Just over two years ago my husband and I were house hunting for our first home in the UK. We quickly realized that we wouldn’t be able to get what we wanted. To get a decent sized property we had to make a compromise and decided to take on a home renovation project.
Making this decision increased the number of potential properties. But we also had to take our budget into consideration which would determine the size of the project we were willing to take on. One of the houses that we looked at had tremendous potential but there was a large crack in one of the load bearing walls. This put us off immediately as structural issues can easily escalate in cost.
To help us make a decision, we categorized renovation projects according to our own scale. This was determined by online research for a rough estimate of some of the costs such as paint, flooring, bathroom and kitchen renovations. Each level is differentiated by cost and the amount of work required:
- Painting, some sanding and cosmetic work (no bathroom or kitchen work needed). This is the cheapest option. If you consider yourself a handyman or DIY person then you could possibly do all the work yourself and wouldn’t need a tradesman.
- Small to medium project – Painting, cosmetic work, possible recarpeting or reflooring and either a bathroom or kitchen makeover.
- Medium to large project – all of the above plus both a bathroom and kitchen makeover
- Large project – all of the above plus an extension
To continue with our property search, we were aiming for a small to medium project but with the house we found it turned out to be a medium to large project for us. (Renovation planning tip: Whatever you think you will spend, add on about 20% more to the costs for the unknowns.)
While house hunting try to look past how it currently looks and look for the potential of what it could be. If you’ve done your research and taken all these things into consideration, you’ll be able to make a quicker decision on whether to make an offer in a fast paced housing market. Happy house hunting!