At last, the UK housing market is seeing steady sale prices and a rise in activity, according to the latest survey from the Halifax. Values in the three months to July rose by 2.1% compared with the previous three months, the lender said, with prices up 0.9% in July itself.
Around where your blogger lives, though, there are three or four properties that remain stubbornly unsold, having been on the market for at least two years. And article from the Telegraph could explain the reason why …. as well as offering more work for us here at Plastic Surgeon.
They are, to put it bluntly, scruffy, or just plain ugly and therefore have no ‘kerb appeal’. “Properties with immaculate exteriors tend to sell much more quickly,” explained Giles Hannah of London estate agent VanHan to the Telegraph. “At the moment the average property in prime central London is taking just seven weeks to sell. But if a property has an exterior that is unattractive, for whatever reason, it can take four or five times longer.”
Turning these ugly ducklings into prospective swans is something we at Plastic Surgeon are finding ourselves being asked to help with more and more often. Indeed, we have been called in to repair damaged uPVC guttering, downpipes, cills or window frames stained or cracked masonry for people about to put their homes on the market.
We have even repaired wooden and uPVC cladding on homes, as well as taken scratches or gouges out of front doors – stone mullions and cills that have suffered from spalling caused by frost action have also been repaired by our Finisher teams.
Plus we’ve removed graffiti from garage walls and tidied up mismatched brickwork with our tinting service – while we had to colour match the render on part of one house, where the builder hadn’t quite managed to reproduce the original cream paint on a new extension.
According to Max Davidson from the Telegraph, “Very few things put off buyers more quickly than a property that, however smart inside, is an eyesore from the street. Perhaps the paint is peeling, or the windows are hideous, or the roof slopes at an odd angle. Whatever the problem, the property will lack what is known in the trade as ‘kerb appeal.’”
But, as Michael Holmes, author of Renovating for Profit and presenter of television shows such as “Don’t Move, Improve”, explains, turning your ugly duckling into a swan does have its advantages: “The uglier the property, the greater the potential to improve it.
“Even in a stagnant property market, it is quite possible to buy a property for £400,000, spend £50,000 on it and sell it for £600,000 12 months later.”
Indeed, one of the properties on sale around me could benefit from Plastic Surgeon repairing the peeling paint on the porch door – the first thing you see as you approach the house. It would put me off looking at it, as you can’t help but think that the inside is going to be just as shabby…..