In this day and age, it’s increasingly difficult to get onto or make your way up the property ladder. It’s harder to get a mortgage, it’s more difficult to save for a deposit, and the cost of housing has increased. One option that may appeal if you can’t afford a brand new, shiny showhome is a fixer-upper. If you go down this route, you’re likely to buy something that needs some serious TLC. However, you get the chance to design your dream home and create a pad that is completely unique. If you’re considering taking a punt on a fixer-upper and you think you have what it takes to convert a ramshackle old shell into something ravishing, this guide should come in handy.
Finding the perfect project
The first thing to do when you’re thinking about buying a house is to consider all the options. Even if you think you’re 100 percent certain that you want to take on a project rather than buy a new build, it’s always helpful to have a look around, get some ideas of prices, and check out locations. If you’ve looked at every option on the market, and you’re sure you want to buy a fixer-upper, your search can start in earnest once you’ve set a budget.
Determining a budget is essential with an old house or a major renovation project. When you buy a new house, you know that you won’t have to spend much on it, and your budget will cover the purchase price plus legal fees and any other costs involved in the process of signing contracts and handing over ownership. With a project, you don’t just need to consider fees and your offer price. You’ll also have to factor in the cost of renovation. How much is it going to cost to turn this property into your new home? When you’ve got a total figure in mind, you can adapt your search to include cheaper properties that need more work and houses that are towards the top of your budget that need less work.
When you know how much you have to spend, search online and arrange some appointments with real estate agents. When you view a property, be thorough, and inspect every nook and cranny. Don’t just whizz around and make a decision there and then. It’s always a good idea to go and visit the property at least a few times. If you still love it on a miserable day when you’ve already looked around five times, this could be the house for you. If you’re interested in a property, arrange to go and visit with some experts to get an idea of how much the work you want to do will cost. It’s wise to consult a number of building firms and get a range of quotes before you decide what to do or who to hire.
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Identifying priority jobs
When you buy a fixer-upper, you may have a list of jobs as long as your arm. However, some of them will be a lot more important than others. You don’t need to worry about choosing taps or doorknobs when you’ve only got half a roof, or there are damp patches everywhere. Make a list of priority jobs. The first thing you need to do is make sure the site is safe, and ensure the house is watertight. If you need assistance with the roof, call some roofing firms and get some quotes. If there are signs of water damage, it’s best to get these seen to as soon as possible. If you’ve got exposed rooms or there are holes in the roof or walls, you may need water removal help, especially if you’re renovating in the winter. Asbestos can be a concern when you’re dealing with older properties, so seek advice from expert asbestos removal firms. Once you’ve got a secure roof, walls that don’t leak and solid foundations, and you can rest assured that the house is safe, you can start the next phase of the project. Plan the layout and think about how you want to use the space. If you want to add windows, doors or skylights, they’ll need to be put in before you start decorating. If you’re changing the layout, for example, you want to knock the dining room wall down to make a large, open kitchen-diner or family room, this is another job that can be completed before any interior design work is carried out.
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Personalizing your pad
When you’ve got a sound structure, and your home is shaping up, you can focus on themes, styles, and ways of personalizing your pad. What kind of style do you love? Are you a fan of modern decor or do you prefer rustic or retro themes? Do you have ideas about colors and prints? It’s a good idea to have a look online, flick through magazines, and take a trip to some home stores to generate ideas and help you make decisions. Create mood boards or use cuttings to come up with different looks for each room. Celebrate your style and the way your family lives. You want your home to be a reflection of you. When you walk through the door, you don’t want to feel like you’re looking around any old house. It should be clear that this is your home.
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Are you thinking about taking on a fixer-upper? If you can’t afford a pristine new home or you’re a creative person who wants to put their stamp on their dream home, buying a house that needs updating and upgrading could be a great idea. There are lots of advantages to buying a home that needs TLC, but it’s essential to do your research and plan every stage with meticulous detail. Make sure your finances are in order, and that you have an accurate projection of what the project will cost. Focus on finding the right property before you start dreaming about bedroom wallpaper or a kitchen with a mezzanine level. Don’t rush into making a purchase. View properties more than once, and get opinions from experts. When you’ve found the house that ticks all the boxes, identify priority jobs, and work through them before you start choosing tiles or buying cushion covers. When you’ve got a shell that’s safe, secure and sturdy, then the fun begins, and you can add your personal touch. Good luck!
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