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Considering a fixer-upper? Here’s what you need to know

September 2020

A property with problems can be a great opportunity – as long as you know what you’re doing.

You’ve found the one. You found that perfect rundown place in a great neighbourhood for below the market price. You invest a little time in renovating, sort out the dilapidated garden and end up with a gem of a home that you can bring back to market for twice the price you paid.

Sound good?

Often it is. But you need to ensure that buying a fixer-upper is the right decision for you.

Whether you’re buying for the first time or the 50th, if you’re considering a house that needs renovating, here’s what it takes to make the purchase pay off.

1. Consider how much it will cost

Buying a property in need of some TLC is usually cheaper – as they generally sell for around 17% less than the market average.

One thing to remember before you make an offer on a property that requires some attention is this: do your research and prepare. One of the best ways of securing value for money, and preventing hidden surprises, is by seeking a full property survey from an expert which could save you thousands of pounds in the long run.

To see how we can help with on-site inspections and home surveys, head here.

2. Location, location, location

When choosing to buy a fixer upper, you’re not restricted in the same way as those who have their hearts set on a new build. Whether you’re looking to leave the city and escape to the country, live close to town or find a mixture of the two, there will be plenty of opportunities to find your ideal project.

With fixer upper houses being cheaper than the market average, you may also find a hidden gem in a location where others might not be looking. The area you choose could well become the next up and coming area.

3. Roll up your sleeves

Whatever needs to be done, it’s probably more cost-effective if you pitch in yourself. If you really want to make a fixer-upper work for you, you need to be a ‘do-it-yourselfer’. Hanging cabinets, painting walls, replacing windows and grouting yourself can save you thousands. With all that being said, it’s probably best to leave anything electrical to the professionals…

4. Grab a bargain

That brings us nicely onto the decorating. Shopping around for interiors early on can save you a pretty penny, so you’ll have money to spend elsewhere on the project. Think charity shops, ex-displays and online marketplaces for 'too-good-to-miss' bargains.

It may be time consuming but it’s the perfect chance to make the property your own and save money whilst doing it.

5. Consider a property auction

Property auctions have a reputation for being fast, exciting and potentially highly profitable - but they are not for the faint hearted. You’ll need to be in good financial shape and have the self-control to stick rigidly to your budget. If you do this, and can hack the stress of a bidding war, it’s a great way to bag a bargain.

Fixer-upper homes can be a great investment, but you need to make sure you have the time (and resources) to tackle the project. If you do, a little bit of love and delicate attention can go a long way towards creating your perfect fixer-upper home.

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For advice or further information on what type of property might be right for you, get in touch today.

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