Business & Finance Investing & Financial Markets

Property Development (Part II)

Whilst interviewing John Barnard (Developer for 30 years), John gave me these pointers.
It is important to remember that houses that are ripe for renovation were often built many, many, years ago.
Lifestyles were different then and today we expect lighter, more open living spaces.
Look at most original Victorian or Edwardian houses and once through the front door you will be presented with a hallway leading to stairs.
Opposite the stairs will be the principal front room and a second room deeper in the house and to the rear, a small kitchen which often has a back door leading to the rear garden.
Today's living style requires a kitchen/breakfast room space that feels light and airy.
People spend a lot of time in this part of the house these days, as it has become the heart of the home.
Even houses built as late as the Seventies can benefit from reorganizing the layout to suit modern day living.
Separate dining rooms are often under-utilized and work so much better when brought into either the lounge or the kitchen.
Integral garages were often part of the main structure- nowadays people prefer to leave the car outside and convert the space for living accommodation.
When you look around a property- considering it as a potential development project, concentrate on the kitchen and see if there is some way to expand it.
Older properties often had larders either within or just off the kitchen because years ago people didn't have the freezers or the availability of fresh produce daily.
If you can knock those walls out you instantly create extra space and extra space increases value.
If by doing so you can create more dining space within the kitchen, you'll add value however if the house is listed, you'll need Listed B Consent and so you get back into the quagmire of delays.
The kitchen is almost always the first room the agent will show and the larger it appears and the more flexible it appears the more popular the house will be with buyers.
The kitchen is where a considerable amount of the budget will be spent but before you plan granite tops or limestone floors- think about space.
Property Development is all about exploring the opportunities to extend usable space.

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