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The Pros and Cons of Buying a Renovation Property In Bath

Posted on 19th December 2022 by The Aussie Team
The Pros and Cons of Buying a Renovation Property In Bath

There’s a huge appetite for people who want to get into the property ladder. However, many renters struggle to transition from tenant to homeowner, often through no fault of their own. The recent cost of living crises has exasperated the situation further. Now the upfront deposit and repayment rates have shot above inflation.

There are some options open to first-time buyers and low-income earners. Even considering things like housing schemes, most will find it an obstacle too many to overcome. That’s why hundreds of people are actively pursuing fixer-up buildings to cut costs. Aussie will examine the pros and cons of doing this in this article.

Contents

  • The Challenges You’ll Face When Finding Affordable Properties
  • The Pros and Cons of Renovating and Property Development
  • Where Can You Find Renovation Projects?
  • Are There Other Options like Housing Schemes?
  • Do You Need Planning Permission to Renovate?
  • Is It Possible to Skip Costly Surveys and Inspections?
  • How Can I Save Money When Starting a Renovation?
  • Aussie Man & Van – Helping People Become Homeowners in Bath

The Challenges You’ll Face When Finding Affordable Properties

For most of us, owning a home is a worthy aspiration we hope to achieve at around age thirty. However, the gap that lies between hope and reality is formidable and plentiful. The veneer of the British dream of hardworking people who will one day be asset-rich is fading. People are more aware than ever that attaining this standard is trickier than it should be.

That said, all is not lost – a shift in collective opinion will push new agendas. It’ll be interesting to see whether rent will eventually factor into affordability calculations. In the meantime, options are available for first-time buyers and low-income earners. And wherever there’s a challenge, Aussie will do what we can to highlight potential solutions.

We want to see more people fulfil their dreams of homeownership in 2023 and beyond. It’s no surprise that we believe Bath is a wonderful destination for this – read more about this here. Let’s begin our quest by listing the pros and cons of renovation properties. You can weigh up whether this is the right choice for you.

The Pros and Cons of Renovating and Property Development

Since DIY SOS and Grand Designs became a staple of UK television, the idea of fixing up properties has been in the collective mindset. It’s easy to see why – it feels like you’re doing research when watching these programs. And the appeal of finding a bargain is something most of us will see in a positive light.

However, underneath the success stories are many other failures, and the occasional one airs on TV. It will help if you approach with a healthy dose of pessimism and optimism in equal measure. Here’s an overview of the pros and cons of property renovations:

Pros – 

  • Lower cost of the purchase in comparison to similar properties in the area.
  • Favourable stamp duty is in line with the property’s current value.
  • Potential value increases from the point of purchase and after the project concludes.

Tailormade home from scratch to match your exact preferences and style.

Available properties for you to find online or at auctions.

No barrier to entry for people who want to start house flipping.

Cons – 

  • Budget issues when it’s not calculated thoroughly.
  • Limited financial options for lending. Banks and mortgage brokers will be more hesitant.
  • DIY the project without the necessary experience.
  • Stress-related issues when project managing and trying to live a normal life.
  • Increased monthly outgoings when you’re paying a mortgage and rent.

Where Can You Find Renovation Projects?

Now that we have a better idea of fixer-up properties’ ups and downs let’s assume we’re leaning towards giving this a go. You’ll need to know where to find buildings that need a bit of TLC and are below market value. Fortunately, we’re here to provide you with some starting points.

Dedicated Online Platforms – To better understand what types of properties are available, we suggest starting with Trovit and Property to Renovate. These websites have a similar layout to estate agents with images and some of the specifications. They’ll also note any viewings or auction dates.

An Experienced Estate Agent – Send a few emails to estate agents in any areas you’re looking at. If any that respond positively and note that they have experience finding renovation properties, it’s worth getting them on board. They can filter out unsuitable places and collate viewings and ask the right questions regarding any inspections.

Property Auction Houses – The final point you can explore is auction houses. There are ones you can attend in person or via an online auction. Most auctioneers provide plenty of information before the bidding starts.

We suggest combining all three suggestions to spread your efforts. You can always have an estate agent there and send them any leads.

Are There Other Options like Housing Schemes?

