How much should you spend on property upkeep to retain value?

It is important to ensure you are maintaining your property’s value through regular upkeep in order to get as much return as possible when selling your property in the future.  

Magnet analysed regional data and has spoken to property expert Robert Barr, Sales Director at Kerr&Co, to reveal just how much you need to be spending to maintain your property’s value, and where in the UK homeowners have to spend the most on house upkeep.

KEY FINDINGS

  • Property experts recommend budgeting 1.5% of your property’s value a year to maintain its sale price in the market
  • House maintenance is the most expensive in Chelsea and Kensington at £16,905 a year due to high house prices
  • House maintenance costs are lowest in Burnley, at £1,565 a year

To find out more about what it takes to maintain your property’s value, we spoke to Robert Barr, Sales Director at Kerr&Co who said:

“With house prices constantly in the media spotlight and homeowners being more financially astute when it comes to buying a home, ensuring the upkeep of your property will help it stand out, increasing its appeal and potential value.

Maintenance is an integral part of home ownership that some have low on their priority list. However, being proactive reduces the chance of issues burgeoning into more significant problems, becoming overwhelming and exponentially more expensive. Thus avoiding substantially higher costs when preparing your home before marketing and selling.”

ALLOCATE UP TO 1.5% OF YOUR PROPERTY'S VALUE ON MAINTENANCE

Robert explains how much you should be budgeting in a year for property maintenance:

“Depending on the property's location and age, we recommend allocating up to 1.5% per annum of the value of your property, averaged over a ten-year period. This should cover essential works to help maintain and enhance both internal and external integrity and condition and more importantly your property’s value.

Careful periodic maintenance will mean costs are lower long term – after all prevention is better than cure. We’d advise homeowners to use the age of their property as a guiding factor on how much to budget per year to maintain it. Older homes will cost more to upkeep than modern properties., especially retrofitting modern heating systems for example.”

HOUSE MAINTENANCE CAN INCREASE THE VALUE OF YOUR HOME

Across the UK, if you properly maintain your home you can look to make, on average, an additional £33,369 when it comes to selling your home, as maintaining a 1.5% upkeep budget every year can increase the value of your property by 10-12%.

Robert comments that upkeep in your home will not only mean it retains its value, but it can also increase the resale value of your home significantly:

“If you maintain house upkeep, it could be worth as much as 10% to 12% more than similar less well-maintained properties, as well as appeal to a far wider audience making the sales process that much quicker.”

If looking to sell your property in the near future, consult your local independent estate agents as they can provide helpful insights into what buyers are looking for and therefore which maintenance tasks should be completed to get your house into the best possible resale value.

HOW MUCH TO SPEND ON HOUSE MAINTENANCE IN THE UK

Depending on your property's value and location, the amount you need to spend yearly to maintain the value of your home can vary to a significant extent. On average, the amount needed to retain value is £5,005 a year in the UK, averaged across a ten-year period. However, in areas where homes have a significantly higher value, the cost of maintenance will be greater.

House maintenance costs are the highest in Kensington and Chelsea, where homeowners are going to have to budget on average £16,905 on their yearly maintenance to keep their property price stable, which on average is £1,127 million in this area. However, Magnet’s study on the value of a kitchen when selling a home showed that regular upkeep in the form of a kitchen renovation can add £79,125.54 to the selling price, making every penny worth spending. Other boroughs in London with high property maintenance costs include Kingston at £8142 a year, and Enfield at an average of £6,830 a year.

MAINTENANCE COSTS ARE HIGHEST IN LONDON BOROUGHS

 

Ranking 

Local Authority

Costs per year

1

Kensington and Chelsea

£16,905

2

Westminster

£13,064

3

Camden

£12,455

4

Richmond Upon Thames

£11,675

5

City of London

£10,905

6

Hammersmith and Fulham  

£10,636

7

Islington

£10,551

8

Elmbridge

£10,431

9

Wandsworth

£9,387

10

Hackney

£9,258

HOUSE MAINTENANCE COSTS ACROSS THE UK

 

