7 Important Points when Buying a House to Renovate ...

Alison

If you're thinking of buying a house to renovate, you're taking on a major project. Buying a house that's ready to live in is enough of a commitment, so buying one that needs fixing up is something that should be considered even more carefully. Whether you plan to live in the house or want to sell it at a profit, there are so many factors to take into account. Here are some of the important points to consider when buying a house to renovate …

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1

Flexible Budget

When buying a house to renovate, you need to have some flexibility in your budget. As any renovator will tell you, one thing is certain: you'll end up spending more on the renovations than you originally planned. Either you'll find new things that need fixing, or your plans will turn out to be more expensive. While you shouldn't just throw money at your house, you should have reserve funds for unanticipated costs.

2

DIY or Professional?

You should also decide whether you can fix up the house yourself, or if you need to hire professionals to do the job. It may well be a false economy to attempt DIY. Using professionals may seem expensive, but if you make mistakes you could end up paying them anyway. Only renovate a house with your own hands if you have the skills and the time.

3

Disruption

Can you afford to maintain your old house while you renovate the new one? Or can you stay with family until the new house is ready? Don't underestimate the stress of renovating a house while living in it. You might not have access to facilities, and will certainly have to put up with a good deal of noise. It's extremely disrupting to your peace and quiet.

4

Time & Skills

You should only renovate the house yourself if you have a lot of time and energy - and the necessary skills. Even the 'easy' work like putting up wallpaper is only easy if you know how. If you have a full-time job, you can work on your house at weekends, but after months of knocking down walls and staining floorboards you'll be pretty fed up.

5

Price

Does the asking price reflect the amount of work that needs to be done? A renovation project should be priced lower than similar houses in good repair. There is no sense in buying a property that is overpriced when you add on the amount that needs to be spent on the renovations. You should always factor in that repairs and renovations always cost more than you initially expect.

6

Adding Value

Consider whether the changes that you want to make will add value to the house. An extra bathroom or bedroom may add value and increase the house's desirability to future buyers; putting an expensive kitchen in an average family home will not. Look at the project with a business eye.

7

Funds

If the house you like needs complete renovation, do you have the cash available? If you don't have sufficient immediate funds to fix everything that needs doing, can you live with the 'faults' until you do? A dated but functional bathroom is something that you can live with; having no bathroom at all is not.

Renovating a house is not for the fainthearted. It's a massive commitment and one that will take a lot of energy - and money. However, it can be a good way to create a house that fits your own taste. You may even add value to it. But don't see it as an easy way to make money. Have you ever embarked on a renovation project, and what was the most difficult aspect?

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