The list of things to look out for when buying a property is seemingly never ending, and sometimes we can take our eye off the ball and miss out on certain features that may be beneficial, both practically and financially. One such asset is a property’s parking space. This oft-forgotten part of the purchase is something that should definitely be taken into consideration whenever you’re in the market for a new home – whether you drive or not.
It doesn’t take a lot of thinking power to realise that there are now more cars on our roads than ever before. Parking is a huge issue in many areas, and it’s likely to get a lot worse before it gets better. Councils are introducing more and more restrictions, even on the most residential of streets, but not many of us are going to give up our cars any time soon. Therefore, it’s highly likely that parking spaces will be at an even higher premium than they are now in 10 to 20 years’ time.
Does off-street parking translate to added property value?
In short, yes. Having off-street parking can be a tremendous asset, with some reports stating that properties with their own parking facilities can fetch up to 13 per cent more than similar homes without. Even developers are now taking this into consideration when building new property as they are able to charge, on average, an extra 5 per cent more on the sale if a parking space is included.
If that’s the case, should I add parking if I can?
Loft conversions, new kitchens and extensions are commonly touted as great ways to add value to your home, and they are, but parking spaces rarely get a mention. Adding a spot for a car will undoubtedly bring extra value to your property, but the amount will naturally depend on whereabouts you live.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that you will have to go through an application process to a get a dropped kerb outside your property, too. Not only that, there’s also increasing concerns from environmentalists over the amount of front gardens being turned into driveways as well.
Switching from grass fronts to concrete is having a dramatic impact on rainwater runoff and the government has introduced legislation in an attempt to combat the problem. Planning permission will need to be sought for areas over five square metres if impermeable materials are going to be used. For further guidance on the changes made to the General Permitted Development Order, click here.
What about buy-to-let properties?
If you are in the market for a buy-to-let investment, then it can certainly pay off to seek out a property that has its own designated parking. Again, if you make the comparison between two properties – one with parking and one without – it quickly becomes obvious which one will be more attractive to many people, and command more rent!
Having parking taken care of solves a problem for the property’s residents, and that applies whether they rent or own it. So, yes, parking spaces should certainly be considered when looking for a new investment property.
Is it still worth it if I don’t drive?
Absolutely, for all of the reasons given above. Granted, you may be paying more now if the property comes with off-street parking, but you’ll be able to ask more for it when you come to sell. Furthermore, the attractiveness of off-street parking will make your property easier to sell when it goes on the market.
Don’t forget that you can also make use of the space, too, regardless of whether you have a car or not. Thanks to the technological advances made recently and the ubiquitous nature of the smartphone, you can actually make money from your empty parking spot.
Many people now rent out there parking spaces when they are not in use, and you may be surprised by just how much you can get. You don’t even need to be in the heart of the city to take advantage of the schemes available. Commuters from just outside of the tube system often prefer to drive to somewhere close to a tube station rather than mess about multiple overhead trains. If your property is within walking distance to an underground station, you may well be able to cash in.
While it is most definitely an extreme example, a parking space behind Hyde Park Gardens in Central London went on sale for a whopping £350,000 earlier this year. Just a single bay, no home attached, and it only had an 88-year lease! So, if you thought that parking spaces weren’t all that important, it might be time to reconsider.
If you are looking to move home and are in need of some friendly advice, give Petty Son and Prestwich a call. No one knows East London and West Essex better than us and we’re always on hand to give you all the help you need.