to sell.

Bath­room qual­ity is im­por­tant when try­ing to sell a prop­erty too, ac­cord­ing to nine out of 10 es­tate agents.

One in three say it is the top fac­tor. 1. Use a poor qual­ity or out­dated bath­room to bar­gain prices down if you are buy­ing. Find out what a new set-up would cost. You might con­sider un­der­floor heat­ing. 2. Sep­a­rate toi­lets in­crease the value of a prop­erty. 3. Don’t for­get to no­tify home in­sur­ers if you are hav­ing sub­stan­tial build­ing works such as a new bath­room. Be­sides pos­si­ble dam­age, there is an added se­cu­rity risk if you can’t lock your home. 4. Check home im­prove­ment builders have in­surance against any mishap in your prop­erty, that they are qual­i­fied and reg­is­tered with a recog­nised gov­ern­ing body, and there is a con­tract in place. 5. En­sure builders know lo­cal reg­u­la­tions to en­sure ren­o­va­tions meet build­ing and fire rules. 6. No­tify neigh­bours of any im­prove­ment work, so they won’t be sur­prised by the noise and other ac­tiv­ity. Sort out any is­sues over party walls – walls you share with next door – be­fore you start.

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