Discussing, estimating and debating the worth of our houses is almost a national sport, but is it cost or value that matters!
There are a milieu of commentators espousing house values including journalists, valuers, government agencies, financiers, real estate agents and most importantly the chicken that lives across the road, because the value of her hutch will partly be dependent upon the value of your kennel.
There is a sobering list of property price factors including the city +suburb +street position, the unimproved value of the land, the house itself +features -liabilities. But above all a house is worth what people will pay for it.
Will it affect the value if you secretly know there is a gold mine in the backyard, or if a murder has been committed in the front bedroom? How is it that people can spend 20 minutes splitting the restaurant bill, but only 15 minutes walking through a house that they might spend their life saving on? And why do people go absolutely berserk with frenzy or fear at auctions?
Keith Blanchard says that, ‘ the simple answer is that a property considered as a possible personal house becomes an emotional decision and this invariably moves the decision making from cost to value. Even the most analytical person has emotions and when someone falls ‘in love’ with a house, in competition with others, the logic about features for price is often forgotten.’
When I am designing houses for people they really struggle if their budget will not cover all of their wants. Invariably they either get all of it or stick to their budget.
This process forces people to prioritise their lives which can be either daunting or illuminating.
Keith Blanchard is the principal of North Shore based at the Marcoola office, and a sponsor of many local events and charities. Adrian Charles Just is Director of Archicology Architects and Sunshine Coast Regional Chair for the Australian Institute of Architects.