There’s no shortage of run-down, neglected houses on the market that need some TLC. Maybe you fancy having a go at investing in such a property, renovating it and reselling for a profit. Or maybe this is a way of affording a larger place which you can then turn into your dream home. Whatever your motives might be, it’s a rewarding way of breathing life back into derelict buildings, and with the real estate market moving into growth again, it’s a good time to be taking on this kind of project.
Finding the right property
You need to register your interest in this kind of property with local realtors so that you get a heads up on anything that comes onto the market. There are bound to be other people looking for renovation projects, and indeed some businesses revolve around selling renovated houses. Getting to know realtors and agents and building up relationships with them will help you find out about potential projects before they go on general sale, which is a definite advantage! If you know of a place that looks ripe for renovation, see if you can find out who owns it and ask them if they would consider selling. You may get rejected more often than not, but you could well get your foot in the door on some great projects.
Potential problems with renovations
There are many possible problems you could encounter when taking on a house that has been neglected or abandoned. When you first look at a property, see if you can spot any signs of subsidence, see if there could be asbestos present, and check the condition of the structure. Have a look at whether electrical and plumbing systems would need replacing, if new windows or doors are required, and what the sewage systems are like. These job could add significant sums to your costs for the project, so if you are on a tight budget leave these more expensive propositions for the future and find a less demanding place to start. Re-decorating, new carpets or flooring and new kitchens and bathroom suites are the most common requirements for a renovation project and should be included in your budget. You may also have to deal with rats, cockroaches, or other unwanted infestations, so pest control could be a requirement before you start on the building work.
Don’t get carried away
It’s tempting to want to order expensive, luxury kitchens with granite worktops, or hardwood flooring instead of laminate, but before you do you need to make sure you can cover the fundamental requirements and infrastructure repairs on the house before spending on design features. You may come across an unforeseen issue, and as a result, your budget may be squeezed a little more, leaving you short of capital. Get the basics sorted before you splash out on design features, so you have a safe and robust home in place to which you can add some stylish finishing touches.
Renovating is an exciting challenge that may lead to a rewarding and profitable career or the keys to the home you’ve always dreamed of. See what you can find that is ripe for renovation, and bring an old house back to life.