Love It or List It - An idea for Edinburgh?

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We've been binge watching Love It or List It and wondering if the concept could work here in Edinburgh.

I don’t know about you, but I am a sucker for Kirsty and Phil and I'm really enjoying the new season of “Love It or List It” being shown on Channel 4 at the moment.


What’s it about?


For those of you who haven’t seen the show, the premise is that each week, Kirsty and Phil take on a couple that have the dilemma that one of them wants to sell their present home and buy a new home, whilst the other wants to stay put. They have a budget for the costs of renovating, extending or altering their present home in the care of Kirsty, whilst Phil is tasked with finding them a new home to fulfil their requirements on budget and at the end of the show the couple have to decide whether they want to stay in their present home (Love It) or sell (List It).


Although it is a form of competition between Kirsty and Phil, quite often it is a win-win situation in that even if they decide to sell, the improvements made to their current home will have increased its value giving them a higher selling price to help with the costs and expense of moving.


Always houses and never flats


The one bug bear I have about the programme (love it though I do) is that they never seem to take on a couple who live in a traditional tenement flat, like many of us do in Edinburgh. They always seem to take on couples that have a house with room to expand into the attic, or with a garden that allows them to extend the kitchen to form the dreamt-for large open plan kitchen/diner/family room, with wall-to-wall glass, giving you views to the garden. Mind you, in saying that, they are not beyond taking down a few walls and rearranging the rooms.


So what can you do to add value to your traditional flat in Edinburgh?


Without an attic space or garden to extend into, those options are not available to most of us living in a traditional tenement flat in Edinburgh but there are still ways for you to improve your property before listing it. Here is some suggestions, although admittedly these are mostly more about presentation than it is wholesale changes:


Bathrooms and Kitchens

Again this is some wisdom from Phil which I read some years ago, namely that the most expensive rooms in a house to improve if you are a buyer, are the kitchen and bathroom. A poorly presented or “in need of modernisation” kitchen and bathroom can be off-putting to some buyers, who only see the negative and see it as an additional cost if they were to buy.


But it needn’t cost of fortune to update your kitchen and bathroom to give it the “wow factor” buyers are looking for. Replacement door fronts and worktops for fitted kitchen units are cheaper than replacing the entire units themselves, a modern looking sink perhaps or an updated oven and hob.


For the bathroom which is a little small, why not consider removing the bath and replacing with a walk-in shower? There is plenty of inspiration for you on the web.


Central Heating

Yes, it would be expensive but worth considering, particularly given how winters in Edinburgh can be.



Ask yourself when you last did any decoration around the house. I just asked myself that question and am too embarrassed to share the answer. The truth is we become used to living in the space we occupy. Every time I walk into the spare room I wonder what moment of madness made me think that shade of yellow as a good choice. And it’s not just me; I have friends whose wallpaper in their lounge is in danger of once again becoming fashionable.



I know this appears in all advice given about how to improve your property for marketing, but it is true. I have had a look around my home. What is it about magazines? I have magazines that date back to 1997. I haven’t read them since then so I have no idea why there I keep them. And CDs and DVDs – I could set up my own shop with the number that has been collected over the years.


Can we help you?

Now, I know that the cost of moving home is expensive enough without having to spend more improving your current home. And perhaps in the current property market in Edinburgh – and especially for properties aimed at the First Time Buyer Market – where properties are selling quickly and for prices well over Home Report Value, there is no need to do any improvements or decorating. However, we hope that you might find some of the above useful.

And if you are thinking of selling your property this year, why not give us a call and we can give you a free pre-sale valuation of your property, giving you a detailed costing for the sale and purchase.

Passionate about property and providing great service at value for money.

Cameron Stephen
Partner with Cameron Stephen & Co. solicitors and estate agents, Edinburgh
0131 555 1296



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