How to spot potential – and bag a bargain

How to spot potential – and bag a bargain

Thrift is the new buying trend. Linda Jeffcoat, director of Stacks Property Search in Wiltshire, explains how to spot property that offers potential for growth.

Spotting weaknesses that can be fixed, for example:

  • Badly laid out property that can be re-configured. Surgical examination of floor plans is a good starting point.
  • Ugly property that can be given a facelift. Changing windows, painting, cladding, and planting climbing plants can make a dramatic difference.
  • Property that suffers from it’s position close to a road – big improvements can be made in terms of looks and noise by good screening, and change of approach.
  • Plot too small for the size of property. Study plans to see if adjacent land can be purchased for dramatic increase in value of the property.

Identifying planning potential can pay dividends:

Property with a nearby outhouse that can be joined up by a link-extension – planners look favourably on this. If you find a small property sitting on a large plot, it may be worth having discussions with a planning consultant to discuss ways, beyond simply extending the property, of exploiting the surplus land. Planners are in a relatively benign mood, and you may find you can develop the plot significantly.

Look for locational potential:

Look for forthcoming improvements in communications to find good locations to buy in. For instance, under discussion is a bridge to connect east and west Gloucestershire, making the area of the county to the west of the River Severn a great deal more desirable, with access to the M5.  HS2 and Crossrail are a couple of the better known major infrastructure projects which will dramatically improve the value of many properties, but look out for smaller projects too – the new Tube station at Battersea will be a big bonus to the surrounding area.

Finally, don’t dismiss property that has an atrocious EPC, leaky windows, and is generally under-insulated. 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 generation 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 will make a significant difference.

Stacks Property Search & Acquisition, 01594 842880 / www.stacks.co.uk 

  • Ends – 
    • For more information, jpgs and interviews, contact Amanda MacCaw, 01386 700068 / 07977 238175 / amanda@wildmaccaw.co.uk

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