How to Climb The Property Ladder Like a Pro

Very few of us can afford to buy the home of our dreams right off the bat. Instead, our first home tends to be a less desirable property; perhaps one that is smaller than we’d like, or older or in a less desirable location. However with a little luck, over time the value of our property will rise, allowing us to leverage our equity and move up to a larger property. Such is the property ladder.

But with property prices rising fast, yet highly volatile market conditions, how do you really win the property game these days? Are there some proven strategies that can help you to maximize the value of your current home and climb the property ladder like a pro?

As it turns out there are three major factors that will affect how quickly your home rises in value – and hence how quickly you can afford to climb the property ladder.

Buy In an Upcoming Area

They say that a rising tide lifts all boats, and in the past too many home owners have fallen foul by not fully understanding this concept. If the value of your property has risen purely as a result of market conditions, then the money you've made is in many ways imaginary.

After all, if you opted to sell your property, you might get more money than what you paid for it. On the other hand, all the potential properties you’d like to buy are also now more expensive – maintaining the gap between your funds and your dreams.

But there is a way to leverage a rising market and still make real money from it. And that’s by purchasing a property in an upcoming area. These property hotspots typically see far higher growth in property prices than the rest of the country.

Relative to the country as a whole therefore, buying in an upcoming area really can see your investment rise significantly in value. But how do you spot an upcoming area that has the best possible chances of rapid and sizeable price increases?

There are four tell-tale signs that might tell you an area is on the up. Firstly, look at the outskirts of areas that are already popular. Over time, population density and the insane property prices in the centre of the area will push buyers out to the outskirts. At this point, it is normal for prices in these areas to also start rising.

In towns and cities another great indication that property prices may be on the rise are signs of new transport links such as major new roads or railway stations that can make getting to work far easier.

In a similar vein, major employers moving to an area will also draw in all manner of new residents to the area. Seeing as property is largely a game of supply-and-demand, a new employer in the area will mean more competition for property, so generally prices will rise as a result. That means that a multinational corporation opening up a new office in your neighbourhood could be very profitable for you.

One final indication of an area that is gaining ground are signs of regeneration. Properties being tidied up, new infrastructure, town centre regeneration schemes and suchlike are all good indications.

Fixer Uppers

So you've located the next likely property hotspot in your area? Great, the next step is to find a property where you can really add value. Some years ago that meant buying a property that was in good structural condition but just needed some cosmetic repair. And while these properties will often yield the highest returns, they’re also getting increasingly difficult to track down. Everyone else, it seems, has had similar ideas over the last few decades.

But if you can’t find a proper fixer upper, there is no need to lose hope. Instead, go shopping for your property while thinking about “potential”.

It’s a clichéd phrase in property circles but one that is very apt here. You see, even well-tended homes can be increased in value with some carefully managed home improvements.

For example, according to Tapco Basements a loft conversion can add 12.5% to the value of a property, a standard extension averages an 11% return while adding a conservatory can add 6.7%. Most profitable of all is a basement conversion which can add an astonishing 20% onto the value of a home.

So keep these opportunities in mind when shopping for property. Check out the neighbours to see what they've had done and buy a property that is ripe for the kind of improvements mentioned previously. See, they really do have potential when you know what you’re looking for ;-)


One final topic of conversation is money itself. By offering your bank the biggest deposit you possibly can you’ll not only increase the size of the mortgage offered up (meaning a bigger property) but you may even pay less in interest on the loan too.

Keep that credit rating moving in the right direction by keeping up with all your credit payments and paying them down as smooth as possible so that next time you need a mortgage (or re-mortgage) you’ll be offered the largest mortgage at the best rates possible.

More about property estate real ladder
Paige Hawin

About Paige Hawin

Coffee addict, hockey player and F1 fan. I also love to develop property here in the UK.

Paige Hawin

Top Posts | Moving

How To Move Your House Plants Safely

Moving doesn’t mean that you have to leave your house plants behind.  Here are some tips on how to make sure your house plants make it safely to your new home.PreparationMost professional moving services are experienced in moving house plants and are happy to do so, although it is worth ... ...

10 Simple Steps to Maximize the Selling Value of Your Home

My husband and I purchased a "fixer-upper" a couple of years ago as our first home. Our hope was to make a profit from renovating the house when me moved on to our "forever home". The sales market in our area has skyrocketed, making it a great time for us to list our house for m ... ...

Boxes, Tape and Help: All You Need to Make Your Move Smooth

Moving to a new home is a step towards improving your life, but the preparation for making such a big move can be dizzying. You have to get supplies, arrange for movers or friends to help you, arrange for services to be shut off at your old place and turned on at your new one -- it's no wonder ... ...

Inexpensive Moving Tips

There often comes a point in life when families have to face the need for a bigger, or sometimes just better, space to live in. This may be a result of the addition of a new member or maybe your current house just doesn’t meet your standards anymore.When such a time comes, families are faced ... ...

Asking Friends to Help You Move - 5 Things to Know

Congratulations on your new home! You can hardly wait to move in. Unfortunately, there is the daunting task of the move ahead. Strong, helpful friends are a great way to get the move done cost-effectively but you very literally ruin friendships if you go about this move the wrong way. Here are 5 th ...

4 Questions You Need to Ask Before Renting a New Place

Looking for a new place to rent can be an exciting experience. Sometimes, when you enter a potential place for the first time, it instantly feels like home. However, before you sign on the dotted line, you need to ask your future landlord the following 4 important questions. Is Subleasing Allowed?F ...

Top 6 Things to Do Before Moving

Moving into a new home can be exciting because it could mean you will have your own room to decorate, a new neighborhood to explore, new friends to meet, and lots more. Before your imagination gets carried away with your excitement and your things start getting put into boxes, you'll need to co ... ...

Need to Rush a Big Move? 5 Things To Remember

Occasionally, a homeowner finds the need to move quickly due to a job transfer or other extenuating circumstances. This can be a hassle as moving is certainly not an easy process to begin with and a rushed move is even harder, especially when there is a large amount of stuff along with moving a lon ...

5 Ways to Make the Moving Process as Smooth as Possible

Moving can be very stressful, but it doesn't have to be. With a little organization and planning you can get settled into your new place with ease. The key to this is prioritizing your tasks.  Declutter First - A couple months before your move start going through each room in your house an ... ...