Spare rooms can add value to your home

Spare rooms can add value to your home

UK homeowners are missing out on the opportunity to add value to their homes, new research has revealed. There are approximately 15.5 million unused spare rooms across the country, according to Ironmongery Direct.

The company recently launched its 'Unused Britain' tool, which has since been gathering data from all regions of the UK on what type of house people live in, how many rooms are going to waste and the estimated size of that room. Using these factors, the tool has then been able to calculate the average value of the unused space within homes across the UK.

The findings are certainly revealing. Some 65% of households have an unused spare bedroom, with the average household wasting a massive £65,366.41 on unused space in their home.

When it comes to property types, the data showed that those who reside in end-of-terrace houses have the most unused space.

London dominates where wasted space is concerned. By value, the capital has the highest amount of wasted space, with an average of £136,211.50 per household.

By contrast, Scotland has the least unused space per household, with an average total of £33,201.03.

As a result of this wasted space, sellers could be missing out hugely when it comes to achieving the asking price or above for their home. What’s more, these unused rooms have so much potential.

In a previous blog we looked at the ways in which you can use your spare room(s) to add value to your home. Whether you convert it into a spare bedroom, a home office, a home gym, a playroom or something else, it’s vitally important that this space is made proper use of.

As a seller, you should be making use of all the rooms at your disposal when it comes to selling your home. OK, so a spare room is unlikely to be a deal-clincher, but home offices, home gyms and extra bedrooms are all likely to have significant appeal to would-be buyers.

Hiding the spare room away, or leaving it neglected and unloved, doesn’t do your sales pitch any favours. No room is useless – with a bit of innovation and imagination, unused rooms can be turned into anything you want them to be.

If you’re not looking to sell, you could consider taking in a lodger by renting out a spare room in your home. This doesn’t come without its pros and cons, but you may consider becoming a resident landlord as the best way of making good use of your unused rooms. This Citizens Advice page offers some handy information on what you need to think about before getting a lodger.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of being a resident landlord is the Rent a Room Scheme, which means that you could be entitled to earn £7,500 per year tax-free. As one of his last acts as Chancellor, George Osborne upped the threshold from £4,250 to £7,500. If you earn less than the threshold, the tax exemption is automatic.

Resident landlords can choose to let a room or an entire floor to their lodgers. Lodgers may have their own bathroom and kitchen facilities, or they may share with you.

Either way, whether it’s making use of your spare rooms to increase the value of your home and your chances of selling, or renting out an unused room to a lodger, it’s heavily recommended that you do something with this space. Otherwise you could be badly missing out...