The True Value of Property

One way to measure the value of a property is its ability to stand the test of time – after all a French property is a long term investment.  This falls into four broad categories.

Value of Shelter –

Basically, what does it offer in the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and levels of comfort.  Levels of comfort include kitchen equipment, heating system, garaging for car, and luxuries such as bathing in a pool or jacuzzi.

Value of Position –

The value of the position depends not only on its physical geographical location (great view, by  the sea etc) but also relative to your needs and the value associated with your needs.  This value is proportionate to the number of other people with these same preferences.  For example, do you want peace and quiet and isolation or do you want to be part of a vibrant community with bars, shops, entertainment etc. Trends of desirable position change.  Before the popularisation of the motor car, it was preferable to be positioned on the side of a road for ease of access.  However, a busy road can seriously depreciate the value of a property these days owing the vast number of vehicles, noise and air pollution.

Value of  Antiquity – value as an object

The value is based upon rarity and desirability.  This too is subject to trends and fashion. At one particular time a particular type of house may be highly desirable and yet at another, quite unwanted – e.g. Art Deco building are highly sought after at present.  An example may be taken from historic cars – as values of Rolls Royce increase and Jaguar decrease.  Some objects will always remain desirable due to their rarity – like a 17 century chartreuse or a 1950’s Ferrari convertible

Value of Quality

A modern home can survive in the value stakes but the finish and build must shine quality from solid internal walls to  quality door furniture.  A quality bathroom will age well even when out of vogue.

Older homes, generally of higher build quality, will sustain the test of time.  An oak framed window will outlast fourfold a new upvc double glazed unit even though it may not be quite so good an insulator.  Surely, the ecological cost of re-manufacturing the  window outweighs the gain of energy efficiency.  A good slate roof will last 150 years, terracotta slowly fired in a wood oven will last for centuries its modern gas fired equivalent merely decades.  Oak beams found in old buildings have often  been reemployed several times making real ecological sense while soft wood counter parts are treated with noxious chemicals in order to stand the test of a few decades.  Plasterboard paper covered partitions are a poor comparison to limestone cut from seabed millions of years old.  Sea bed will outlast concrete blocks. In my opinion older houses are a better investment despite higher maintenance costs.

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