Laura Hamilton discusses rise in house prices
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A study by Yes Homebuyers has identified some key factors – from subsidence to nuisance neighbours – which could prevent prospective buyers from purchasing a property. As part of their research, the company, which buys property directly from homeowners, calculated the size of the financial impact that problem areas could have on house prices.
At the top of the list for problem areas is subsidence, which occurs when the ground beneath a property starts to sink, causing the foundations to become unstable.
It can put huge strain on a property, resulting in significant structural damage.
If the problem is left unresolved, a property’s value could be significantly reduced – by up to 20 percent.
According to Yes Homebuyers, with the average UK property price at £254,624 – this would equate to a loss of £51,000.
Japanese Knotweed, which is a fast-growing weed, is the bane of many property owners.
The destructive weed can grow up to 10 centimetres a day and can cause significant structural damage.
Research from the study indicated that the prolific weed could reduce a home’s value by 15 percent – a significant reduction of £38,000.
Due to its destructive power, when selling property, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to check if the weed is present in the garden.
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If the problem is detected, it should be included in the TA6 form – a document which enables property sellers to inform prospective buyers of any problem areas with the property.
According to the Law Society, which is the independent professional body for solicitors, the information required include details of any management plan which has been put in place.
If Japanese Knotweed has been highlighted as a problem, a buyer’s mortgage lender will often ask that the issue is dealt with before the sale has gone through.
If it has been dug out, it requires proper disposal, as outlined by The Royal Horticultural Society, who said Japanese Knotweed is classified as ‘controlled waste’.
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Alternatively, a contractor, who specialises in Japanese Knotweed, can be appointed to help eradicate the problem.
A poorly maintained garden
A poorly maintained garden, which has been left to overgrow, can knock off a significant value from property, the research had found. The impact could see the property lose up to 14 percent off its value – which amounts to £36,000.
Other factors were identified in the study included flood risk or water damage, along with nuisance neighbours – all of which could reduce a home’s price by 10 percent, or £25,599.
Structural damage could see property prices reduced by £13,500, while a lack of convenient parking could see a house price drop by £18,000.
Reflecting on the findings, Matthew Cooper, founder and managing director at Yes Homebuyers, said: “Many of these buyer turnoffs can be easily and cheaply fixed, a process which should be well worth the effort and money thanks to the value they will restore to your home.
“Some of them, however, can be very expensive indeed. Severe damp issues and subsidence, for example, could cost as much to rectify as the value they restore.
“Furthermore, they can take an awfully long time to fix.”
Mr Cooper added that while some homeowners would want to tackle the problems themselves to get the maximum price for their property, others may consider selling their home for a reduced price.
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