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Whether you are buying your first family home, retiring or developing properties, the main concern for most people is how to add value to your home, but also to retain the current value of your home. There are many things that can affect the value of your home both in a negative and positive way, so it’s important to understand the most common issues that can devalue your home so you can avoid them.

One on the biggest problems encountered with homeowners is anti-social behaviour, with the most common complaints being excessive noise. According to Halifax, anti-social neighbours can in fact devalue a home by as much as £30,000, so it’s a good idea to discuss the current seller’s relationship with their neighbours before exchanging contracts when purchasing a home. If you are a current homeowner experiencing problems with neighbours, then try and discuss your issues with them before speaking with the local authority to find a solution.

When making improvements to your home, you must get advice regarding planning permission and building regulations. It is surprising how many homeowners have illegal extensions and other home developments that haven’t gained permission. If this is the case the cost of rectifying this will need to be factored in by the buyer and you could therefore end up losing quite a lot off the value of your home.

If your property is situated on a flood plain, you could be at risk of losing money on your home. If you are looking to purchase a home you can do a search with the local authority to find out if it is situated on a flood plain, and the potential cost of flood damage or insurance premiums will need to be factored in. The value of a property situate don a flood plain will depend on the flooding history and possibly measures the local council have taken to protect the property, so it is important to find out as much as you can.

Neglecting the exterior of your home could take as much as 5% off the value of your home. Ensuring the garden is well kept, windows are clean and paintwork is fresh can make a huge difference. Maintaining your properties kerb appeal is also one of the cheapest and easiest ways to retain the value of your home.

Surprisingly the history of a home can devalue a property and put potential buyers off. If there is a history of death or anything sinister then you could be looking at a property which is left almost unsellable.

Changes in the local area can have a severe impact on the value of a property. If there are plans for development, a new train line for example or shopping complex then this could affect you so be sure to do your research before purchasing and if you already reside in a property with plans for changes in the local area you can speak to the local authority to express your concerns. A rise in local crime rates can also cause major problems, not only affecting the value of your home but putting potential buyers off. If your local school obtains a bad Ofsted report, this can also devalue your property. Many new buyers are looking for properties with good schools in the area, and will be put off by bad school reports.

by Cormac Henderson

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