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Property expert reveals how to spot investment potential

With thrift being a new buying trend, buying agent Linda Jeffcoat of Stacks Property Search offers advice for purchasers looking for potential in prospective investments.

According to the expert, buyers are looking for properties that offers plenty of square footage to the pound, and potential for growth in excess of the norm.

Weaknesses that can be fixed

For every problem, there is a solution. Badly laid-out properties can be re-configured, with surgical examination of floor plans being a good place to start, says Jeffcoat.

Unattractive properties can also be given a ‘facelift’ by changing windows, painting, cladding and planting climbing plants.

What’s more, if a property suffers from its position being too close to the road, big improvements can be made in terms of looks and noise by good screening and change of approach.

Jeffcoat says a plot that is too small for the size of the property should have its plans studied to see if adjacent land can be purchased for dramatic increase in value of the property.

Spotting planning potential can pay dividends

Planners look favourably on property with a nearby outhouse that can be joined up by a link extension, according to Jeffcoat.

However, if a small property is sitting on a large plot, she advised: “It may be worth having discussions with a planning consultant to discuss ways, beyond simply extending the property, of exploiting the surplus land.”

If all the neighbours have added an extension, this is a great opportunity to add value in a trial and tested manner.

Eco-potential

“Finally, don’t dismiss property that has an atrocious EPC, leaky windows, and is generally under-insulated,” Jeffcoat warned. These weaknesses should be taken into consideration in the valuation, and dramatic improvements can be made in the efficiency of an old building.

For example, fitting renewable energy features such as hot water solar, roof-mounted PV panels, and ground/air source heat pumps will bring a property straight into the 21st century. Even draught excluding/proofing and upgrading heating systems could make a significant difference.

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