The way the property market is right now, it’s really important to think outside the square if you want to upgrade or even to buy your first home.

Buying a property that is ripe for renovation is a great way to get your foot in the door if you’re struggling to find exactly what you want at the price you can afford.

But buying a fixer-upper isn’t for the faint-hearted. It’s good to know a little about what you’re looking at or have some expert advice on hand.

Some basic tips that we’ve learned over the years include:

  1. Start by figuring out how far you’re willing to go. Will you need to renovate while living in the home or do you have the capacity to rent while you renovate? If the house needs complete gutting and you’ll be without a bathroom or kitchen for an extended period of time, you’ll need to rent, go on holidays or stay with friends or family. If you can plan it out, work in stages and you’re happy to live in a construction zone for a while then you may not need to factor rental costs into your budget. But be realistic about what you’re willing and able to do.
  2. Find a floor plan that’s not too far from your ideal. There are a few benefits to this. Firstly, the fewer changes to the floor plan, the less likely you are to need council approval (but always check with your local council first). Secondly, the less expensive it will be if you don’t need to knock down walls, re-route plumbing and re-do electrical wiring.
  3. Can you live in it for a while? It’s always good to live in your new home for a while before you start changing everything. Ideally, it’s great to experience every season in your home so you can see how lighting and temperature, etc changes with the season. It’s also good just to “sit” and feel what’s right and what’s wrong with the home without the pressure of a timetable.

While the thought of renovating can make some people run for the hills, it can be exciting to others because you get to have exactly what you want in your home.

Maybe rather than buying a new home, you can just renovate your existing home.

If we can help with new loans, refinancing or construction loans, we’d love to chat.