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Category: Property Investment

Best Home Upgrades You Can Make To Encourage A Sale

What Property Adjustments Should You Concentrate On?

Invest in these property renovation ideas for a quicker and more profitable sale.

A quarter of homes up for sale in 2019 are left on the market for more than 6 months. With political uncertainty stamping an effect on property prices, sellers need to do everything they can to win buyers around. If you need to achieve a certain price for your home, then it’s important that the property is up to scratch before you invite prospective buyers to take an interest. It’s usually best to carry out these works before officially going on the market, because any property that has obviously been marketed for a while starts to send out negative vibes to buyers that there may be something amiss.

Structural Issues

If you know that your property has problems that will show up in a survey, then it’s important not to waste your own time, or the buyers, and sort out these issues in advance of being under offer. For example, if a surveyor will find missing roof tiles, subsidence, damp or a leaking roof, then these are the types of problem that will stop a sale dead in its tracks. Although it’s annoying, and potentially expensive, these are issues that won’t go away and will be spotted. There’s little point in spending money on further works until the structural integrity of your home is assured.

Adding An Extra Bedroom

A fantastic way to add value to your home is to create room for an extra bedroom. This might be through adding in an extension, converting a loft or cellar, or simply removing a wall to improve the layout of your home and find a way to add more living accommodation. If you’re converting a loft to make space for an extra bedroom, you can add as much as £23k to the value of your home, whilst only spending around £500-600/m².

Room for a Driveway

Off-street parking is a huge selling point for buyers according to local Shenfield estate agents. If your property comes with a front garden that you never use, then consider giving this space up and changing it into a driveway. Most buyers are happier to have a smart, low-maintenance driveway that has room for 1-2 cars, instead of the chore of keeping a front garden looking neat year-round.

Extending Leaseholds

If your property is leasehold, then check how many years are left on the lease before you come to sell. This is one of the first questions that a potential buyer will want to know. Ideally, you’ll be able to offer a lease with more than 100 years left, but anything less than 60 years and the property will begin to lose significant value. Although it may be expensive to renew your lease, this is a step worth taking to encourage your sale to progress.

A Lick of Paint

By far the cheapest upgrade on the list, but a simple repaint of your interior in a neutral off-white colour will create a blank canvas so that potential buyers are able to visualise their own possessions within your home. A lick of paint and a declutter of your home gives it a fresh, minimalistic feel that seems to add more space and is easy on the eye!

When it comes to home upgrades, don’t rush into anything. Go around your property and make a note of everything that needs doing. Then have a frank discussion with your estate agents to check if your renovation ideas are worth carrying out.

2016 Stamp Duty Changes Explained

3% Additional Stamp Duty Makes Financial Advice An Even More Critical Part Of High-End Property Investment

Since April 1st 2016, buying a £5m property cost £163,750 extra in stamp duty. We explain the new charges and how they affect the high net worth investor.

You’ve probably heard about HM Treasury’s new, enhanced rate of stamp duty land tax (SDLT). This is a policy brought into effect in 2016 with the aim of raising additional tax receipts to support the required increase in affordable housing for first-time buyers. But what does the introduction of the higher rate of stamp duty mean for you as a high net worth individual with a portfolio of additional properties?

The Changes In Brief

As of the 1st of April 2016, if you buy a property in addition to your main home, you’ll be liable for an extra 3% stamp duty. This will apply no matter how many properties you’re buying. And in a significant change to the previous state of affairs, the extra percentage is added as a surcharge to each stamp duty band rate.

Stamp duty band rates are divided into tiers based on the overall value of the property, and these increase as the value of the property increases. When you buy your very first property, you’ll only become liable for stamp duty on the tiers in excess of £125,000. Under the new regulations, when you buy a second property you’ll be charged according to its entire value.

Which Purchases Are Liable?

The new, higher rates of stamp duty are levied on all additional properties bought in England, Wales and Northern Ireland after April 1st, 2016. If you already own a property or properties you don’t live in, you’ll almost certainly be affected by the new rates when you buy another. But if you sell your portfolio of additional properties and buy another as your primary home, your new purchase will be taxed at the old rate. However, if you already own a property outside England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you may be liable for the higher rate of stamp duty when you purchase one within these countries.

HM treasury has been proactive in closing loopholes which could allow owners of additional homes to avoid the increase. So the charge is payable whether you’re investing in property as an individual or a company. You’ll feel the effects even if you’re buying the property as a primary home for children or other family members, unless you buy it solely in their name. And don’t imagine it’s easy to circumvent the new rules by purchasing in your husband, wife or civil partner’s name: if you’re living together, you’ll be treated as a single unit.

What—And Who–Is Exempt?

As per the old rules, if your additional property is a houseboat, caravan or mobile home, you’ll be exempt from stamp duty. The same applies if you buy a home worth less than £40,000. Registered social landlords and charities will avoid the additional rate, as will couples who are permanently separated but not divorced. And if you inherit a smaller than 50% share of an additional property while you’re in the process of buying your primary home, you’ll also be exempt from higher rates.

The Implications For High Net Worth Investors

Given the nature of the purchases to which the higher rate applies, and the circumstances under which it applies, it’s easy to see that high net worth individuals will be the most affected by the new regulations. The enhanced stamp duty will impact on purchases made by Britons and foreign nationals alike.

Yes, the new regulations on stamp duty complicate big-ticket property purchases, but they shouldn’t put you off entirely. With the help of a correctly structured finance package, high-end property can still yield an excellent return on your investment. All you need to do is make sure you get the best possible financial advice for your situation.

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