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The 'undesirable' features that could knock £50,000 off the value of your home

Abigail Fenton
·4-min read
Combined home insurance premiums are at their highest since 2013, with some home-ownerspaying more. (Breno Assis/Unsplash)
Mould or damp, and signs of pest infestations could cost you thousands of pounds when it comes to selling your property. Photo: Breno Assis/Unsplash

Noisy neighbours, pet smells, old electrics, and being near a pub are just a few of the “undesirable” features that could knock £50,000 ($63,672) off the value of your home, research suggests.

The two things most likely to put a potential homebuyer off a house are mould or damp on the walls, deterring 62% of people, and signs of a pest infestation, at 57%, according to a survey of 2,000 people by retailer Hammonds Furniture.

The top 10 least-desirable property features to UK buyers

  1. Mould or damp (62%)

  2. Signs of a pest infestation (57%)

  3. Old electrics or wiring (50%)

  4. Japanese knotweed (48%)

  5. Noisy neighbours (48%)

  6. A messy neighbouring house (39%)

  7. Pet smells (37%)

  8. A bathroom with no bath (34%)

  9. Very close to a pub (32%)

  10. A weak shower (28%)

These issues can reduce a property’s value buy up to a fifth — knocking £49,471 off the average UK house price of £247,355, according to WeBuyAnyHouse’s managing director Michael Patterson.

“Mild cases of mould may not affect value too dramatically if all is needed is a dehumidifier and some mould-resistant paint, but very severe cases can reduce a property’s value up to 20%,” he said.

“Pests can also cause extensive damage — especially rats that are prone to chewing through electrics and wooden beams, which you would need to repair.

“Depending on the damage done, you could be looking at between 5% to 20% of a decrease in value.”

While it’s common for buyers to be put off by signs of disrepair and neglect that could be cost a significant amount of money to fix, a large amount are also put off by features that could be quickly rectified, the survey found.

A third of people would be put off a house if it had a messy garden, which could also knock off up to fifth of a property’s price, according to Patterson.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — UK homeowners say they've been 'let down' by banks

Almost a fifth (19%) would be put off by holes in the walls from hanging pictures or paintings, and nearly a quarter (24%) of people would look elsewhere if the house had ugly wallpaper.

Even more people would reconsider a purchase if a house had a “weak” shower, at 28%, while a massive 37% people said they would find pet smells “off-putting.”

Many features proven to be detrimental to the price of a property are completely out of the owners’ control, the research found.

Two in five (39%) people would reconsider a purchase if a house had a “messy looking” neighbouring house, almost half (48%) would if they could hear noisy neighbours, and a third (32%) would dislike the thought of a pub nearby.

Perhaps less surprising, 14% would be put off buying a house if the road had a rude street name, the survey found.

Some house buyers even claimed they would be put off by features that others might find attractive — one in 10 people wouldn’t choose a property if it had a swimming pool or hot tub, and 13% would dislike laminate flooring, they revealed.

READ MORE: How much space the UK's average house price can get you in these areas

As for features house buyers would pay more for, a garden tops the list, with nearly half (45%) of people claiming they would pay more for outside space.

This is closely followed by a garage (37%) a conservatory (31%) and a loft conversion (27%).

“A nice sized garden can add up to 25% more on a house price, especially if it is well maintained with a seating area for the summer,” said Patterson.

“A carriage driveway can add up to 15%, and an attractive conservatory can add up to 10% to a house price.”

However, only 15% of people would pay more to be close to public transport. Just 13% would pay more for a log burner, and only 8% of people would be swayed by smart meters in the home, the study found.

Holly Herbert at WeBuyAnyHouse offered some advice to sellers who want to present the best house possible.

READ MORE: Brits spend over £3,500 on hidden 'extra' costs of moving home

“In general, to get a house in a good position to sell I would say decoration is key,” she said.

“Freshly painted walls make a big difference — even if it’s the same colour as before — as it will make the place brighter and remove any scuffs and marks.

“Gathering all information about the house for viewers is also important — general running costs, council tax band, local transport links. Getting it all in one place so you have it to hand with no hesitation is something buyers appreciate.”

She added: “And don’t forget to take the best possible advertising photos.”