How the value of a property is defined
There are various factors that influence and determine the value of a property. It is by no means the subjective calculation of a proud homeowner. The Building Code helps you to objectively determine the value of your property - which can be broken down into market value and fair value. This in turn is based on the Real Estate Valuation Ordinance.
In addition to the well-known "location" factor and the legal circumstances (for example the protection of historical monuments), the structural condition is of decisive importance. This refers to the condition of the building fabric of your house. This fabric is exposed to many influences. By this we mean the usual weather-related influences, but in the worst case also severe storms, floods or the like, as well as pests or the normal ageing process.
Failure to maintain this fabric through regular protective measures will also reduce the fair value. This means that it is not economically feasible to carry out any value-enhancing measures without first preserving the value of the property.
Rehabilitation, renovation or modernisation?
All these have a positive impact on preserving - and increasing - the value of a property. Rehabilitation measures are initiated to restore the original fabric of a building. Typical examples of this are moisture damage, mould removal or holes in the roof cladding.
Renovation work is not usually about blatant construction defects in the building fabric that would lead to further damage. What is meant here is beautification work that enhances the appearance and the sense of well-being, commonly referred to as "cosmetic repairs". This could be a new coat of paint or more modern flooring because the old one was showing signs of aging.
Going beyond preserving the value of a property involves modernisation and other measures that increase the value of the property in real terms. There does not have to be any damage for there to be modernisation. The aim is to achieve technical and visual improvements to structural components and to increase the actual utility value.
So much for theory. In reality, this clear distinction seldom applies in construction. After all, it often makes much more sense from an investment point of view to have the renovation of a damaged building immediately followed by modernisation. Preserving and increasing the value of your property go hand in hand.
Attention: Building Energy Act
The Building Energy Act is important for both owners and potential buyers of an existing property. It came into force in November 2020 and is the successor to the Energy Saving Ordinance. Here you will find the legal requirements for the energy efficiency of properties and the use of renewable energies. All provisions relating to the energy certificate are laid down and the new European requirements are implemented.
This legal guideline specifies exactly which rehabilitation measures have to be carried out in which time frame in order to increase energy efficiency. This is particularly important for older properties, as it is to be expected that the amount of investment will be considerable.
This is where the much-discussed energy refurbishment comes into play, because one of the most promising value-enhancing measures is improving the energy efficiency of a house. This not only reduces ongoing energy costs, but also increases the quality of living and life.
This includes coordinated insulation measures for the roof, facade, floor and basement. High-quality windows and doors of the latest generation should be part of the package. Likewise, the renovation of the heating, ventilation and hot water systems. Energy refurbishment is good for the environment and, in the long term, good for your wallet.
More tips for increasing value
In terms of living space, more is more indeed and adding more living space definitely adds value. Perhaps it would be a good idea to also convert the attic as part of a roof renovation? A heated conservatory can also significantly increase the living space and enhance the living ambience.
At the top of the list, of course, are the bathrooms and kitchens. Since their renovation is often time-consuming and costly, state-of-the-art design and technology generally appeal to prospective buyers. Maybe there is even enough space for a sauna?
The garden and green spaces around the property should never be underestimated in the valuation. A well-maintained garden that is visually appealing is one thing, but a generously laid out garden, a beautiful lawn, high quality planting and a mature ambience will pay off financially when the property is sold. People often fall in love with a property at first sight, and here it is not only the driveway and facade that count, but especially the pretty garden.