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Things to check when assessing the potential of a property

How do you make sure you don’t get lumped with a money pit if you are looking for a to renovate? There are things to check when assessing the potential of a property. Before purchasing, always get a survey conducted to check the state of the property. This will be carried out by a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) who will feedback on what repairs needs doing and from there you can estimate the associated costs.

However, before you even consider making an offer (or perhaps before you even consider booking a viewing) there are a few things the untrained eye can look out for.

  1. Location is (nearly) everything

The old saying goes that you should look for the worst house on the best street and it is great advice for anyone looking for a renovation bargain. No matter how amazing you make the property, it can only be as good as the area it is in so check local amenities, schools and provision of green space. A Google Street View stroll down the street will give you a feel for the place and highlight anything untoward.

  1. Look up the ceiling value for the street

You can check how much similar properties nearby have sold for on Rightmove and Zoopla. This will give you an idea of the maximum value of the home you are looking at so you know what your return on investment will be.

  1. Keep an eye out for anything that will cost a lot to repair

Repairing a roof could set you back a few grand so check for missing/damaged roof tiles or signs of bowing timbers. Missing tiles could also mean trouble inside if water has leaked through. Windows will add considerably to your renovation budget, too. You may want to upgrade single glazing to double, reducing heat loss and running costs in the process. But be mindful of maintaining characterful period windows if you can.

  1. What do the neighbours’ homes look like?

Will your planned changes be in keeping with the rest of the street? Have they made improvements to their homes that would work on yours? Finally, are the homes well maintained showing that everyone takes pride in their properties?

  1. Is there scope to extend?

If the house is not big enough for your needs consider how you could change it to rectify that. You might be able to easily convert existing space such as the garage or the loft. A simple room-in-roof conversion is very affordable if the pitch allows. Or, the garden may be large enough to have room for a rear extension while leaving a sizeable outside space to enjoy. Again, look at neighbouring properties for an indication of what may be possible.

  1. Will it need extensive remodelling?

There is so much you can do to improve a home, but if the cost of this is going to be very high and limit your ROI it might not be the property for you. Instead look for something that is closer to what you need in terms of size and layout.

  1. Does it have modern heating and electrics?

This doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker, but should the house need completely rewiring and/or central heating installed you will be looking at another £3,000–£5,000 for each job, for the average three bedroom home. Signs of dated electrics are an old-fashioned fuse box with ceramic fuses and cast iron switches; surface-mounted cabling; black or fabric cables; Bakelite switches and old fashioned sockets. Read more on upgrading electrics in an old home.

You can always ask a reputable builder, like Sherratt Builders to come and check the property with you. And you can begin a relationship with someone who understands your vision and can help guide you through the whole process. Contact us at 01743 791815.


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