Up, Out or Away?

Oliver Finn's Christian Harper considers the true cost of more space

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With the cost of moving house soaring ever higher, many homeowners are opting to improve their homes.

Few homes are coming onto the market at the moment, making home improvements an especially attractive option for those needing more space. However, many home owners wonder if the expense of common home improvements such as loft and side return extensions or basement conversions are worth the extra expense.

When considering any home improvement, an obvious question to ask is whether the expense will be re-couped in the re-sale value of the home. If the home owner spends £50,000 on a home improvement, it should increase the overall value of the home to make it a valuable investment.

In many cases, moving to a different home may make more financial sense, especially as certain types of home improvements such as loft conversions are restricted in conservation areas. It may also prove difficult to obtain planning permission if the home has been extended in the past.

Home improvement

Typical cost

Value added to a £500,000 home

Loft conversion

£17,500 - £20,000*


Extending across the side return

£30,000 - £50,000**


Converting basement

£80,000 - £120,00***


Moving from a £500,000 house to a £750,000 using OliverFinn as the estate agent

£35,475 - £37,025****


* The Loft Shop **London Kitchen Extensions***London Basement Company ****Includes stamp duty at 4%, average survey and conveyancing fees and OliverFinn’s flat fee of £5,000

Christian Harper of OliverFinn comments, “Moving house is definitely an expensive business but improving one’s home isn’t necessarily the answer. Home owners can cut costs by using OliverFinn which charges a flat fee of £5,000 to sell any house and £2,500 to sell any flat.

“Homeowners must also consider the balance of the property. It is possible to overextend and make the house seem ‘top heavy’. A house with seven bedrooms but a small lounge and kitchen doesn’t make sense. And do you want to live with builders for six months?”

For further information on OliverFinn, please contact: Christian Harper on Tel: 020 8849 8832, Mobile: 07717 29 3000, E-mail: christian.harper@oliverfinn.com

April 5, 2007