Local Authority

Costs per year

Mole Valley

£8,759

Cambridge

£7,519

Stratford-on-Avon

£6,146

Devon

£5,096

Slough

£4,769

Manchester

£3,577

Nottingham

£2,761

County Durham

£1,909

Hyndburn

£1,745

Burnley

£1,565

Other than London, the surrounding home counties including Surrey, Hertfordshire, and Berkshire also have larger yearly house maintenance costs thanks to their high house prices and proximity to the capital city. For example, homeowners in Mole Valley, Surrey are looking at a yearly cost of £8,759. As you look at cities further north such as Manchester and Nottingham, the cost of upkeep on properties tends to be lower at £3,577 and £2,761 a year respectively. The required spend per year on house maintenance is lowest in Burnley, Lancashire, where homeowners will only need to spend £1,565.

 

HOW TO CALCULATE HOUSE MAINTENANCE COSTS

Experts suggest the best way to work out exactly how much you should be spending a year on your property maintenance is to look at how much your home is worth, and then budget to spend roughly 1.5% of this per year, averaged over a decade. 

However, this figure can vary largely according to where you live, the stability of property prices, the cost of certain renovation projects and the age of your house. For example, if you live in an older Victorian property you are likely going to need to spend more on renovations and upkeep as opposed to a new build home.

THE HOUSE MAINTENANCE JOBS TO DO WHEN YOU FIRST MOVE IN

When you first move into a new property your priority might be decorating your space to make it feel like home. However, there are some essential jobs you should carry out when you first move in to save yourself time and money in the long run.

1. CHANGE THE LOCKS

It may be often overlooked but changing the locks is the first step you should take after moving into a new property. This is to make sure you are the only people who have access to your house, as previous homeowners or their family members, contractors or estate agents may still have keys.

2. DEEP CLEAN THE PROPERTY

Not only does thoroughly cleaning your property give you a good fresh start in your home, but it will also allow you to closely inspect parts of the property and make you aware of any minor issues at an early stage, for example, any water damage to kitchen worktops or wear and tear on the skirting boards or architraves.

3. CHECK FOR DAMP

While most instances of damp will only need a simple damp-proofing treatment if you do not solve the issue early on it can go on to cause much more expensive damage. Before putting anything on walls or redecorating in any capacity, look at all your walls and ceilings to identify any areas where damp could be an issue so you can remedy it efficiently, or note where to keep an eye on for any future issues.

4. CHECK GROUTING AND SHOWER SEALANT

The simplest way to freshen up a bathroom is to re-grout between shower tiles. Alongside this, it’s crucial to check the seal on the shower to ensure no water is getting through. Resealing any gaps will save from water damage in the ceilings which can be much more costly to fix.

5. MAKE A NOTE OF RENOVATIONS

Walk through your new home room by room and make a note of any renovations and maintenance projects you want to carry out. For example, decorating any internal doors and changing the door hardware or fittings.

To minimise the amount of stress that comes with moving house, be sure to hire a tradesperson to assist with more complex tasks.

HOUSE MAINTENANCE JOBS TO DO IN SPRING AND SUMMER 

Although many house maintenance projects can be carried out year-round, some specific jobs are best suited to spring and summer.

1. KEEP THE GARDEN TIDY TO AVOID DAMAGE TO BRICKWORK

In the garden, keep shrubs, hedges and climbers pruned to avoid any damage to brickwork on your external walls. Not only will this ensure the structural integrity of your home stays intact, but it will also reduce moisture retention and increase airflow to reduce the chance of dampness when winter comes.

2. MAINTAIN THE BOUNDARIES OF YOUR PROPERTY

Maintain boundaries with neighbours in the garden and repair fences quickly to avoid further deterioration that could be more costly in the long run. Not only will this help your neighbourly relationships, but it is also important for your privacy, security and aesthetic appeal when it comes to selling your property.

3. CHECK FOR ANY ROOF DAMAGE

The dryer and warmer weather in the summer means it is a great time to have a look at your roof and see if any of the coverings are damaged or missing. This will both help with the energy efficiency of your home and enhance its curb appeal. Do this before autumn comes to minimise the chance of rain leaks or safety risks to passers-by once the weather turns.