Many of us dream of a period home that we’ve purchased for a steal and renovated to fit our exact requirements, giving us a great resale prospect the future. But renovations are seldom as simple as they seem. Here are some factors to consider before you commit.
Evaluate your situation
Before even considering taking on a renovation, take a reality check; can your finances handle the expense? Many renovation projects will overrun on budget and/or time, so you’ll need to know exactly how much you’ve got to spend in an ideal scenario, and what you can stretch to if things don’t go as planned.
Research the area
Before picking a property based on the charm of the building alone, make sure to take a thorough look around the local area of the location you’re considering to ensure that you’re making a sound investment. Take into consideration aspects like zoning – don’t forget to check flood zone areas – local schools, amenities, transport links, and planned future projects that could change the prospects of the property. All of these things will affect both your quality of life if you choose to live in the house, and the resale value.
Find a property
Now take yourself to a reliable and experienced estate agent that specialises in the area you’re considering, and tell them what you’re looking for, as well as your budget. They’re best positioned to get the early scoop on properties coming on the market, and are able to evaluate the potential of projects that become available.
Get a survey
Once you’ve got a property in your sights, and are seriously considering it as a viable prospect, get a full structural survey done. Although this won’t exhaustively highlight the expenditure required and major issues that need fixing (like the roof, foundation, plumbing, and electrics), it’s a good starting point.
If the property is still appealing once you know what needs doing to get it to the state that you want, get a full valuation of exactly how much this is going to cost. Unless you’re a professional yourself, it’s a good idea to hire an architect to undertake this step for you. Cost up materials and labour, and consider employing the services of a project manager for major renovations. If you’re planning to do the work yourself, don’t forget to factor in the time you’ll have to take off work to get the renovations done: serious projects are not for amateurs or the faint of heart!
Throughout the process, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your estate agent to keep track of the end goal – creating a house that’s not only a joy to live in, but that also has good potential and real resale value. Tap their experience to find out what’s selling well in the area, what design features are popular, and what you can do to enhance the eventual resale value of the property.