Could your new garage pay for itself?
When you consider purchasing a timber garage, stables or studio it is usually as you need the space, cover for your car or a home for your horse but could this actually be a wise investment for the future?
A timber building will likely cost anywhere between £3,000 and £20,000 and will seem like a sizeable investment when purchased. It likely that the initial decision to build will have been borne out of necessity, the need for a home office or more horses in the family
We asked a local estate agent at Winkworth in Canterbury for her opinion. Can adding stable or a garage make your house worth more, does having a garden studio or home office add pounds per sq. ft?
Well – in short yes, in fact the added value may well be far more than the money you spent on the building itself, if you are clever. So here are the recommendations for making the best return from a new stable, garage or studio.
Adding a new purpose
The biggest gains are to be made where installing a timber building can change or add a use to the property that was not previously there. An example may be to add a properly sited stable block on concrete base to a paddock that once was merely a field. The house then becomes an ‘Equine Property‘ broadening the appeal. The premium comes from having everything ready to go, to make life easy for the new owner with no unknowns and that owner and horse will be happy.
Another example of this added value return is the home office studio. Although a timber building will often benefit from permitted development with regard to planning, you are actually adding a room to the property. Space is money and in a world where more and more people are working from home having an office separated from the main living space is a bonus. A cost effective, quick and useful addition that will be a big plus to the purchaser, crucially make or break for some where they really can not consider using a bedroom in the main house. Could you attract people looking for a 4 bedroom house when you only have 3? Yes if they need the fourth for an office!
Standing out from the crowd
We often are asked to install a new garage or carriage house where there has previously been a run down barn or old concrete 1950’s building. They are an eye sore and of no use to the owner, worse still off putting to a potential purchaser. Add in a new timber garage and suddenly, for a few thousand pounds you have a house that has something better than the other houses for sale. It looks smart, offers flexibility for the house hunter and should secure a quicker sale with no room to negotiate over the unknowns of the falling down building it replaced.
An estate agents tip
When selling a house, the most common question as the agent shows a suitor around the outbuildings is ‘Does the garage have power’ followed a short time later by ’is there water’ . Why are these queries raised? Simple, a house is not just a building it is a home, a place where a new owner dreams of the future, of that classic car in the garage, of their children having band practice well away from them and of a new life working from home. It is the flexibility that a timber building offers, the dreams it encourages and the light at the end of the tunnel that a buyer wants. A little bit of forward planning can go along way.
Donna Pearson is head of Winkworth Canterbury and has over 20 years experience in the property market, specialising in country and village homes.