Have you scoured the market in the pursuit of your dream home? Have you booked a series of viewings only to leave disheartened because the house just wasn’t quite right? Are you starting to wonder if your perfect pad even exists? If these scenarios sound familiar, there may be another option you haven’t yet considered. Sometimes, investing in a doer-upper rather than the finished article can give you the opportunity to create the home of your dreams. If you’re thinking of taking on a project, here are some practical tips to help you decide if this is the best path for you.
Potential versus a money-pit
There are some properties out there that scream potential. Sadly, others fall into the money-pit category. If you buy a house, the last thing you want is to be constantly spending and to get in over your head. It makes financial sense to invest in a house that has potential, but do your research first. Look out for signs of serious damage and problems that require expensive solutions. Any signs of structural damage should be explored in depth before you decide whether or not to make an offer. If you’re interested in an old house, check the wiring and heating systems. It is possible to update and replace boilers and rewire a house, but you’ll need to factor in the cost.
If you’re used to looking at pristine show homes or modern houses, it may take a little getting used to when you switch to homes in need of TLC. However, try and be open-minded, and see past cosmetic issues. You may not fall in love with the avocado coloured bathroom suite, but this is something you can rip out and redo relatively simply. Look past dodgy wallpaper or dated units. If you’re a creative person, you may find this easy to do. If you’re not, meet with interior designers, and go through some ideas. It helps if you can see images or plans of what the house could look like.
Budgeting and planning
Taking on a project requires patience and careful planning. You may have to wait to move, but think of the long-term benefits. You can put your stamp on your home, and you could also add significant value. When you’re renovating, it’s essential to keep an eye on the figures at all times. Draw up a budget as a priority, and try to set aside a contingency fund. Sometimes, there are delays or unexpected costs, and your rainy day savings may come in handy. Work with planners, builders, and architects to create a schedule. Muck in where you can, and if you haven’t got a contractor, visit the site on a regular basis.
If you haven’t found your dream home yet, don’t give up hope. Sometimes, making your dreams a reality requires a change of tack. Perhaps you’ve been looking at the wrong kind of property, or your search has been too specific. Before you give up, consider taking on a renovation project. This requires time, effort, and money, but it also gives you the freedom and flexibility to design a home that ticks every box.
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