Published: 01/06/2021Potential is a magic word in property, and no wonder.
As our home lives continue to evolve, we're examining every corner for how it can offer us more. Could the layout be more sociable? Can we create a workspace? Is there scope to add more bedrooms? How can we increase the levels of luxury and light?
One of the unseen parts of estate agency is looking for potential in every home, not just those that need modernising. And as your selling partner in your move, it's part of our job to explore every possibility to widen your audience and get you the best price.
More and more buyers want a home with the chance to make their mark now or to grow with them as a family member. And we can often match people to property in unexpected ways by taking an interest in how they live, instead of simply asking how many bedrooms they want.
This week’s blog is all about the typical opportunities we look for when appraising a property for sale. If you’d like some advice on realising the potential of your home or using its promise for selling points, give us a call – we’re always happy to help.
The most obvious route to increasing a home's value is to make it bigger. Even if you don't extend it yourself, you're likely to achieve a higher price when you come to sell if you've already obtained consent for an addition that requires planning permission.
A garage attached to a house can often take a floor on top for valuable extra bedroom numbers. Going larger still, an empty space to the side can also provide an additional living room on the ground floor, perhaps for a home office or studio. It may even be possible to create a separate annexe, either for a family member or to rent as an income stream.
The back of a home usually provides the most flexibility in terms of design, and here is where large dining kitchens have become a sought-after feature as a sociable, multi-purpose space opening out to the garden. We also look for the possibility of adding another storey to increase the number of bedrooms.
LOFTS AND CELLARS
Lofts have a special character that suits various uses, particularly with a full staircase installed to make the new top floor an accessible and integrated part of a home.
Having a sumptuous master suite at the top of the house with a private bathroom can provide a welcome sanctuary away from the kids. Or a pair of children's bedrooms could be made, perhaps with a shared shower room to ease the strain on the main family bathroom.
A loft can also provide the perfect home workspace hidden above the busier areas, or a studio for wellness or creativity.
Down below, the least headline-grabbing feature in older homes is usually the cellar. Generally relegated to junk rooms, they can make an excellent music studio (with adequate soundproofing!), a cinema room (where the darkness is a blessing), or a children's play den (to keep the living areas clear of toys).
Rooms are used very differently now from the traditional separations of living, dining, cooking and even working.
Flexible, multi-purpose and flow are today’s keywords – and many homes can deliver on those without the need to extend. It's all about finding ways to connect previously separate spaces that can be zoned with furniture rather than physically divided.
Successful and popular designs include:
- removing the wall between a hallway and dining room to accept a bigger table and brighten a once-dark corridor;
- merging two living rooms in a front-to-back space to suit larger modern couches and TVs;
- combining the kitchen and dining room for a flexible and friendly eating, cooking, family and work zone.
Adding extra sizzle is a sure-fire way to stand out from the crowd, while increased comfort gives a home a more enjoyable and desirable quality.
A central cooking island makes a statement and sociable centrepiece in a kitchen that also looks fabulous in photos. Incorporating a utility room keeps the laundry out of the main part of the house. And repurposing an understairs space as a ground floor cloakroom adds value and function, as well as an ideal spot for a glamourous moment.
Enhancing a master bedroom with an en suite not only injects a seductive slice of indulgence; it also transforms the morning battle for the bathroom and can often be accomplished by repurposing all or part of an adjoining bedroom.
Outside, garden rooms have become more popular than ever. A modern and stylish design makes the perfect home workspace or studio: faster, less intrusive and less costly than extensions or loft conversions.
If overlooking isn’t an issue, a roof terrace above an extension or cut into the roofline can bring an opulent flavour to a bedroom, giving it a private outdoor area with a view - particularly wonderful if a home backs onto open space.
As a big consideration for buyers, a feeling of airiness and natural light has a hugely positive impact on viewings. Think of it as a daily dose of domestic Vitamin D.
Creating or improving routes to the garden can blur the lines between inside and out, bringing the daylight along with a sense of space. Turning a window into French doors from a living room, or opening up a dining kitchen with a wall of bi-folds onto the patio – bonus points for a skylight overhead – can dramatically increase light levels.
Rear-facing bedrooms take on a whole new persona by having their windows dropped to the floor, with a Juliet balcony adding extra romance and an enhanced view over the garden.
Even dark hallways and landings can be brightened by installing sandblasted glass into solid interior doors, allowing light through without losing privacy.
A final word
Plenty of potential can be realised with straightforward building regulations approval, although we always advise checking with the local authority to see if any proposals require planning permission.
Even when somewhere doesn’t fit a buyer’s exact criteria today, it may have that special something to make it the right choice for their future. And by presenting them with ideas, inspiration and even examples of completed nearby projects, we can help them create the home of their dreams from a property they may have otherwise missed.
To explore the untapped value in your home, get in touch with one of our sales experts – talking about potential is one of our favourite subjects!
Berkhamsted office: 01442 863000
Tring office: 01442 820420