Buying A Fixer-Upper Property

Buying A Fixer-Upper Property

Any time is a good time to buy a fixer-upper property, whether you are buying it to become a family home or to resell again in the future, learning what to look out for will save time and energy in the long run.

There are many homes on the market that could do with a little TLC, and often comes down to taste. It’s always worth investigating how much your bargain will cost to turn around, as first looks can be deceptive. But get past those barriers and know what costs you’re looking at and you’re set to make a good move.

For some people, the thought of moving into a property and work needing to be done is a nightmare! For some, it’s a joy. A recent survey of 2,000 UK home owners suggested that 48% would prefer to move into a property that required no renovation or replacement work at all.

Kitchens and bathrooms are high on the list for renovations which are often the rooms that cause the most upheaval when completing the work. Therefore many people who view a property are likely to choose a property that already has new kitchens or bathrooms.

Many home buyers when questioned have stated that they are willing to up their budget if they can find a property that requires no extra renovations.

So for those people who are actually out there looking for a bargain and a property they can fix up, what should they be looking for?

Resale value

The main point to consider when purchasing any property is the resale value. This means that when it comes to the time you want to sell the property, whether that be in 6 months or 6 years, what return of investment are you going to make? This can be affected by many variables in and out of a property. The best buys are the ones that one wants to buy now but everyone wants to buy once you’re finished!


Location is key for any property, even if you do not indend to live in it yourself. Once you have completed renovations and decide to either sell or rent the property, you will require someone to live there. Location therefore is a plus point, get a good location and it will be easier to find buyers. Have you heard the saying “buy the worst property in the street”? By doing this, you’ll have the most to gain from renovating.

Cosmetics or renovations?

When looking at a property that needs work doing, often the surface of what you can see if not all that needs doing. Consider how much time you want to spend fixing up the property and how much budget you have set aside to do so. Have you got the means to work on a property that requires a lot of renovations / building work, or would you prefer to do more yourself in the way of decoration and cosmetics? There is less risk with cosmetics but more investment in renovations.

Be clear on your budget

Before you set out looking for a fixer-upper property, you need to be clear on your budget. As with anything it can be easy to get carried away and spending to add finishing touches or perfect certain things, but budget should be set from the start, before you even search for a property. Improvements and changes can go on forever, there will be a never ending amount of work that can be done so it’s a good idea to plan and speak to builders or suppliers prior to starting any work or even purchasing a property, to give you an idea of time and costs.

Property layout

A good fixer upper is one that will appeal to a large pool of buyers, think about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the layout, can rooms be swapped around. Three bedroom properties are popular for buyers, suitable for a family, even a four bedroom property too where families are thinking about upsizing.


As you view properties, inspect the conditions that they are in. Some will be worse than others but try to separate the cosmetics from the deeper issues.

  • Damp / mould
  • Peeling wallpaper
  • Old carpets
  • Broken windows
  • Kitchen / bathroom damage
  • Door replacements
  • Exterior painting
  • Fencing

The list can be endless but these can be put into priority order where you can cost each job that’s required.

Get a survey

This should never be something that’s missed when purchasing a property. A survey will highlight all the major jobs and tasks that need doing. A surveyor will not be on the sellers or estate agents side but will offer impartial advice. If you will be taking out a mortgage to purchase the property, most lenders will require to see a survey before agreeing to lend funds.

Buying a fixer upper property can be a fun and exciting time for many and in some circumstances, it’s a way for people to get on the property ladder. Finding a property that requires work means that you can give it a personal touch, make it unique and have fun whilst doing it.

If you’re looking for your next investment or fixer-upper property, be sure to get in touch to see what current homes we have on the market.



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