We look at what you could afford on the next rung of the housing ladder.

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If you have narrowed down the area in which you want to buy a home and know roughly how much your target property will cost, you may be wondering what exactly your budget will stretch to. 

We look at what type of property you could afford - and weigh up what features to put top of your wish list when it comes to finding your next home. 

First things first, what type of property could you afford?

While you may dream of buying a detached house, the price difference between a typical standalone property and a semi-detached or terraced one could be considerable. 

Our UK figures show that while the typical three-bedroom semi costs £228,000, a detached property with the same number of bedrooms averages £308,000 - some £80,000 extra.

However, when comparing average prices across the UK, the margin of difference between an average three-bedroom terraced home and a typical semi with the same number of bedrooms is narrower at £10,000.

Given the sums involved, think carefully about the pros and cons that different property types offer, including their affordability.

Our graphic, below, shows average UK house prices for different property types to give you an illustration of how far your budget could stretch. However, figures will vary significantly across different regions.

How much could an extra bedroom cost?

Unsurprisingly, having an extra bedroom could have a significant impact on a property’s price.

Generally-speaking, the average four-bedroom house costs nearly £140,000 more than a home with three bedrooms, according to our UK data.

The price difference is slightly less for smaller houses, with the difference between a typical two-bedroom house and a three- bedroom property coming in at £51,000.

But it might be worth paying the premium to secure an extra room if it means you won’t outgrow the property too quickly. 

Our graphic, below, shows average UK property values. These figures will vary across the UK so it’s important to research your local market too.

With the average cost of moving standing at around £12,000, according to Lloyds Bank, buying more space now could be a good investment if it enables you to miss out a rung of the property ladder further down the line.

On the downside, the cost of opting for a bigger property may stretch your budget, meaning you have to compromise on other features. 

It’s also worth bearing in mind that it could also push you into a higher council tax band, while the cost of running the property is also likely to be higher. 

What about an extra bathroom?

If you want to have more than one bathroom, our UK data reveals that the cost of a three-bedroom house with two bathrooms is an average £58,000 more expensive than a three-bedroom house with one bathroom.

For a four-bedroom house, moving from three to four bathrooms typically costs an additional £33,000. 

However, these increases may not be solely due to the added facilities - these rises in value are also likely to capture other additional amenities, whether that is a more spacious living room or a larger kitchen.

Having more than one bathroom has lots of advantages, particularly if you are a family in which everyone is rushing to get ready at the same time in the morning.

But the benefits do not end there, as it could also help you when you come to sell your home.

As a general rule, estate agents say buyers prefer properties that have one bathroom for every two bedrooms.

What other features could you prioritise?

Garage

Having a garage, or at least a driveway, not only means you have a guaranteed place to park your car, saving you the hassle of having to hunt for street parking at the end of a long day at work, but it can also reduce your insurance premiums.

It’s little wonder that a garage features highly on people’s wish lists, as our research revealed.

Garden

A garden has always been a sought-after feature, but the recent lockdown experience has made outdoor space even more important to homebuyers.

Our survey showed that one in five young homehunters (aged under 35) are more likely to strike a compromise on their criteria, such as expanding their search area in order to afford a garden.

Having a sizeable garden offers considerable perks. Making good use of outdoor space can be like having an additional room, while taking the time to landscape it could also add appeal to your property.

Balcony

Another feature that makes its way into people’s most-wanted is a balcony.

For many buyers, a balcony represents the best of both worlds, offering access to outdoor space without the work of maintaining a garden.

As with a garden, the coronavirus pandemic has significantly increased the desirability of having a balcony.

Home office

A home office or workspace has moved swiftly up the desirability rankings as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

For some, who may have spent the past few months trying to make their kitchen table into a productive workspace, or who always work from home anyway, this will be worth every penny.

On the other hand, consider whether you’ll get regular use out of it once life has returned to normal.

Downstairs toilet

The convenience of having a toilet on the same level as the kitchen and lounge should not be underestimated, particularly if you have young children. After all, these are the rooms in which you spend most of your time.

Even so, it is still worth weighing up how much you want the convenience, or whether other features are more important to you.

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The information and data in this article was correct at the time of publishing and every attempt is made to ensure its accuracy. However, it may now be out of date or superseded. Zoopla Ltd and its group companies make no representation or warranty of any kind regarding the content of this article and accept no responsibility or liability for any decisions made by the reader based on the information and/or data shown here.
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