First things first, is the property mortgageable? Or is it so run-down that no one will lend you money? If it’s the latter, you may have to think of other financing options such as a bridging loan (a short-term loan), cash (if you have the money available), or a joint venture (if you have an investment partner).
And while we’re talking money, before exchanging any contracts, you need to budget, budget, and budget again. A property renovation is costly at the best of times but restoring a dilapidated property can feel like a black hole of endless expense. Make sure you set yourself a sensible budget and have a contingency fund in case of unexpected costs.
Getting a surveyor to inspect a potential property seems obvious, but when buying a run-down property, you’ll need more than a basic condition survey or HomeBuyer report. To be extra safe and to understand exactly what you’re buying, organise a Building Survey. This will examine the structural make-up of the property and make recommendations for repairs and potential costs. Don’t skimp on this stage of the purchase, as a surveyor can uncover issues you weren’t aware of and save you thousands of pounds.
If you’ve got plans to extend your doer-upper, be sure to do your research. Some properties are sold with planning permission while some benefit from permitted development. If your purchase has neither, keep in mind that planning is a time-consuming (and expensive) road to travel. This could hold up your renovation dreams, so you need to get the process started as soon as you exchange.
Top tip: Look at neighbouring properties to see what type of extensions have been given permission in the past.
Quotes and professionals
Whether you’re hiring a contractor to manage the renovation or want to project manage yourself, get the right team on board. Meet different builders, ask lots of questions, and make sure you outline exactly what you want done. Heed professional advice, they know what they’re doing. You may also need an architect’s advice and it might be worth speaking to the local planning department for extra information.
To find your dream restoration project speak to us at Richard James.