5 NOVEMBER 2015
Whilst there are many suggestions on how to add value to a house, the reality is that it is nearly always much cheaper and simpler to protect the existing value of a country house. This could have a much greater impact on the overall asset value, rather than more superficial changes and updating which might date quickly.
Here are three essential points to consider:
1. Understand the concept of marriage value
The whole will often be worth more than the constituent parts, therefore a quick sale to raise some cash could have serious consequences for the value of the remainder. An example might be where a cottage or land close to the principal house is sold off, and the loss in value to the remainder is disproportionate to the price obtained for what is actually sold.
2. Carry out essential repairs
Spending money on kitchens and bathrooms might be pointless, if the house has intrinsic defects that have got out of control, such as a bad roof, dry rot or some other fundamental problem that will be extremely expensive to repair. It’s usually simple to stop small problems becoming big problems by carrying out routine maintenance.
3. Protecting privacy
Buyers of large country houses will always value privacy and security. Anything which impacts on this, will inevitably impact on value. Make sure there are no tenancies created which can’t be terminated, do not allow for any public rights of way to be created close to areas which need to be kept private or might intrude on family life.
To sum up, owners of country houses need to be careful that they avoid the temptation to be pennywise and pound foolish. Some simple shortcuts, can dramatically affect the overall value of the asset, whereas good management, will protect asset value, and repay itself many times over.
Philip Eddell is a Director at Savills Country House Consultancy