Cash in the attic: finding valuables in your loft

Cash in the attic: finding valuables in your loft

It’s well known that loft conversions can provide a huge boost to the value of your home. According to one survey carried out by the Nationwide Building Society in 2014, loft conversions can add more value – up to 20 per cent of the house price – to your home. That can amount to a major cash windfall. Perhaps you’re getting ready for a loft conversion. Before you start work, though, you’ll need to clear the loft out first – and you might be surprised by what you find in there.

There are some real valuables lurking in the lofts of Britain. Landlord Insurance warned in 2013 that many landlords were failing to capitalise on the valuable items stored in the attic – including collectibles as well as family heirlooms. So what valuables should you be looking out for before you get cracking on that loft conversion? Here are our top tips.

Valuables to watch out for

  • Books – if you’re a bit of a bookworm then you’ve probably got a fair few books stashed away in your loft. Most of them aren’t worth much of course, but you may well have a few collectors’ items lurking somewhere among the more obscure reaches of your collection. Particularly rare books can fetch big money at auction. A hardback first-edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone sold for £10,575 at Sotheby’s in 2002. Maybe you’ve got a copy of a book that’s been signed by the author. You never know what’s in there until you start rummaging around.
  • Records – committed music lovers are also quite likely to have some collectibles among their collection. According to the Telegraph, a 1977 first pressing of the Sex Pistols’ controversial hit God Save the Queen could fetch around £8,000 at auction while a 1963 copy of the Beatles’ Please Please Me would be worth around £3,500. A first pressing of the Rolling Stones’ self-titled album from 1964 could sell for £1,000. More recently, Oasis’ limited edition vinyl box set from 2009 – of which only 1,500 copies were printed – could fetch around £300.
  • Sporting memorabilia – the increasing popularity of online auction sites like eBay has resulted in an explosion in demand for sporting memorabilia. The most expensive sporting memorabilia can fetch millions of pounds, and it’s safe to say that the kind of stuff most of us have stored in our attic probably isn’t of that magnitude. However, there may well be real valuables among your old belongings. For example, signed football match programmes or replica shirts can usually be relied on to fetch a decent amount.
  • Comic books and annuals – there’s been a strong revival of interest in comic books over the last decade or so. Perhaps you’ve still got a stash of old comics and annuals you’ve kept from your childhood. If so, you should probably start looking through them to see just what you’ve got in there because your collection could be a veritable treasure trove. In 2004, an ultra-rare copy of The Dandy dating from December 1937 (and still including the original free gift packaged with it) sold for a record price of £20,350 by auctioneers.

Hopefully, these examples should give you all the inspiration you need to get clearing out your loft ahead of that big conversion. You just never know what you’ve had locked away for all these years. So get up in that attic and find out what you’ve got!