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Barclays Survey Reveals Top 10 Property ‘Improvement’ Mistakes

Recent findings suggest that home improvements can potentially add around £31,000 to a property’s value, but some changes can actually make it impossible to sell your home.

According to a Barclays mortgage survey, 62 percent of 2,000 respondents said that a bathroom suite in shades of avocado was the biggest turn-off when viewing homes. 60 percent detested woodchip wallpaper and 54 percent disliked stone cladding. Carpeted bathrooms and Artex ceilings were also unpopular.

Given the fact that homeowners occupy their properties for an average of 14 years, over half of the respondents said that they would select home improvement over an outright move.

Phil Spencer, TV property expert, called the enthusiasm for home improvements “fascinating”, and said that he hoped it would continue. He added that the current view on the most offensive alterations should serve as a wake-up call to every home improver, and advised that any changes should be as simple and neutral as possible.

No green houses, thanks

The interior of a home is not the only section that buyers scrutinise. The exterior is equally important, if not more so.

According to the survey, lime green is the house colour that turns off people the most. 41 percent of women admitted to disliking it, while male respondents were not as opinionated on the subject. 20 percent found purple houses offensive, while 10 percent would refuse to buy a property painted red.

When a woman residing in Kensington and Chelsea painted her home in red and white stripes, local outcry was so intense that the council ordered her to restore the property to its original white colour.

Top Improvements

When it comes to home improvements, designer kitchens pack the biggest wow factor, with 42 percent of survey respondents seeing it as the most desirable upgrade. Other coveted improvements include an en-suite bathroom (38 percent) and a swimming pool (29 percent). 26 percent said that a games room would add value.

Specialists in Construction Insurance

Tastes may vary, but the desire to improve one’s home is unabated. 45 percent of those surveyed said that they intended to repaint their interiors, and 25 percent planned to order new carpeting. 19 percent hoped to get a new kitchen fitted.

Location, location, location

Barclays Mortgages suggests that UK homeowners have added approximately £164b to the value of their properties. Home improvements add an average of £31,000 to a home if sold within a year.

The actual value varies depending on where a home is located. In London, an extension the size of two double bedrooms could deliver a £156,000 return on investment, while the same alteration could be worth an extra £30,000 in York. In some places, such as Swansea, Liverpool, and Hull, adding an extension of this size could potentially result in an overall loss.

According to Andy Gray of Barclays, each homeowner should put a lot of thought into the best option for them. Factors to consider include the type of improvement and cost.

“Homeowners should also seek independent financial advice to assess the best option for their personal requirements.”

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