It’s become very fashionable to do up a wreck – numerous television programmes on the subject are largely responsible! Our clients frequently request a ‘project’, but baulk when faced with the reality. Better to analyse yourselves in depth now! Here’s how…
Before taking the plunge and buying a derelict property, speak to friends who have ‘had work done’ or attempted a significant DIY project – did they find it more or less stressful than they thought? You only have to watch “DIY SOS” to see the evidence of what you can be left with when the initial enthusiasm runs dry, even in a house that does not need work to be habitable. Never forget that living in a caravan through a winter season can put a strain on the strongest of relationships!
If the dream of creating a couture version of home remains, especially if you are planning an “Escape to the Country”, know that wrecks come with an ever-increasing premium. It sometimes seems that all an estate agent needs to do is generate a bit of interest, go to the auction, and watch people fight to lay down their money – and often a good chunk of their lives and their sanity!
Wrecks appeal to more than just the ambitious individual. Private buyers are competing with developers, who are competing with private developers, who are competing with builders. Often, the over-excitement and the levels of competition lead to buyers paying well over the odds, especially when you consider that building costs are rising fast.
There is a simple formula, and purchasers should do their sums carefully and not get swept away on a tide of over-enthusiasm, abandoning all realism in the wake.
‘Estimated current market value when done’ minus ‘renovation costs’ = price you might pay for wreck.
Everything else represents a ‘must have’ or ‘fantasy’ factor – and only you can know what that is for YOU.
If the sums don’t add up, may be it is time to re-evaluate whether “To Buy or Not To Buy”. It used to be the case that to find an old house with accommodation suited to contemporary lifestyles was extremely difficult. But now, that really isn’t the case, as so many properties have been renovated (or re-renovated) to a modern specification – plenty of open plan living, the pre-requisite living/eating/cooking/family space, uber-modern facilities and appliances, wet rooms, and so on, combined with beautiful original materials and craftsmanship.
In the final analysis, only you know whether you want to climb the “Property Ladder” the hard way, but Stacks’ final advice is to be very, very, very cautious with your figures – and your dreams. You may find it makes more sense to buy someone else’s project when it’s finished and make a few cosmetic changes.
Professional Property Purchaser Rachel Johnston of Stacks Property Search advises new auction bidders… Why agents sell by auction “Whilst most property is sold by private treaty, estate agents and vendors tend to opt for an auction when they are confident that there will be huge interest, where the property is a restoration...
Planning to ‘Grand Design’ yourself to happiness ? First, don’t lose the plot! As it becomes harder to find the perfect home, purchasers are increasingly believing that the answer to their problem lies in either building the dream property on an empty site, or dramatically recreating an existing building. Ten to fifteen...
Anyone trying to find a building plot for themselves needs plenty of patience and tenacity. Here are some tips gleaned from years of experience. Let estate agents know your requirements, but don’t rely on them alone – many plots aren’t sold through agents. Consider speaking with professional developers to see if they...
Stacks has further advice for prospective DIY builders once you have found a potential plot : Do your sums. On completion, would you be able to sell the property and cover all your costs? Look extremely carefully into all planning issues. If outline planning permission exists on the site, don’t assume you...
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