Buying a fixer-upper is one way to create a dream home in a desirable location that you can afford. However, it can be tricky to decide what renovator to buy.
You don’t want to end up with a property that needs more work than you thought, forcing you to go over your budget. To avoid this problem, it’s important that you know what to look out for in a renovator. Here are some things to consider:
A property that has "good bones" can minimise the cost of your renovation. You want a fixer-upper that still has solid foundations, roofing and walls. Check for evidence of pest infection, crumbling plaster or concrete, and cracks in walls. Better yet, get a building and pest inspection report.
Renovators are often old houses where the floor plan is chopped into several small rooms. You might find this outdated and want to knock down walls to open up an open plan living space, or expand a room. While this is possible, make sure that there are no wires or pipes running through the walls to avoid serious problems. Moreover, some locations may need a council approval so be sure to consult with your local council before you make any structural modifications.
3. Building materials
Some building materials used in older houses are different from those used today so it might be difficult to get new parts that will fit with the original materials. Also, if the home is made of wood it will be easier to remove walls and other fixtures. Brick homes may cost more to renovate. Make sure to choose a property with building materials that make it easy to renovate.
4. Doors and windows
Don’t overlook these parts of the house. They are surprisingly expensive to update. Replacing windows for a four-bedroom home can cost upwards of $20,000. Before buying, estimate first how much refurbishing the doors and windows will cost. If these are still in good condition, you can repaint them at a cheaper cost.
5. Electrical, plumbing, and heating
The appearance of the house is not your only concern when looking for a renovator. You should also pay attention to the function of the house. Issues include whether the electrical wiring is still in place, if there are leaks in the plumbing, and if the air-conditioning or heating is in good shape.
There are so many possibilities with a renovator that, with the right vision and decisions you can build your dream house on a budget. For financing be sure to check out our construction loan product which is purpose-designed for builders and renovators.