Looking for a property project? Here’s what to look out for when you buy a ‘doer-upper’

Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Is taking on an old or unloved house and transforming it into your dream home one of your ambitions? If so, there’s lot to think about! Take a look at our blog for some tips of how to approach renovations. 

Set your goals

Is this a property project to make a profit, or are you planning to live there long term? This choice will affect how you approach the property, where it is and how much you spend. 

It can be a daunting prospect to buy a house and renovate it, so make sure that you know exactly why you are putting yourself through it! This should help focus you when you hit big decisions and rocky patches. 

Location Matters

As always in property, the area is so important. Take a look around the other houses on the street and their values. Doing up a house in a sought-after location means that you will always have an advantage when (or if) you want to sell, and could make the value of your investment rise. The old saying of looking for the worst house on the best street is often true! On the other hand, if there seems to be a limit to the value of the houses in the area, you need to be prepared that, however much work you put in, you may never recoup your costs.

Set your budget

Know how much you can spend, and then look out for major work that needs to be done when searching for your property. Updating electrics, heating, the roof, windows and so on can add up pretty quickly. You should also watch out for damp and subsidence.  

Before purchasing, always get a survey to check the condition of the property and uncover any hidden problems that you might not be aware of from your viewings or visits.

Be prepared

There are lots of resources available to the home builder, from books and magazines, to websites, shows and exhibitions. The UK can seem property obsessed so make the most of this wealth of information!

Good places to start include idealhome.co.uk, homebuilding.co.uk and www.realhomes.com.

Again, knowing your goals helps with this – if you’re renovating to sell, keep your changes and interiors basic and inviting. If it’s your forever home, make sure that it’s perfect for your lifestyle, whether you want a cosy snug or a light and airy modern kitchen. 

If you have any tips for renovating and doing up property, please let us know! As always, if you are thinking about buying a property, contact our Reading office on 0118 966 0055 and the Langley office on 01753 593888