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How To Find A Property To Renovate

how to find a property to renovate

Anyone who has sat through mid morning television on a weekday will know that the renovation of homes for profit or enjoyment is one of the nation’s pastimes. It’s a topic of conversation at parties and one of the things we love to do - a country of avid DIYers.

But finding that elusive property that fits all of the renovation boxes can be tricky and getting it right in terms of money, location, timing and results can seem like nothing more than good luck. But there are a few ways you can find the right property for your needs and who knows, the perfect home might be waiting for you...

Why Renovate?

In recent years, the housing market has slowed considerably from its heyday just 5 to 10 years ago. It is no longer possible to make money on a property by simply waiting for the market. It seems that the market is just as likely to go down as it is likely to go up. So we need to think more laterally. Renovation is one way to do this.

There are many reasons why people choose to renovate:

●    Affordability - A home that needs to be renovated is likely to be cheaper than one where all the work has been completed.
●    Location - Choosing a home in need of repair can mean that you can afford a location that may have been out of your reach before. As they say: choose the worst home in the best street.
●    Customisation - None of us have the same tastes and yet many homes built in recent years fit a very homogenous style. A home that is in need of updating can allow you to express your own personality and change it to meet your needs.
●    Love - You may simply have fallen in love with a property due to its character, its looks, its location or the space. Taking on a building that needs a bit of TLC can be a labour of love for some and is as good a reason as any.
●    Profit - Perhaps you have just spotted a bargain? If you are willing to do the work, a property that needs complete renovation can be a money maker. You can buy it cheap, spend some money on it and then sell at a profit. Many people earn a good living doing so.

how to find a property to renovate

Renovation work always takes longer and costs more than you think! Don’t forget that you will need experts for electric and structural work (this is essential for building control sign-off) and unless you are a very good DIYer, you will need help with plumbing, tiling, flooring and painting

Property Renovation: 5 Key Points To Ponder

Before you set out on your derelict home hunt, you need to understand a few key facts about home renovation and some of these can be costly to misunderstand.

●    Homes that are in conservation areas, are listed or have covenants may require planning permission for any changes (both inside and out). This is likely to cost more money and will add time to your project. In some cases you may find the restrictions are too much to make the project worthwhile.
●    Leasehold properties may require leaseholders permission for any changes - especially layout and exterior changes. Check all of this before your purchase.
●    Renovation work always takes longer and costs more than you think! Don’t forget that you will need experts for electric and structural work (this is essential for building control sign-off) and unless you are a very good DIYer, you will need help with plumbing, tiling, flooring and painting.
●    Remember that banks really don’t like to lend on properties that do not have a working kitchen or bathroom - nor those with non-standard construction. So have your finances in place if you really want to start with a clean slate.
●    You may also need to work closely with your building regulations officer and the council over things like drains, extensions, electrics, energy conservation, change of use and more. This all adds time and expense.

Still keen? Now’s the time to find that gorgeous new property!

how to find a property to renovate

Websites such as renovateme.co.uk, propertytorenovate.co.uk and self-build.co.uk are great places to start when looking for a suitable property. These and other specialist sites list properties that may not otherwise be suitable for standard listings

How To Find A Property To Renovate: 6 Savvy Suggestions

There are number of ways that you can find a property that needs work. Some are more inventive than others. Here's 6 savvy suggestions to give your property renovation project a helping hand...

Savvy Suggestion #1: Property Search Sites:

Anyone who has ever searched for a new property will be familiar with Rightmove, Zoopla and other aggregate sites that bring together all the properties in your area that are available. It is simply a case of going through these and finding those that are in need of renovation.

These sites do not list “doer uppers” as a separate category, however the use of photos can be really helpful in identifying those properties that meet your criteria. You will also want to take note of homes that seem inexpensive by the standards of similar properties in the area. They will be cheap for a reason.

Savvy Suggestion #2: Specialist Sites:

Websites such as renovateme.co.uk, propertytorenovate.co.uk and self-build.co.uk are great places to start when looking for a suitable property. These and other specialist sites list properties that may not otherwise be suitable for standard listings.

Many of these sites are aimed at investors who do this for a living - but you can find some gems that will work for those of us with less experience.

how to find a property to renovate

If you spot a house that clearly needs some work, you may find that dropping them a note or knocking on the door might be the start of a private sale

Savvy Suggestion #3: Auctions:

Auctions are the places where people sell their home when all else has failed, so bargains are certainly available. Many of these homes are either in a very poor state, requiring major work, or they are part of a bank or marital dispute or they do not qualify for normal lending.

Mostly, the owners just want a quick and hassle-free sale. If you are in a position to move fast on a property, this is an excellent route to take.

Savvy Suggestion #4: Leafleting and Visiting:

You might be surprised how many people feel trapped in their home because they cannot afford to improve it prior to a sale. If you spot a house that clearly needs some work, you may find that dropping them a note or knocking on the door might be the start of a private sale.

Many people don’t know what their home is worth and might welcome having a property that has fallen into disrepair taken off their hands.

how to find a property to renovate

No matter how you find your home to renovate, you will need to be prepared for frustration, expense and a lack of time. However the result can be impressive and profits can make it all worthwhile

Savvy Suggestion #5: Registry Records: 

If you have spied a run down property that seems empty, you can sometimes find the owner by looking at registration records.

It is relatively cheap (just a few pounds) to do so and you can then approach the owner directly to ask if they would think about selling. Asking neighbours is another way to track down the owner.

Savvy Suggestion #6: Local Councils:

Some councils run special schemes designed to encourage people to take on derelict homes and breathe new life into them. Many have a list of houses that are either privately or publicly owned that they would like to sell to people who will carry out the necessary work.

Some schemes offer loans for the work which are repaid when the house is sold or remortgaged. Your council might also be running a regeneration scheme for an entire area and could be selling old homes at a much reduced rate. Visit your council website to find out.

No matter how you find your home to renovate, you will need to be prepared for frustration, expense and a lack of time. However the result can be impressive and profits can make it all worthwhile. Dedication is always a good thing, and bringing new life to an old building is always good for both urban and rural areas. Having the home of your dreams will keep you forging ahead.