Another option you should do some research on is housing schemes. In response to growing unease at the rate of new homeowners and the endless tenancy cycle, the government introduced measures to reduce deposit costs and other components that price many people out of the market. You can read the options here to see if you’re eligible for any.

Unfortunately, the push to build new developments via the now defunct Start Home scheme is unlikely to return. Additionally, applications for the Help to Buy Equity Loan and the Help to Buy ISA are no longer active. However, Shared Ownership, Help to Build, Lifetime ISA, Right to Buy, and Right to Acquire are available.

Our advice is to do plenty of research and keep looking for updates as schemes tend to change. Contact anyone with links to these schemes to see if you’re eligible before property scouting. Then do specific searches for properties which promote them, as many link to relevant schemes when they advertise them.

Do You Need Planning Permission to Renovate?

This is a bit of a yes-and-no question and answer. If your renovation remains within the property’s boundary & the dimensions remain the same – technically, you don’t. But we wouldn’t suggest assuming this is true – we guarantee your neighbours will question this if you don’t. The last thing you want is to start having issues with planning permission, so it’s better to be transparent from the start.

Instead of taking chances, you should discuss this directly with the relevant local authorities. Additionally, you can utilise the Planning Portal tool to see what the results are. You can continue planning and costing the project while this happens. We would also suggest discussing your plans with a builder and architect.

Ultimately, each building and the property boundaries are unique. You might have a perfectly sound structure but later find the ground or foundations unstable. Or the building and groundworks are intact, but the plumbing and electrics are ancient. Without an accurate picture of the property, it’s anyone’s guess.

Is It Possible to Skip Costly Surveys and Inspections?

This leads to our final point and potentially the most important to get right. The quick answer is that it’s unwise, if not impossible, to avoid arranging for surveys and inspections to take place. It’s the only way to assess the property’s current state accurately. While they’re not cheap, the problem that can arise by bypassing them aren’t worth it.

To save you some time – here are the main reports to consider:

RICS Condition Report – this report pays specific attention to significant defects. People tend to go with this option for newer houses that are at a decent level of maintenance. The report won’t include any advice on the following actions or valuations.

RICS HomeBuyer Report assesses structural problems, such as subsidence or damp rot. Note – this doesn’t extend beneath floorboards or behind the walls. This is a more in-depth survey than the condition report and will cost you more.

RICS Building Survey – An in-depth analysis of the property’s condition, highlighting various problems, including advice on defects, repairs, and maintenance options.

Building Structural Survey – this comprehensive survey is suitable for older homes needing repairs. The surveyor will give repair options and an overall estimate of any possible defects that might occur in the future.

How Can I Save Money When Starting a Renovation?

We’ll make a couple of best guesses when it comes to what you’ll pay for the project’s timeline: at least one survey and admin costs for applications and a builder. We wouldn’t suggest doing the build yourself unless you have experience. You’ll be overseeing and doing the budget – that’s enough to keep you out of trouble.

You might be able to forego an architect to lower your upfront costs. Then it’s a case of working with a flexible builder who doesn’t bloat his team with too many workers. We then suggest partnering with Aussie to drop your outgoings further. Our Man & Van service is ideal – the smaller vehicles have no site access issues or unloading problems.

It’s cheaper than hiring a separate van for collections and deliveries of equipment and materials. We charge by the hour, so you only use it on an ad hoc basis. Aussie’s movers will assist with loading and unpacking and can also help with a bit of heavy lifting. It’ll reduce your expenses while providing a professional service. You can also link with a storage unit for the perfect property development combination.

Aussie Man & Van – Helping People Become Homeowners in Bath

At Aussie, we love helping people find and move into their first homes. We should all be able to achieve it, and we hope more opportunities are available. Renovating a fixer-up property isn’t easy, but it gives people more options. And with a determined mindset and stoic attention to detail – it’s a plausible route to homeownership.

Aussie Man & Van is the ideal partner to keep on budget for your development project. We’ll gladly go through your plans and can make referrals to professionals. We work with hundreds of businesses every year, so it won’t be a surprise we have contacts. Furthermore, you’ll be working with Bath’s number one for business removals.

Click here, and we’ll gladly happily chat about previous renovation projects. Additionally, we can create a free, no-obligation quote to add to your costing exercise.