Leeds property news: Not moving could save you thousands, say experts

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Kirstie and Phil’s latest TV series Love It or List It has led viewers to question the logic of moving.

They have been examining the pros and cons and adding up the cost, which includes estate agency and legal fees, removal bills and stamp duty. One of the main reasons for moving is to gain more space, yet creating extra square footage at your existing property can make good financial sense.

Now is a good time to extend, thanks to the government’s temporary relaxation of permitted development rights, though different rules apply to those living in designated areas lioke National Parks. Andrew Stoddart, MD of Leeds-based Vida Architecture says “There are great cost- effective opportunities for home owners to create more space by building single storey extensions that do not require planning consent. Until May 30, 2019, the government has increased the permitted development size of single storey extensions for detached homes from four metres to eight metres and from three metres to six metres for other houses. It means there are no planning fees to pay and homeowners only need to provide basic information to their local authority.”

It helps to discuss your plans with neighbours beforehand as the local planning department must notify them of applications and where objections are made, councils must decide whether the impact on the amenity of all adjoining properties is acceptable. If you are given the green light don’t forget to get at least two or three quotes from builders before going ahead. This will allow you to assess whether it is worthwhile.

Michael Holmes, of the Homebuilding and Renovating Show, says: “In many areas, an extension will add considerably more value than it costs. Depending on local property values, residential space is worth from £1,000 per m2 up to £40,000 per m2 in prime central London. If you compare the average cost of an extension, which is £1,150-£1,950 per m2 plus VAT, you can establish whether or not it will make financial sense.”

Here are some more tips from Michael on how to add space and value to your property:

Convert your garage: an attached or integral garage is typically worth more converted into additional living space or bedroom accommodation, providing there is still enough space to park cars off road on a driveway.

The change of use will not require a planning application and, in most cases, nor will the minor alterations required to the exterior, but always check with your local planning authority first.

Add a conservatory: this can be a cost-efficient way to add extra living space but it is important to think carefully about orientation, heating, cooling and screening.

Make use of a cellar: if you have an existing cellar with enough headroom to stand up, converting this into a habitable space can prove cost-effective.