Buying a house or flat is a significant investment, and ensuring you’re getting your money’s worth is essential. Especially when different factors drive the value of a flat.
Most buyers focus on visible factors such as location, size, and amenities. This can very much differ from the type of family or individual based on their needs. For instance, a family may prioritize school and job commute over the size and condition of the house.
However, there are invisible factors that can significantly diminish the value of a flat. And they are often overlooked when purchasing a residential property.
In this article, we’ll delve deeper into these invisible factors and explore how they can positively and negatively affect the value of a flat. By understanding these factors, you can make an informed decision and avoid purchasing a flat that could potentially lose value in the future.
Five factors that decide the value of a flat
- Future damages due structural faults
One of the invisible factors that can affect the value of a flat is the potential for future damages owing to the structural integrity. These damages can occur due to various reasons, such as poor construction practices, low-quality materials, and natural disasters.
It is possible to notice some of these issues, such as cracks in the walls. But some may not be visible, requiring specialised inspections.
For example, a foundation problem can cause a building to shift and crack. Or inadequate insulation can result in high energy costs.
Additionally, buildings constructed without following building codes or standards may pose safety hazards to residents.
Moreover, properties in areas prone to natural disasters may require specialised insurance policies, which can add to the capital. To avoid flats with structural damage, it is best to thoroughly inspect the building yourself or get the assistance of an expert.
Paying a professional consultant (engineer, architect or surveyor) might add up to your initial budget but it’s an investment that will pay back in time and save you more.
Here are some questions you can start with:
- Is there a history of extensions in the house?
- Have any neighbours undertaken works that affect structural issues in your future property?
Every flat has its own history and sometimes it’s worth investing in it. You can even check the history of planning permissions, yourself, at the website of the property’s local council. It’s not uncommon for future buyers to revise or completely withdraw their offers to a seller after a strict, professional inspection revealed that a lump sum was needed in order to fix damages that would otherwise have been stayed unnoticed.
- Crime or unpleasant history in the location
If the neighbourhood has a high crime rate including thefts, burglaries or drug-related offences, it can reduce the value of the flat.
Additionally, such properties may require additional security measures, such as security cameras or gated entrances. And this can prove to be very expensive, too.
Here’s what you can do to avoid purchasing a flat in an area with high crime rates or past unpleasant events.
- Research and inspect the neighbourhood thoroughly before making a decision
- Speak to the local law enforcement (local police, local council) and review the crime statistics
- Talk to the current residents of the neighbourhood to get a feel of the sense of community
- Extreme noise pollution in the surrounding
Noise pollution can come from a variety of sources, such as busy roads, train tracks, airports, pubs and other establishments or even loud neighbours. And unless the walls are sound-proof, noise can enter through.
Excessive noise can make it difficult for residents to sleep peacefully, concentrate on matters of work, and simply enjoy their own private space.
If noise pollution is a concern, buyers should definitely consider homes with soundproofing or double-glazed windows. However, properties with such amenities can be expensive. The best approach is to visit the location at different times of the day to understand the noise levels.
You can also check the noise level of UK neighbourhoods by checking out this noise and air quality map.
- Busy roads with increased traffic
One of the key things everyone misses when purchasing a house is how a busy road will affect their lifestyle. You may have a lot of amenities nearby, but is it worth the health risk?
For example, residents living near busy roads may be exposed to higher air pollution. This includes cars and trucks emitting pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds which can aggravate other health issues.
Studies have shown that people living near busy roads are more likely to develop these health problems than those living further away. This becomes particularly important if you have or plan to have kids in the near future. Because children whose immune systems are still developing could be affected at a young age and cling to them their whole lives.
In addition to health concerns, busy roads can also be a source of noise pollution, as discussed above, affecting the quality of life.
Take your time to review traffic data or speak with local authorities to get an idea of the level of traffic in the area. For the Londoners reading, this map shows the air quality across the capital.
- Cultural demographics
Neighbourhoods with a vibrant cultural scene, such as art galleries, restaurants, and music venues, may be more desirable to buyers who value a lively social scene.
Alternatively, tight-knit neighbourhoods with active associations may be more attractive to buyers who value a sense of community and belonging.
But, neighbours who engage in inappropriate or disruptive behaviour, such as late-hour loud parties or illegal activities, can negatively impact the quality of life of other residents in the area.
Feeling a bond with your immediate neighbourhood is key to forming these long-lasting relationships, a sense of belonging and a community-centred lifestyle. This might sound like a far-fetched statement or luxurious requirement, but numerous studies have shown that there are both social and financial gains coming from community-building and exchange activities in the neighbourhood.
Find the flat of your dreams with Adjoin Homes
If you are looking to find your forever home, look no further than Adjoin Homes. We allow you to rent and try now and have the option to buy later. This way you get the inside scoop.
What better way to know if the property is worth spending a substantial amount of your savings to buy or not?
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