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Buying a property that requires extensive renovations can be a great way to find an affordable home in an ideal location, but is it really worth all of the trouble?
For first homebuyers in particular, one of the problems with buying a renovator’s delight is that they may not know what they’re getting themselves into. There are a lot of costs involved in renovating an entire home, including time, hard work and money.
It’s very easy to overcapitalise when renovating. In general, it’s recommended not to spend more than 5% of the purchase price of the property on renovations. If, for example, you’ve spent $600,000 on your property, then you should be aiming to spend no more than $30,000 on renovations.
When there is an entire house to renovate, $30,000 can be burnt through very quickly, so you might need to prioritise the areas that need the most work or that will add the most value, such as a new kitchen and bathroom.
Can the property be lived in as-is?
Buyers considering a renovator’s delight should not only consider the costs but whether or not the renovations need to be done right away. If you won’t have the cash upfront to renovate then it’s best to look for a property that’s liveable in its current state to give you time to plan and save.
When looking for a property consider its safety and ensure you get a professional building and pest inspection carried out so you know of any issues right away and have the funds available for immediate repairs if they’re needed.
Overall, the best advice is to carry out your own independent research on a property before jumping in headfirst. Renovating isn’t for everyone so be aware of your capabilities and whether or not you’re willing to live in a half-finished property while renovations are taking place.
If you have the funds and the renovating know-how though, then buying a doer-upper could be a great way to find a hidden gem in your favourite neighbourhood.