Buying a new home is as stressful as it is exciting, so you can be forgiven for keeping your criteria relatively narrow and focussing on the features that matter to you: whether you can imagine yourself living in the neighbourhood, and whether the property itself ticks the right boxes.
Unless you’re looking for your ‘forever home’ you should also have an eye to how well the value is likely to hold. And that means being aware of some commonly overlooked factors that can have a real impact on what your home is worth.
Local school quality
If your local state schools have received bad Ofsted ratings and developed a bad reputation, then this will have a surprisingly big impact on how much your home is worth. According to research recently published in the Telegraph as much as £14,000 can be knocked off the value of a house that’s situated near particularly bad schools. On the flip side, houses that are in the catchment area for really good primary schools – the top ten percent of schools – get a price bump of up to £27,000.
Future property development
Unless you have a crystal ball, you can’t be expected to predict what the neighbourhood will look like in five- or ten-years’ time; it can be difficult to know whether future property developments could be in the pipeline. You can do some due diligence, though. Look into any planning applications that have been put in recently and consider what type of land is nearby. If there are a lot of empty buildings or unused land, then it’s really only a matter of time before somebody starts to build on it. It could even be worth looking at planning applications that have been declined, as they will give you a sense of what property developers are interested in.
Which supermarket is nearest
Having local amenities such as supermarkets or nice cafes will generally boost a property’s value. However, many people don’t realise how much the name of the local supermarket matters. Lloyds Bank found that an Iceland in the area will increase a house’s price by around £20k, compared to £38,666 for a Waitrose. Cheaper supermarkets like Asda and Lidl have a much smaller impact on the price, and having a local farmer’s market has also been found to make a positive difference.
The lay of the land
The views from the top of a hill must be desirable for a lot of people, as living at a ‘hill’ address gets you a premium compared to a simple ‘street’ address. Trees are also important, as houses on less leafy streets can lose 5% of their value.
If you want to find out about property price fluctuations before moving home, you can take a look at the Rightmove price index. This is a really good way to get a grip on trends in different areas across the country, which could be particularly helpful if you are quite open about where you move to. However you choose to do it, the important thing is to put time into researching the area and making sure you understand some of the subtle factors that can affect your home’s long-term potential.