Keep it simple for a quick sale

Fancy buying that unique house with the perspex dome for a roof so that you can watch the stars at night? Beware - you may get stuck with your private observatory for much longer than you want, because no one else can get a bond to buy it.

"Banks look at properties as security for home loans and are not really interested in the aesthetics you may find pleasing - they are primarily concerned about resale potential," says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group.

"And a home that is so peculiar that it stands out like a sore thumb among its neighbours will need a buyer with equally peculiar taste. Which of course means that it will be difficult to resell."

Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter he says that even a home that is not quite so outrageous but that does not blend well into the neighbourhood, such as a mansion amid ordinary middle-class homes, may look like such a hard resell that lending institutions refuse to finance it.

"And even if you can afford cash to buy the property now, the same principle will apply when the day comes for you to sell and your buyer is looking for finance, so you'll be stuck.

The same goes for home improvements, Everitt notes. "Most homeowners realise that they are unlikely to recoup their costs for quite some time if improvements push the value of their home far above the average property price in their neighbourhood.

"But if they fundamentally alter the home so that it becomes strikingly different from its neighbours, they may be courting future disaster.

"In fact, even unusual paintwork may lower the value of your home - a potential buyer may be quite blind to the artistic value of a carefully crafted trompe-l'oeil but very much aware of how much it is going to cost him to repaint that wall a nice, plain cream."

Article by: