The Pros And Cons Of Buying A House That Needs Work

Photo by Scott Rodgerson on Unsplash

The trend for actually staying put and renovating is on the up according to statistics. A little look at Kirsty and Phil’s Love It Or List It on Channel 4 and you’ll see that plenty of people choose not to move house at all, and instead they improve their home to the point where it meets all their requirements.

If you have decided you definitely don’t want to stay put and you want to move, you will be faced with the age-old question: to renovate, or buy a property that doesn’t need work?

Dealing with a property that requires renovation is a project of dedication and patience. The house you move into will not be ready to live in, so you need to be truly into the idea of working towards your dream home. With the right adjustments and plan, renovating can truly pay off eventually. However, renovating isn’t always the best route for everybody. Financially it is a big commitment and the process of renovating can be just that bit too stressful to make it worth it. Can you put a price on moving straight into a property that is totally ready to make memories in?

The best thing to do is weigh up the pros and the cons so that you can work out if a renovation project is the right thing for you:

The Pros Of Buying A Renovation Project

It Is All Down To You

With a renovation project, everything comes down to you. You choose how things are designed, the colour schemes, the quality of materials used. Sure, there are properties out there that are finished, but is anything finished exactly how you would finish it? Renovation gives you the control and flexibility a finished home doesn’t. 

The Costs Can Match

The cost of renovating a home to be your dream home can match the total cost of a finished home. As long as you are savvy and clever about the kind of issues you accept a home with, the total costs of a ready home and an unfinished home can level out so, the financial risk isn’t particularly challenging. In fact, at the end of the renovation, you might even find your property has increased its value beyond your expectations. Statistics say that the average cost of renovation is £23,000 with the majority of that money being spent doing up the kitchen. If you have purchased a property that was well under the asking price, it doesn’t take much work to increase its value. 

Control Over Your Own Timeline

Sure, you can’t instantly start living a complete life in your unfinished house, but you do have control over your own timeline. You can do one room up to live in, and then wait to add tiles, flooring and a new suite to the bathroom. You can take your time collecting reclaimed pieces for your dream kitchen. As long as the structure is sound, the property can wait until you’re ready for the work that you want to do.

Photo by Stephanie Watters Flores on Unsplash

The Cons Of Buying A Renovation Project

Costs Can Spiral

Costs can spiral when you renovate, usually either because of unexpected issues with the house that drain your budget or because certain things cost a little more than you expected. Studies show that most renovators begin with an idea of £16,000 as a budget but 18% expect to spend £25,000. What’s more, 40% overshoot their original budget and not just by money either, with 35% seeing their projects overrun by 3 months. 

The Property Might Not Be Worth As Much As You Spent On It

It is possible your renovation will not be worth what you paid to buy it and renovate it. Eventually, it will increase in value to match your investment, but it might make time. If you’re considering a resale, it is important to budget really tightly to make sure you don’t spend more than you’ll get back. If you aren’t selling on, it is a case of it being a labour of love that increases in value over time. 

Quality Of Life Has To Take A Backseat

There’s no getting around the fact that your life at home will not be a walk in the park for a while. If you cannot live elsewhere whilst the work is being done, you may have to use a toilet tent in the garden or cook on a camping hob for a few weeks. You will get used to stocking up the builder’s tray with biscuits and teabags. You’ll have an end-goal in your sights but during the renovation, it can be very challenging for a couple to cope with, and especially a family with children. 

Some people look for a beautiful place, others make a place beautiful.

Hazrat Inayat Khan

Renovating a home can have an incredible payoff, but the process is not for everyone. Educate yourself, speak to as many people about it as possible, seek relevant information and utilise any resources to hand. The more informed you are, the better prepared you’ll be for this incredible journey to a dream home that you absolutely love.

About the author

Anneka has been writing for five years after deciding she wanted the chance to travel and live the freelance life. She loves writing, photography, nature and yoga.

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