January, dear January. What can we say? However you spin it, this dark and dismal time of year can be a jolly well difficult time to motivate yourself to snap into action and get those dream home plans rolling.
On the other hand, what better time to pull up a pew, grab a brew and get the ideas flowing. Loft conversions are often top of the wish list, but why take that leap and move on up in 2018? Let’s have a look.
- Pump up the value
There are SO many good reasons to convert up, not least because you could increase the value of your home by a whopping 20% by doing so. According to a 2016 study by Nationwide Building Society, investing in a loft conversion could add more than £42,000 to the value of an average property.
Breaking it down further, a decent-sized extra bedroom could potentially see the value of a property skyrocket by 11% and tapping into even more equity, an extra bathroom can further hoick up the value by 4.9%. Ultimately, splashing out a bit really could reap the benefits long term.
- Stay in your catchment
House prices in the UK continue to rise and homeowners who are lucky enough to have their feet firmly on the property ladder can find themselves on a bit of a sticky wicket when their family grows out of their living space.
London, in particular, has been one of the best performing regions over the past decade or so, with prices rising by a staggering 45% since 2007.
It’s no wonder then that, with the average home in the capital now valued at £496,000, homeowners are looking at creating space by converting up. Crucially, this can mean not having to move outside your school catchment area or away from your community or friends in order to afford a bigger home.
- Multi-generational living
From grandparents scaling down by moving in with their children to grandchildren who are residing with relatives as they can’t get on the property ladder, multi-generational living is becoming increasingly popular in the UK.
According to a 2017 report by the National House Building Council, there is demand for around 125,000 multi-generational homes and, living in ever-challenging times, this is likely to rise significantly as families pool resources.
The beauty of a loft conversion is that they can even be self-contained flats with their own front door, kitchen and bathroom, meaning families can live together, but maintain their independence. Phew!
- Work from home
The number of employees who say they usually work from home has increased by a fifth (19%) over the past decade, the Trades Union Congress reports. For research for National Work From Home Day, it was found that 1.5 million people now work from home at some point, with 4 million expressing a desire to work from home for at least some of their working week, if they could.
From saving time and money on commutes to making it easier to balance work with caring responsibilities and the school run, home working is an attractive proposition and converting a loft into a haven for creativity and ideas is what the doctor ordered for those itching to escape the cluttered spare room!
- Hidden gem under your roof
With Christmas just over, you’ve most likely been up to your loft recently to put away the festive decs. Not exactly a place you want to hang around, eh?
Believe it or not, your loft can be a hidden gem, a place of secret awesomeness just waiting to be discovered. In the words of acclaimed architect George Clarke, TV presenter of George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces and author of Ugly House to Lovely House, lofts can often be the most architecturally interesting part of the house with “unusual angles, the best light and often great views”.
Inspired? If you want to get the ball rolling to be in with a chance of having your loft conversion finished by the summer, now is the time to start planning.
Just think, by August, you could be watching the Perseid meteor showers through a skylight in your beautiful, new master bedroom, getting creative from a light and airy, new workspace or even welcoming a new addition to a nursery beneath the stars.
With decades’ experience in the property development sector, James Lebens is managing director of Make Room Lofts, which caters for clients with all types of aspirations and budgets in North London and the surrounding areas.