The seasonal issues that could devalue your home

With colder weather beginning to creep across the UK as we move further into autumn, new research reveals the seasonal issues that could impact your home and looks at the money saved when it comes to the cost of prevention versus cure.

Related topics:  Finance,  Property,  Housing,  Seasonal
Property | Reporter
12th October 2023
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"The winter months can prove particularly problematic when it comes to keeping our home in good health"
- James Forrester - Barrows and Forrester

The latest research from estate and lettings agent, Barrows and Forrester analysed the impact of various seasonal property maintenance problems on a home's value, what this equates to on the current average UK house price of £289,824, as well as the cost incurred when acting proactively to prevent these issues and the money saved as a result.

The research shows that water damage can be the most costly seasonal issue facing home sellers as we head towards winter. Heavy rainfall, living within an area prone to flooding, problems with external and internal drainage and even frozen or blocked pipes and blocked gutters can all lead to water damage within the home.

Watch out for water damage

The research by Barrows and Forrester estimates that water damage can devalue a home to the tune of 16% - that’s over £47,000 on the current average UK property.

A lack of other seasonal maintenance tasks can also come at a heavy price: Bad insulation, an old boiler, unsealed or aged windows, or cracks in the walls can take around 14% or £41,000 off the value of a home.

Cost-effective solutions

The good news is if you want to avoid the horror of water damage, it’s relatively cheap. The cost of a water pipe replacement is £3,000, while you can install a modern garden drainage system for just £875.

This means that if you pay for these preventative measures you could save £43,000 due to your home not incurring any damage.

It’s a similar case with maintenance. Sealing a window comes to just £152.50, filling in cracks is around £110, servicing a boiler is £125, and bleeding a radiator is free.

Installing more insulation is the most expensive measure, at around £5,700, but the savings made on the house price and energy bills more than make up for the cost.

The most expensive remedial measure is soundproofing a room, in order to cut out noise pollution. This costs £11,000 to implement, but you could still save £14,000 if you’re looking to sell, as high noise pollution is thought to devalue a home to the tune of 9% or almost £26,000.

Swimming pools and all-white furnishings

One surprising finding is seasonal amenities like swimming pools significantly cut into a home’s value if the sale is conducted in the autumn or winter months - you can miss out on £26,000 if you’re looking to sell.

Minor home interior choices can also take money off, like all-white furnishings and curved ceilings, which can amount to a reduction in the house price of £29,000.

Other minor issues that impact a home’s value are evidence of pets and strong odours (£14,000), inefficient heating systems that lead to high energy bills (£17,000), as well as damp or mould (£19,000).

Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester, commented: “The winter months can prove particularly problematic when it comes to keeping our home in good health and for those looking to sell, this could mean incurring a number of problems that could deter buyers, or at best, cause them to offer less than they may have otherwise.

"The good news is that the majority of seasonal home seller headaches can be remedied for a fraction of the price for those with a proactive approach.

“What’s particularly interesting is that potential summer selling points, such as a swimming pool, could work against you in the winter, with buyers viewing them as an expensive asset to upkeep rather than a positive addition to the home.”

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