8 Tips for Purchasing a Fixer-Upper

Recent research suggests that around 90% of those looking for a home to purchase might consider buying a house that needs to be renovated.

We investigated this information and looked into some tips and trips for choosing the best home for a renovation project, while still being happy living there.

1. Budget Appropriately

One important part of planning to renovate a home is to take a look at the price you can budget for the entire renovation, and then work backwards as you make your plans. Don’t start and then add things up as you go along.

If you plan to renovate entirely or add on an extension, you’ll be looking at around £1,850 for each square metre. Upgrades, decorating and additional modifications to the property will add another £1,000 per square metre.

Kitchen renovations can vary dramatically in price, so it’s important to speak to the contractor about the specifics to get a full estimate for what you need. Adding on a basement is becoming popular, but this type of renovation can be expensive. Basements can run to around £3,000 per square metre.

2. Do Careful Research

There’s currently an overage of homes that are in need of full upgrades or renovations before they’re what you may want. It makes good sense to consult a local estate agent or property marketing service before getting started, so that you can find out if the property that you’re interested in is in good condition for sale, and what will likely happen if you add more value.

3. Understand the Planning Process

It’s possible for people to have unrealistic expectations for planning, as well, and want more than they can ever really achieve. You’ll have to be aware of concepts like the 45-degree rule with your neighbours, as it’s included in most councils’ design guidelines.

This means that no part of your proposed extension can cross the boundary line of the mid point of 45 degrees from your neighbour’s nearest window, and it’s designed to keep houses and appropriate distance from one another. In some cases the rule can be flexible, however, so it makes sense to do your research. Look into existing planning to see what you can learn. Can anything be renewed? Has paperwork already been extended? Has anything already been extended beyond its maximum? Is anything in a green belt? Is the property in a conservation area?

4. Educate Yourself about What Can Be Done

You’ll also need to know if your property is listed as a World Heritage Site. There could be rules that particular features of the home or property have to stay intact.

5. Planning to Best Modifications

Any renovation that focuses on bathrooms and spacious kitchen areas with just the right amount of luxury is sure to be a winner, visually. However, the outside area is also important, as a garden that’s great for entertaining family and friends can be incredibly important to some people’s lifestyle. BBQ areas, suntraps, privacy, and patios are all vital to a successful renovation, so take these areas into account when you’re planning.

6. Avoid Cutting Corners

If you have to skimp or save money, do it on the decorative work instead of the building materials. You won’t get enough value for your money if you cut corners, and you could wind up with serious issues. People are far more aware of construction and quality than they used to be.

7. Make the Most out of the Process Itself

The biggest advantage of purchasing a house that needs renovation is that you can make customisations to it. Will you be purchasing a property for yourself, or do you plan to develop it for a profit? If you’re in it for a long-term investment, just relax and enjoy the process. The housing market will fluctuate, but you don’t have to worry about that immediately.

8. Keep the End Result in Mind

If you’re trying to renovate a property in order to sell, keep in mind that the properties that are most popular with potential buyers are those that seem to be well cared for and have kerb appeal.

Once someone is inside, they’d like to see natural light, a well-designed home, and a lot of storage areas to help keep clutter out of sight. Renovating and delivering spacious kitchen areas and bathrooms that provide luxury are sure to help with the sale.