September 2, 2020Property News, Sales

Ready to take on a wreck or renovation?

Lockdown has given us all time to think about our future plans – and plenty of time to watch TV! If you’ve been revisiting Grand Designs or George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, you may have ignited a desire to take on a wreck or renovation project as your next property.

Well, now might be the best time to make your move. The Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday – which has made homes priced at £500,000 or less stamp-duty free and those over this value up to £15,000 cheaper to purchase – is leaving home movers with more cash to splash.

Research by Checkatrade.com has revealed that 14% of Brits are looking to take advantage of the stamp duty change by moving home soon and they will collectively save £38.1 billion if they complete their property purchases by 31st March 2021 – the date when the temporary tax holiday is due to end.

The findings also discovered any new-found financial reserves are destined for home improvements. Three in five purchasers (59%) said they’d be more likely to buy a ‘doer upper’, with their confidence and budgets boosted by the stamp duty saving. In fact, a third of buyers (33%) will reinvest the money saved in a property they are buying straight away.

On the list of immediate renovations are new kitchens, refitted bathrooms and loft conversions, with the creation of both indoor and outdoor workspaces also in the planning, all thanks to bolstered improvement budgets. 

Top 5 considerations when buying a wreck or renovation project

Buying a property that needs work or modernisation may be possible thanks to the current stamp duty savings but it’s wise to do your homework before making an offer. Knowing what costs lie ahead and understanding the complexity of works will ensure you don’t make a costly mistake. Here are 5 things to consider before you buy:-

  1. Start with finances: although you will have a new nest egg thanks to a stamp duty saving, securing a mortgage for a wreck or renovation may need a specialist lender. As well as evidence of a deposit, they may also require proof of funds to finance improvements that will bring the property up to an open-market value. 
  2. Book a detailed pre-purchase survey: knowing the difference between a superficial crack and serious subsidence is essential. Opt for an in-depth survey that looks at the structure of the building so you’re prepared. Once any defects are identified, get a specialist trade in to quote for rectifying, replacing and repairing.
  3. Plan where you will live: if you’re buying a real wreck, it may not be possible to live in the dwelling while work is ongoing. You may use your stamp duty savings to rent a property during the project or buy a caravan for the garden, in the style of Grand Designs. Don’t forget, you’ll have to budget for mortgage repayments on your new home as well as renovation costs and potentially monthly rent.
  4. Familiarise yourself with planning rules: permitted development rights are due to change in September 2020, and you may even be able to turn an old shop or café into a residential dwelling. The age, location, type and listed status of a property you buy, however, will impact what changes can be made. It’s essential to contact the local council’s planning department to establish any restrictions before you make an offer.
  5. Be realistic about what you can do yourself: even the most confident DIY-er may be out of their league when it comes to more construction-based and structural projects. Know your limits and budget to hire professionals, when required.

From properties that need a cosmetic refresh or easy update through to un-extended examples and untouched relics from the past, we regularly sell homes that would make great projects, all within a sliding scale of commitment and involvement. Get in touch to start your buying journey.

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