What does it really cost to acquire a new bedroom for your growing family – from the cheapest (a loft conversion) to the most expensive (a home move)? asks Nigel Lewis, of Prime Location.
Ask a French estate agents how many bedrooms a house for sale has and he or she will give you a Gallic shrug rather than an answer.
Because unlike in the UK, French house hunters are interested in how many rooms in total a property has, or how many square feet it offers.
But us British are more interested in how many bedrooms a house has. And for reasons that are not clear, it's something we've become fixated on even though it's nonsensical.
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For example, two houses with the same floor space may have different numbers of bedrooms (or bathrooms for that matter) and therefore be put up for sale at different prices based on this.
This skews the housing market. The average across the UK for a three-bedroom property compared to a four-bedroom one is £136,000. And the next step up, from three bedrooms to four bedrooms, is over £220,000.
These are staggering numbers given they don't necessarily reflect a property's size but rather how many people can sleep in it.
And particularly during a recession it also drives many of us to add bedrooms to our homes rather than move. The most popular way of doing this, our research shows, is to convert either an existing but unused space into one, or press gang a study or spare lounge into use.
But if you're hoping this adds a hefty sum to your property's value – as the figures above would suggest – then research by lender the Halifax points in another direction.
It revealed last year that the most valuable additions to a house are a loft conversion, which experts say can increase the value of a house by an average of £20,876 while costing approximately £10,000 to complete.
These are followed by room extensions, which pile on an extra £16,069 in value on average followed by new kitchens, windows and bathrooms at £5,617, £5,265 and £3,351 respectively.
For more information about buying and selling properties, including guidelines about preparing your home for sale, visit www.primelocation.com.