If you are searching for a new home to buy, or thinking about putting your current home on the market, you will probably be keeping your eye on house prices. The value of the average home in the UK has risen sharply over the past couple of years, by 14.3% in England and 14.6% in Wales.
This is daunting news for first time buyers who are looking to get a first step on the property ladder. But what determines how much a home is worth? It is important to have some idea about the property valuation process before you start house hunting, and understand the reasons behind the vendor’s asking price as much as possible.
This will give you a more realistic idea about what you can afford, and make sure you are paying a fair price when you do have an offer accepted. It may also arm you will some bargaining points if you like a property but feel it is overpriced, especially as the frantic pace of the housing market is starting to cool off in recent weeks.
An estate agent will usually recommend a price to the vendor, based on their own valuation of the property and their knowledge of the local housing market. Firstly, they will consider the size and location of the home. There is usually a correlation between size and value, with detached four-bedroom homes worth more than semis and terraces.
However, the location is also an important factor—is it close to amenities such as shops and schools, and close to good transport links? Is it in a pleasant tree lined avenue or on a busy main road? The recent sold prices of similar properties in the area will also influence their valuation.
The condition of the property will be taken into account, such as any structural issues, the age of the windows and doors, and the condition of the roof. The energy efficiency rating is increasingly important as well, and they may check the age of the boiler, if there is double glazing, and the amount of insulation that has been installed.
Any renovations and improvements will be taken into account, such as kitchen extensions and loft conversions, and if these have been done to a high standard. There are other variables which are more subjective, such as how spacious the rooms feel, the style and standard of the interior décor, and how much outside space there is.
A garage or space for off-road parking will generally add value, as will a garden room, or an attractive good-sized garden with a professionally installed patio or decking area. Period homes with well-preserved key features may be valued more highly than other types of property.
Other factors not related to the actual property include where the vendors are looking to achieve the highest price possible, or sell the house quickly, and what the local market conditions are like. Ultimately, properties are only worth what someone is willing to pay for them, so it pays to consider your offer carefully.
If you would like to talk to a mortgage broker in Wallingford, please get in touch today.