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how to buy a house that will renovate really well

Look, we realise that the housing market is tough at the moment (to say the least!), but I thought I'd write today about what to look for in a house that you intend to renovate. While it is a bit of a case of "beggars can't be choosers" for some in the market at the moment, if you can tick all or most of these "boxes" you'll be setting yourself up for success (and at least if you can't, you'll be going into your purchase with eyes wide open!)

Consider solar orientation and breezes

There's no house too ugly or too unfunctional for good design to make a difference to, but what we can't change is your aspect. If you can find a house whose longest facades face North/South, rather than East/ West, you've got a great head start in terms of achieving a home that is comfortable, low impact and enjoys great natural daylight and ventilation.

Look for quality of construction and signs of consistent maintenance

Fresh paint and good styling can cover up all manner of "sins" when it comes to both construction and maintenance. Ensure you get a high quality building and pest inspection that incorporates moisture detection and a detailed technical report. Check if you can discretely lift up floor coverings, curtains / blinds to check out what's underneath and always keep an eye out for signs of mould, corrosion and water damage.

Buy something that hasn't been "tinkered with" too much.

Unskilled or incremental renovation really can be the downfall of an otherwise decent house. Undoing the work of others can put a costly dent in your budget and often reveals additional layers of cost, such as non-compliant construction, wiring or water proofing, putting renovators even further "behind" before they even start. The older and more original a home is, the more "honest" it will tend to be.

Look for special qualities

When renovating, if the brief is purely a list of negatives we need to overcome, or if we are trying to overcome the "essential nature" of a house, it can be really hard to get a project to stack up and represent value for money. If you're keen to renovate and make a home "your own", it's really important that there are things you love about the house you start out with. It might be an old granny house, but the dappled light in the living room is really beautiful and the garden has a couple of really special established trees, or the interiors are awful but the bones are good. A few elements you love go a really long way!


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