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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: July 15, 2022

If you’ve ever been tempted to purchase a property that needs a lot of work, we salute you! It’s not easy and can put a strain on you and your finances. However there’s no feeling like coming back to a home which has your fingerprints all over it, making use of all the space you have efficiently and in your style.

Work out your budget
Before anything else you need to figure out what you can afford. The less the property cost, the more you will save on stamp duty. The issue with this can be the lower the property price, the more work could need doing so it’s vital the get the right balance. You may also need to account for any unexpected costs as the property could have a few more things you didn’t anticipate. Consider whether you will do the work yourself, or if you’ll need extra professional help when starting the renovations. You might be able to get that extra balance included in your mortgage to cover any costs needed for workers on the property.

It sounds odd, but when viewing a renovation project consider taking a builder or surveyor with you. Doing this could help get a more accurate estimate of the renovation costs and although having the professional help might cost you on the day, it could save you money longer term. Advice can also then be given if the renovation requires planning permission. Ultimately having this understanding might help you make a decision on whether this is the right project for you.

Making an offer
If you can afford the project, is it still the right move? Make sure you don’t want to underestimate the hard work. Be prepared to get your hands dirty, it won’t look pretty for a while but the end result could be worth it. It’s probably best to go over those numbers four or five times and add 10% or 20% to your costs to cover anything unexpected.

Building work, planning and building regulations

When an offer has been accepted organising a full building survey from a qualified building surveyor will most likely be needed, especially for bigger projects. This may show up any potential issues you need to go back to the seller on and come to an any agreement over.

Then there’s the design. If you’re planning on extending, significantly remodelling or maybe even building from scratch it could be worth getting an architect on board. A quantity surveyor might be an option at this point to help manage your finances. Getting you the exact costs and negotiating to prevent you paying over the odds.

Whether you’ve decided to do the work yourself or you’re outsourcing to professionals, there are rules around planning and building regulations to be aware of. Make sure you check the Local Authority Building Control website (also England and Wales) to see what work will need approval.

FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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