Property: HOME TRUTHS

Cover story

I live in a house which has been converted into six flats, worth about pounds 130,000 each. Recently, I was checking through some paperwork and noticed that the buildings insurance cover for the whole house is only pounds 250,000. I am a little concerned that if the house were completely destroyed, I would not be adequately insured. Could the insurance cover be wrong?

Mark Devlin

Godalming

It is unlikely that the figure quoted in your buildings insurance policy is wrong, although it would obviously be sensible to check. The buildings insurance figure is usually different from the market valuation of the property. Normally, a qualified surveyor will inspect the property and suggest a figure which, in their opinion, represents the cost required to rebuild, as new, the property in the same form, size and style, if it were completely destroyed.

Holiday home options

My family and I have just returned from a break in France where we stayed in a wonderful holiday home, which we have found out is for sale. We would love to buy it for ourselves, but are unsure how to go about raising finance. We only have a small mortgage on our family home which is valued at about pounds 180,000.

Doreen Chambers

Chepstow

There are a couple of options that you could consider. First, you could approach your existing mortgage lender and see if they could provide you with extra borrowing against the equity in your family home. You should bear in mind that there may be some restrictions, and that you would not be eligible for MIRAS tax relief on the second property. Also, you would have to be able to afford the increased monthly repayments from your existing income. Second, you could look at taking out an unsecured personal loan to buy the holiday home. This may be a little more expensive, but it may offer a bit more flexibility for you. Again, you would have to demonstrate your ability to continue meeting the interest payments each month. You will be able to get more details on this option by speaking to your local bank.

Adding value

I am thinking of building a conservatory. What value is it likely to add to my house, and will I recoup the cost if I sell in the next year or so?

T Marriott

Harlow

I think it is fair to say that the conservatory will increase the value of your property. However, it may not add an equal or greater value to your home as the amount you spend building it. Although it may not vastly increase the value of your house, a tastefully designed and furnished conservatory could make it more attractive to buyers and hence easier to sell.

Moving-in survival kit

I will be moving into my new home shortly and friends have told me to prepare a survival kit for the big day. What would you recommend I include in my kit?

Martin Secombe

Carlisle

It is always useful to have some essentials ready on the day of the big move; they can often help defuse those tense moments. I recommend taking the following things yourself, rather than in the removal van:

q Tea, coffee, milk and sugar

q Mugs and kettle

q Washing-up bowl and liquid

q Rubber gloves

q Soap and hand towel

q Mop and bucket

q Detergent

q Dustpan and brush

q Cloths and tea cloths

q Bin liners

q Toilet paper

q Light bulbs

q Torch

q Basic tool kit (screwdrivers etc.)

Most important of all, though, is a bottle of bubbly to celebrate once you've got everything - and yourself, of course - moved in.

George Wise is managing director of NatWest UK Mortgage Services.

q Send your queries on practical property issues to the following address: Home Truths, Travel & Money, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL Fax: 0171-293 2043; e-mail: sundayproperty@independent.co.uk

Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
News
peopleEnglishman managed the quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Flat out: Michael Flatley will return to the stage in his show Lord Of The Dance
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
i100
News
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Data Centre Engineer - Linux, Redhat, Solaris, SAN, Puppet

£55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A financial software vendor at the forefro...

.NET Developer

£600 per day: Harrington Starr: .NET Developer C#, WPF,BLL, MSMQ, SQL, GIT, SQ...

Data Centre Engineer - Linux / Redhat / Solaris / Puppet / SAN

£65000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A financial software vendor at the forefro...

Business Analyst

£250 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst, Bristol, Banking, Business Obje...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape