Work out your house’s value using these simple tricks and tools
Get started with a valuation of your property
Are you considering selling or releasing equity from your home so you can free up extra funds for some exciting future plans? You’ll want to know how much money you can raise to get the ball rolling, so let’s take a look at some easy ways to check the value of your home.
What factors affect how much your house is worth?
Any house is only worth what someone’s prepared to pay for it, but the following factors will all come into play:
Location: probably the most important factor – the town, area and street will influence how much you’ll get for your home. Is it on a busy road or surrounded by woodland? Is there a railway or airport nearby?
Size and layout: how many bedrooms and bathrooms do you have? Is there a garage or are there less common features such a home office, workshop or cellar?
Property condition: if your home is well cared for and properly maintained, it will be worth more than a similar property in disrepair and in need of renovation
Subsidence or flood risk: homes with a history of flooding or subsidence are more difficult to insure and are harder to sell, lowering prices.
Local amenities: are you close to local shops, gyms or swimming pools? Are there parks to visit and plenty of things to do?
Nearby schools: the quality of local schools has a big effect on property price, so having an Ofsted outstanding school on your doorstep can boost your house’s value.
Transport links: access to public transport and road links are important to commuters and other travellers, so convenience will help increase your home’s value.
Crime rates: if you live in a neighbourhood with little crime and protected by a neighbourhood watch scheme, you’ll benefit from enhanced value in your house compared to an area where there’s a history of burglaries or worse.
How can you calculate the market value of your property?
You can estimate property value by looking at local prices, consulting an estate agent, checking online calculators or a combination of all of these to give you a good indication.
Recently sold prices in the area
Look at how much similar properties in your local area have sold for to give you a sense of the current market. There are many different websites where you can get an idea of what price you could expect to achieve. Try out:
These sites take the information from the Land Registry, but it can take around three months after a sale for them to appear in search results.
Local asking prices
Spotted some ‘for sale’ signs in the neighbourhood? You can browse round local estate agents or check out their websites to see what people are asking for their homes – although it’s likely to be different from what the properties eventually sell for.
You can also look at the national housing market. Again, the Land Registry will give you the most accurate picture of property values, with information on average house prices and whether the market is rising or falling.
Use an online calculator
For an immediate estimate of your home’s value there are a few sites which offer this for free online, such as Zoopla or Yopa. These calculators use an algorithm combined with information from public records such as what it’s sold for in the past, its distinguishing features and local area information to give you some guidance on what it might be worth.
These can act as a good starting point, but they don’t take into account a house’s condition, any recent changes or things that can only be appreciated in person, like any noise from nearby traffic.
Ask an estate agent
Most local estate agents will be happy to pop round and assess how much your house could sell for and will also recommend any changes you could implement to make the most of its features and increase its value.
If the value of your property isn’t as high as you were hoping for, don’t despair – there are things you can do without too much effort or cost that could just make the difference and raise your asking price.
What are the best ways to add value to a house?
When you’re considering what could add value to your house, most people think of the big stuff, like a loft extension, conservatory or new kitchen. But you can make a real difference to your property for a lot less expense with these surprisingly simple fixes:
Keep it clean and tidy: presenting your home as clutter-free and clean will help estate agents and potential buyers see your home in its best light – first impressions always count.
Fix superficial issues: a coat of paint in a dowdy-looking room, making sure all the light bulbs work, or fixing a broken fence panel in the garden all make your home look cared for. Just don’t try and cover up any real issue with botched attempts at DIY – that isn’t going to fool anyone.
Boost your kerb appeal: make sure your front door is clean or freshly painted and clear any clutter or weeds from the front garden so potential buyers are instantly impressed and see your home as somewhere they’d want to live.
Quick fixes in the kitchen: if your budget won’t run to a whole new kitchen, little changes like new door handles or fresh paint and clear surfaces will all help.
Freshen up the bathrooms: cleaning grout and removing any mould will make the room look fresh and hygienic, and adding a new shower curtain or screen could modernize it.
What to do if your house has increased in value
Once you have a good idea of what your property is worth, you can start thinking about how to release some cash and start making plans to use it. With a calculated house value in hand, you can explore the following options:
Selling: once you have an estate agent’s valuation, you might decide that selling and moving is the right thing to do. And if you choose to downsize, you’ll be able to use any money left over from buying a new home to fund your next adventure
Remortgaging: taking out another mortgage or extending your existing one can be a way to access the value that’s accumulated in your home. Although it may be harder for homeowners over 55 to get a standard remortgaging deal, products such as a retirement interest-only mortgage could be a flexible option.
Releasing equity: with a lifetime mortgage, which is a loan secured against your home, you get to stay in your home and release money without having to make regular repayments of the loan. This way you get to plan a future without monthly commitments where you can access the cash for almost anything you need – whether it’s to help your family, support your lifestyle well into retirement or even do those renovations you’ve always wanted. A lifetime mortgage is a loan secured against the home and is usually then repaid when you (or the last borrower on a joint plan), die or move into long-term care.
The Saga Equity Release team will help you find out whether equity release could help you. Saga Equity Release is provided by HUB Financial Solutions Ltd and is for those aged 55 or over with a UK home worth at least £70,000. Find out more with no-obligation advice from a specialist equity release adviser.
As part of the service, the adviser will consider alternatives to equity release based on your personal circumstances. Please be aware that equity release will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to means-tested state benefits.