If you are an avid watcher of home renovation shows on TV, you may harbour desires to purchase your own fixer-upper in need of a bit of love and attention. You might want to gut the place, renovate the rooms and transform the shell of a building into your dream family home. While your rose tinted spectacles and romanticised vision for the dwelling is admirable, it may not be realistic. Fixer uppers can quickly turn from future homes into never ending money pits. Take a look at these reasons why you shouldn’t purchase a fixer-upper.
Although the structure may have looked sound from the roadside, if you didn’t have a survey carried out on the property there could be a multitude of underlying problems. The foundations of the building could have cracked, be suffering from movement or need underpinning. Making the building structurally safe and sound needs to be a number one priority and could cost you thousands of pounds and weeks of your time before you’ve even thought about venturing into the house.
If your fixer-upper has been through the wars, has been unloved or is a couple of hundred years old, it will have many sad stories to tell. You must always look up and assess the state of the roof. This is another area of the exterior of the building that needs rectifying should there be any leaks, cracked tiles or holes. You don’t want to risk damp penetrating your future dream home just because you were eager to fit your new designer kitchen or work on the cosy vibe of your living room before sorting out more important issues.
As your property is probably period, the pipework will be period too. After a time of no occupation, the gas and water pipes can become blocked or broken through lack of use. You must try and assess the condition of the pipes before turning on the utilities. Nevertheless, the cost of calling out an emergency plumbing service to fix your pipes speedily will be a lot less than if you ran the tap and created a biblical flood within your four walls. Ensuring that the utilities in the house function properly is paramount.
Many people who purchase a fixer-upper underestimate the amount of time the work will take. You are not simply giving a room a fresh lick of paint, installing a new kitchen and putting down some carpet. A full renovation involves applying to building control, knocking down walls and managing untold numbers of tradespeople. The stress can be immense and the financial burden huge. It’s important that you have a budget and you stick to it otherwise you may find that you end up spending more on buying the place and the subsequent renovation than the completed home is actually worth.
While purchasing a renovation project can be a worthwhile investment, you must make sure that you’re prepared for the time, effort and hard work involved. If not, you might not be best suited to purchasing a fixer-upper.