If you are considering trading down to a smaller property this year, itâ€™s likely that you’ve cleared your mortgage and wish to move to somewhere smaller locally, or perhaps nearer to family and friends.
You’ve probably owned your home for ten or more years, so negative equity isn’t a concern, nor is securing a new mortgage.
With the current unpredictable property market in the UK, many homeowners are improving what they have rather than sell.
Investing in their existing property can not only make the living space more appropriate to their needs, but it may also increase its future sale potential.
One area that is proving very popular is to add an extension – but where to start?
Some 32 per cent of prospective homebuyers say that proximity to a good school is an important factor when buying a new property, according to customer research from Barratt Homes.
So now Britain’s leading housebuilder has teamed-up with the Good Schools Guide to give parents who are looking for a new home the opportunity to research the best schools in the catchment area at the same time.
Visitors to Barratt Homes website simply enter a location, postcode or the name of the development in which they are interested and then have the option of asking for more information on nearby schools.
Aaran Brown, (30 years old) who works at a gym in a prison, and Stephanie Hampstead, a 22-year-old nursery nurse, are a prime example:
â€œWe were renting an apartment in Blyth Bridge and didnâ€™t see buying as financially friendly enough to be an option for us,â€ Aaron said.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders recently reported that over 900,000 borrowers would now be in negative equity, as a result of the downturn in the property market.
They added that three in four of those have an average shortfall of between Â£6,000 and Â£8,000 so many homeowners now find themselves unable to move.
While a stagnant market could make you feel like youâ€™re stuck on the same rung of the property ladder, why not make plans for when you can sell? Investing in some home improvements now could help claw back some of the value your property has lost.
Install wood flooring
Installing wood flooring is one of the easiest ways to increase your valuation. The warm, natural tones of oak brings a touch of style and elegance to any home and can really enhance the existing decor.
A recent study by Woodcare showed that wood flooring could add 5 to 10% to the value of your home, whilst a survey of estate agents suggested that properties with wood flooring also sell faster.
It is much more affordable than ever before, with high quality oak flooring from top brands, now available for as little as Â£30 per square meter. Take a look at the superb range available at 1926 Wood Flooring, with styles and colours to suit all tastes:
Britainâ€™s housing market is one of the biggest casualties of the economic turmoil, plagued with falling house prices, repossessions, a collapsed house-building industry, mass redundancies and restricted mortgage lending.
In the face of such problems, self-build and renovation specialist BuildStore is reporting a huge rise in demand for its services, as the nationâ€™s frustrated homeowners take matters into their own hands.
BuildStore has noted a significant increase in demand for self-build land and renovation properties through its land database, PlotSearch; current subscription levels to the online service are up over 140% on levels six months ago; in the last three months, since January 2009, subscription levels are up almost 50%.
â€˜Quiet Cornerâ€™ is a new luxury development in Godalming, Surrey. Built by Lusso Homes with the interiors from Suna Interior Design, â€˜Quiet Cornerâ€™ comprises four “Victorianesque” town houses.
Built over four floors, the properties have stunning views over the Surrey hills; these are maximized via the balconies in each of the master bedrooms. Every property has 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and 3 reception rooms.
Designed for contemporary family living, the interior has a flexible layout that has been enhanced by the rich tones of the furnishings.
The property market may have slowed during the economic downturn, but for homeowners looking to take advantage of current market conditions, competition amongst builders and VAT reductions, mean that there has never been a better time to renovate.
Now Architect Your Home, Britainâ€™s leading provider of architectural services for homeowners, has announced that they will be running a price promotion during April, which makes starting your renovation project now, even more appealing.
The company is offering a discount of Â£100 off the cost of their initial kick-start visits, reducing costs to Â£450 for a half day and Â£750 for a full day visit; making expert architectural advice more accessible for homeowners.
The editor of a new magazine, First Time Buyer, launched in December, believes that first time buyers can resuscitate the British property market, which is currently being strangled by mortgage lenders.
There is plenty of new property for first time buyers, plus schemes that specify that they donâ€™t have to raise all 100% of the asking price.
Some examples of such schemes are HomeBuy, shared ownership, affordable housing schemes and rent before you buy; but, many young professionals are unaware that they are eligible for such plans, or donâ€™t know how to go about it.