How to Find a Property in Need of Renovation

Property in the process of being renovatedBuying a property in need of renovation can be an affordable opportunity to create the home of your dreams, so it’s no surprise that many people are on the lookout for homes in need of renovation. Aside from providing you with the chance to create your ideal house, properties in need of renovation are also a great way to make a bit of cash, providing you can buy low and renovate on budget of course! Our guide to home renovation costs would be a good place to start and covers the following main areas: garden and landscaping, home exterior, home interior, and other common renovations.

Finding Properties for Renovation

Thinking of renovating an old house? Here’s how to find one:

  • The best place to start is with your local estate agent, visit them and have a chat about the sort of property you’re after. Often estate agents don’t want to clog up their windows with less desirable houses, so just because you can’t spot any in the window doesn’t mean they don’t have any on their books. It’s worth being 100% honest with your estate agent about your budget and just how much of a project you are looking for, this will save both of you time.
  • Check out popular property websites to get an idea of prices and areas, most of these sites offer pictures of the exterior and interior of a property to give you an idea of the scale of the project before you book a viewing. It’s worth checking these sites daily, as many different estate agents use them and upload fresh properties on a daily basis.
  • Another option is to check the local papers for house listings. Whilst there may be less pictures (in some cases none at all) the description will usually give you an idea of the scale of the project, and if not you can always ring the contact up and enquire about it.
  • Auction houses are a great way to find an old house in need of renovation and sometimes – though not always – you can scoop up a bargain too. It doesn’t matter whether the seller is a private individual, a mortgage company or housing association; auction houses are renowned for shifting rundown properties quickly.
  • If you are moving to a new area it is worth getting to know it and the community quite well, as this will be of great help on your search for a renovation project. For example a local might be able to point in the direction of a derelict building that has been empty for years or the pub landlord might let you know he is thinking of selling up. This insider knowledge is useful when competition for renovation properties is tough!

Look Outside the Box

Don’t limit your search to residential houses; there are plenty of other opportunities out there waiting to be grabbed. Pubs, cafes, offices and so on can all be bought and changed into residential homes with a bit of imagination and the go ahead from your Local Authority.

Pubs are hot property at the moment. With the rise of cheap supermarket booze and the smoking ban many pubs are going out of business and selling up. Whilst this is a sad time for pubs, it’s a good chance to snap up a renovation project and transform it into somewhere special to call home.

How to Assess Renovation Potential

Before you make an offer on a renovation property, it is important that you assess its potential as a renovation project. This will help you to select the correct project and give you a realistic outlook of the scope of the property, as well as the amount of money you could make by renovating it.

  • Home Extension: one of the most obvious ways to increase the value of a property is to extend the living quarters. This could be done by extending a bungalow to a two-storey house, by extending the downstairs outwards or by converting a loft or basement. Creating extra living space quickly increase the property, as quite simply, bigger properties cost more!
  • Transform interior: sometimes all a house needs is a little TLC to take it from undesirable to desirable. If you can see past mould and gauche 70’s décor, then you could be onto a winner. Gutting kitchens and bathrooms can be quite expensive, so look out for properties that are in need of mainly cosmetic work. If you are so inclined, you can hire an interior designer to help.
  • Car parking: if the property has the potential to add off-road parking, then there is the potential to make some money on it, particularly if it is in an area where off-road parking comes at a premium. The best bit? You don’t need planning permission, providing the new driveway uses a permeable or porous material which allows for adequate drainage. Or if the rainwater is directed to a lawn to drain away naturally.
  • Remodel: if extending the property isn’t feasible, then think about remodelling it. Often there is plenty of wasted space in properties that could be much better utilised by knocking a wall or two down and rejigging a few doors to create a much more liveable layout.
  • Further development: if you’re looking at a properties for sale in need of renovation, check out the plots they’re on too. If it is big enough there may be room to further develop. For example, you could subdivide it to create another plot.  You’d need to check this out with your local authority first, but by doing so you could make enough money to renovate the property, so it’s worth considering.

Renovation Properties for Sale UK

So to recap, the best ways to find a property for renovation in the UK include:

  • Asking your local estate agent
  • Checking auction houses
  • Scouring property websites
  • Reading your local paper

It might take a while to find your perfect renovation project and whilst it might be tempting to up your budget or take on a bigger project then you anticipated, it is worth sticking to your guns as something will come up eventually.

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