In a housing market which is continually changing and evolving, purchasing a ‘fixer-upper’ can seem an ideal way to get your feet on the property ladder, while taking on an exciting challenge. In truth, however, refurbishing a home can be a lengthy, expensive, and stressful process.
While it allows you the freedom and creativity to design and build your dream home, there are also some potential setbacks you should be aware of. Here are some of the most important considerations you may have overlooked, and how you can address them.
Depending on the condition of the property, you may find that you are sharing with some unwanted visitors in the form of pests. It is a good idea to assemble an arsenal of experts early on, from rat exterminators to cockroach experts, to make sure you have the relevant professionals on hand if you discover an infestation. You want to tackle this in the initial stages of the renovation, to prevent the problem from getting worse.
Before you commit to buying a renovation property, it is imperative that you get the place thoroughly checked out by a structural engineer. This will alert you to any potential issues which may arise in the future, and give you an estimated budget. Problems such as dry rot can destroy a property, and may increase your required budget significantly. Make sure you have all the details to help you make an informed choice.
If you are buying a property as an investment, it is always a good idea to check out the neighborhood. Try and find out any significant developments which are planned. Is a road going to be built right through the middle of a quiet neighborhood, or are local councils planning a major housing development in the area?
Some changes can be positive, such as local governments and councils looking to regenerate an area, and these can be ideal spots to purchase an investment property –it is likely to rise in value. Keep your ear to the ground,and always consider ways in which the proposals may affect your future plans.
When renovating a property, it’s always best to overestimate potential costs and make sure you have room in your budget to allow for this. Building works are often delayed, materials may not be available, and issues may occur during the process. Make sure you have a security fund you can dip into if costs go higher than expected, and make sure you have allowed for any potential time delays in your future plans and intentions.
As a general rule, any changes or modifications you make to the property should enhance the potential resale value. This allows you to use your property as an investment, even if it is to be your main home. By having one eye on the future, you are preparing and protecting yourself financially and can make informed plans and investments.