Property Valuations

Valuing Property and Land

Q - Can I assess the value of my house on a square metre basis? The web-based guides seem way out of line and estate agents' costs differ by up to 30%.

A - Assessing the value of an existing house just can't be done on a square metre basis - only new work can be calculated in this way. The location and condition of the house is important plus other factors like the proximity of good schools can affect the value. The only safe method is to see what similar houses in your area are fetching and base it on those figures.

Q - I am interested in purchasing some of my next-door neighbour's garden approximately 5 x 4m (it is freehold). What would be a realistic price and approximately how much would the solicitor's fees cost?

A - There is no going rate for land so your neighbours can charge whatever they like. So much depends upon the location and how much your property would be enhanced by acquiring the land so ask a local estate agent for his view. A solicitor would probably charge about £500-£750 if the deal is uncomplicated.

Q - I am thinking of building a timber-framed property with a brick outer skin as a second home instead of investing in a pension fund. Do timber-framed properties increase in value at the same rate as traditional brick houses?

A - The perception held by the public that timber-framed housing was in some way inferior to traditional housing has almost disappeared these days. Most of the houses on the North American continent and Scandinavia are timber framed and survive in more extreme weather conditions than UK. Also, the fact that mortgage suppliers treat both types of houses the same should give you confidence to go ahead.

Q - Could you tell me how to find out the value of site lines? Our neighbour is selling his land to a developer who needs to purchase some of our land to provide better vision for traffic leaving his site. How can we put a value on the land they need?

A - The value of the land will depend to a great extent on how badly the developer wants the land and the quality of the area. You should talk to a local valuation surveyor who would handle the negotiations for you for a small fee.

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