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Finding the Perfect Property to Renovate

By: Rachel Collier - Updated: 30 Apr 2010 | comments*Discuss
Renovate Property Buying Property

So you’ve decided to take on a renovation project, but what sort of property should you look for? It can be difficult to identify what to snap up and what to leave well alone. Our guide to finding the perfect property to renovate will help you to avoid some common pitfalls and safeguard your investment.

To buy, or Not to Buy?

One of the first things to check when you see a property that you think might be ripe for renovation is how long it’s been on the market. If it’s been hanging around on an estate agent’s books for a while there’s probably a good reason. The property renovation market has taken off in recent years, so as a general rule good prospects with profit potential are snapped up quickly. If profit isn’t your main motivator, however, you could find just what you’re looking for and grab yourself a bargain amongst those properties that other investors have left alone.

Location, Location, Location

It’s also a good idea to interrogate your estate agent about the local property market. There’s no point sinking your hard-earned cash into a renovation project in an area where no-one wants to live. You’re much better off buying in a buoyant, sought after area.

Be Prepared

This is a tip for everyone from the first time renovator to the seasoned property developer: know what you’re buying. Have a good look at potential purchases, inside and out if you can. The last thing you want to do is throw your money away on a place that’s outside the scope of your budget or ability. Seek advice from the experts, particularly in areas where you don’t have experience. Gathering a few estimates and opinions from tradesmen before you buy will ensure you go into the project with your eyes open, and avoid unforeseen problems.

A Wise Move

Make sure you buy according to your level of experience, so don’t go for a gutted shell if you’ve previously never ventured beyond repainting a bedroom. It’s great to set yourself a challenge, but remember that your renovation project is something that needs to fit around your lifestyle and existing commitments. If you already work in a busy, demanding job, do you really want to spend all your precious free time renovating? Start small and work your way up. You might develop a real taste for property developing, in which case there will be lots of opportunity to make more ambitious plans.

Financial Matters

It can be easy to get carried away when you buy any property, whether to renovate or to make your home. It goes without saying that setting a budget and incorporating a contingency fund is critical, and it’s equally critical that you stick to it. We’ve all heard stories of over-ambitious property developers who’ve had to remortgage their own homes or used credit cards to manage avoidable extra costs. The idea is to make money, not spiral towards financial ruin.

Finding the perfect property to renovate isn’t difficult, but it’s an easy thing to misjudge. Once you’ve secured the right property for the right price you’ll be well on your way to a really satisfying, exciting new venture.

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