Scottish Field

The hard-working house

Whether it’s by bringing in a lodger or the movie cameras, make your home work for you by utilising or even adding some extra space

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The purchase of our homes, equipping, decorating and maintainin­g them is the largest area of expenditur­e in a family budget but it is possible to make your home pay for some of this. Property is an investment; while the post-war baby boomers have probably had the best return on house purchases there is no reason why everyone else cannot benefit financiall­y as well, thanks to their homes.

Growth in property value will always remain the easiest way to make your house work financiall­y; the big skill here is finding something that is undervalue­d, in an area on the way up or a keenly-budgeted renovation project.

Invest in the property by adding value with extensions, bathrooms, kitchens, garages and a whole host of other improvemen­ts.

Ask yourself - have we now reached peak Air bnb? Big cities and tourist destinatio­ns are starting to grumble at how this sucks property out of the local housing stock; nightmare stories from either side of the bargain are becoming more prevalent.

Sometimes old-fashioned ways are best: a lodger, renting a room in your house, is a tried and tested way of raising cash. What is more, you can earn up to £7,500 per year tax-free and the government offers free advice. Check out https://www.gov.uk/ rent-room-in-your-home

The bank of mum and dad: there are more options than simply giving money to your children to get them on the property ladder. Build for them. A small property in grounds or garden can be a rent-free home while they save for a deposit and parents still have a valuable asset that could be rented out for holidays or short, or long-term and the income can be used to help towards said mortgage.

Does a granny flat have to be an extension to your home? A bit of extra space and each of you having your own front door can work wonders. Why pay for an office when you can own one in your own garden?

Parking, garage space and storage can often be at a premium in some neighbourh­oods; if you are not using yours then someone else will pay to.

Is your home a movie star in the making? You don’t have to own a castle or luxury pad; lots of dramas are filmed in very un-dramatic locations. A period house from any recent decade, original features intact internally or externally is often needed. Check out the growing number of location agencies on line. Not only do they pay by the day but most agencies charge half of the normal day rate for set-up and take-down days either side of the filming.

And the easiest way for your home to lose money is? By not researchin­g these ideas fully with regard to planning permission, permitted developmen­t rights and insurance; these can all take time, due care and diligence but the end result can be very rewarding.

 ??  ?? From left: Renting a room in your house for a tax-free income; a twostorey extension is far more expensive to build but represents a lower cost per square metre of floor space.
From left: Renting a room in your house for a tax-free income; a twostorey extension is far more expensive to build but represents a lower cost per square metre of floor space.
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