Should You Buy A Fixer Upper During A Pandemic?

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Should you buy a fixer upper during a pandemic? Check out some tips we have to offer if you’re contemplating the idea!

If you are keen to move onto pastures new with your brood, you might be eager to whip your house up for sale, go property hunting, and put an offer in on your dream pad. However, these recent surreal days have made things a little more complicated. While Covid-19 has brought direct health worries to millions across the globe, the indirect effect that the pandemic has had on the economy is also catastrophic. The world is uncertain at the moment with job stability fluctuating, many countries falling into a recession, and the property market looking volatile.

The idea of buying a fixer upper to do up and then sell on at a profit might not be wise. While the property market has always been a favored option for the amateur investor, the coronavirus has put a stop to this. Instead, you need to focus on a fixer upper as part of your long term dream home ideals. While you would rather move into a new dwelling that has the top of the range decor already, you will be paying a premium. This isn’t a great idea if you want to have equity within your home as your asset will already be at its ceiling price. With property market forecasts predicting a fall in the market in the next year, you need to try and outperform the housing market. To do this, you need to focus on purchasing the worst house on the best street. This is why a fixer upper is ideal.

The only downside to a fixer upper is that it will be a messy few months while you sort out the configuration, decor, and structure of your new home. Some fixer uppers have been derelict for years while some have been left via an estate after a bereavement. If you are keen to maximize your fixer upper opportunities, read on to find out how best to carry out your scheme of works.

Structure

The most important aspect of any home is the structure. If the foundations of your fixer upper need underpinning, this is a mammoth job. However, it shouldn’t put you off buying the property in the first place. Before you put pen to paper, you should instruct a surveyor to inspect your potential new pad. They will come up with a list of things that you will need to check out or do as a matter of urgency. The list may be long, especially for a fixer upper, but this can help you to get money off the asking price. Underpinning foundations should be the first job you carry out, if you have to, and a team of highly qualified builders can assist. 

Look to the brickwork of your home. Any cracks in the cement or chips to the bricks may require repointing or some rebuilding. Check the window fascias of your new pad. If you enter the interior only to be blasted by drafts of cold air, the chances are that the seals around the window frames are shot. Double glazing, while expensive, is crucial to maintain the energy efficiency and comfort of your home. 

Look to the roof next. Your home needs to be watertight as a matter of urgency. If a tile has slipped, get it replaced. If you notice bowing in the roof, this is a more serious problem that suggests water retention. This build-up of moisture could rot joists and even cause the roof to cave in. Replacing a roof is expensive, but then this is why you purchased a fixer upper for a very low price.

Budget

Before you purchase a fixer upper, you must formulate a budget. This needs to be as tight as possible and have a ten per cent contingency factored in. Schemes of works for fixer uppers are renowned for throwing up unforeseen problems, so it’s vital that you are prepared financially. List every potential outgoing and job from the larger tasks like the roof replacement to the tiny purchases, like the hinges for the doors.

Use a spreadsheet or one of the many online budget planners to create a stringent worksheet. You can use this as a working document detailing any savings that you make and any extra costs that you have had to incur. If you can manage to save on the flooring in the living room, you could consider the granite quartz worktop for the kitchen. Ensure that you don’t ever go over your budget. Doing this will mean that you risk spending out more on your renovation plans and purchase price than what the finished dream home will be worth. You need to have a more valuable house than the money that you have spent on it for you to achieve equity within your bricks and mortar asset.

Should you buy a fixer upper during a pandemic?

Outside

Don’t neglect the exterior of your home. Your driveway is an integral part of your dream home and needs to be viewed as carefully as your roof. Driveways with inadequate drainage can result in standing water near the entrance and brickwork of a home. This can cause damp to penetrate the interior walls of a home meaning black mold can occur. To put a halt to this, consider installing one of the many pre sloped trench drain systems available to remove excess water away from your home. This linear drainage application will be pitched on a gradient to ensure rainwater is carried away from your pad.

Your garden and driveway at the front of your home will be the first thing that visitors and passing footfall see of your new humble abode. If you are a houseproud bod, there’s no harm in taking pride in your exterior area and giving it some added curb appeal. Mow the lawn and weed. Utilize any border areas by planting some colorful flora and fauna. Consider those perennials that need very little maintenance such as hydrangeas, daffodils, tulips and aliums. If you want to go a bit bigger, think about planting a fruit tree or an exotic Japanese acer. These plants can add real interest to your garden and can become a haven for pollinators, birds, and other wildlife.

When it comes to your driveway, you could choose all sorts of surfaces. Asphalt is relatively cheap and plain. Ornate brickwork patterns can give an extra aesthetic interest but can be annoying to maintain with weeds poking through brick joins. Alternative concrete driveways or resin-bound materials can create a pattern that drains water away and looks very smart.

Interior

The most exciting part of any renovation is the scheme of works that you carry out inside. The interior of your pad will be the space that you make most of your family memories. Think about the sort of configuration you want within your home. With a relatively derelict but blank canvas, you can create a brand new customized living space for your brood. 

The concept of open plan living is very postmodern and fit for the twenty first century. People no longer want separate rooms and long for space and airy, bright environments. Open plan kitchen diners epitomize this new, more free way of living. If you are looking to save some money on your kitchen diner, think about installing a skylight into any extension you might create. This is a minimal outlay when it comes to extending your living area, but it can allow so much more light to flood your space.

When heading out to showrooms to look for kitchens, consider ex-display models. If you aren’t too fussy on the style of your kitchen, you could locate an ex-display designer kitchen for less than half the recommended retail price. Sure, its drawers and cupboard doors may have been opened a few hundred times, but it will still be in perfect condition and ready to take home off the shelf.

If you are more particular about your kitchen, you need to consider the configuration. The most common kitchen layouts use the triangle rule where your sink, oven, and refrigerator form the visual points of a triangle. This means your kitchen is conducive to cooking, relaxing, and utilizing in the most logical way. Everything is to hand within a few steps. Think about the bespoke aspects of the kitchen that you yearn for. Do you want some tin carousels within your units or is a wine cooler a non-negotiable?

Think about the style of your pad and let the kitchen emulate it. In the twenty first century, kitchens have become the hubs of our homes. These are the spaces where you can catch up with pals over coffee and watch the kids do homework whilst you cook up a gastronomic feast. Go for something white and high gloss if you fancy something modern. Or opt for the shaker style country kitchen if you are more of a traditionalist.

Buying a fixer upper during a pandemic can be a wise financial decision. This is a property that will require more work to get it into a habitable state, but you could create the home of your dreams, and have equity within the bricks and mortar that you have purchased.

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