Renovating A Derelict House: What You Need To Know

There’s no denying that one has plenty of choices when it comes to buying a house in the UK. These days the property market is picking up, so now’s the time to buy if you want to save money. Most people will tend to buy houses that are ready to live in.

Of course, some folks prefer a challenge and would rather buy and renovate a derelict house. When I say “derelict” I mean a house that hasn’t got a roof or need some major work doing to it. Such properties sell for bargain prices. Many developers often profit from turning around those places.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

If you want to do up a derelict old house, there are some considerations you need to make before you begin. Here is what you need to know:

Don’t buy property in a bad area

A “bad” area is usually one where crime is rife, and most of the properties are run down or abandoned. The exception is towns where urban regeneration is present. Many parts of London, for example, are undergoing a wonderful transformation in that respect.

Still, you should be wise and avoid areas that you don’t feel safe in. First of all, you won’t get your money back if you decide to sell up because of the high crime rate. And, second, you increase the chances of becoming a victim of crime yourself.

Get a survey

Assuming you’ve found the ideal property in a reasonable area, you shouldn’t buy it just yet. First of all, you need to get a survey done on the property. Yes, you know it will need extensive renovation.

But, a survey can reveal hidden issues such as major subsidence. You may have to take into account the cost of “underpinning” the house. Otherwise, you risk it sinking into the ground.

In fact, you can’t secure a mortgage without first getting a survey done on the property. Some mainstream lenders may refuse you a mortgage on an uninhabitable house. Still, it’s possible to find ones that will fund your renovation in agreed stages.

Get the property checked for asbestos

It’s likely you are thinking of buying a property built before 2000. If that’s the case, there’s a high chance some building materials contain asbestos.

Yes, you need to pay for some asbestos testing to get carried out. But the peace of mind is worth it if you wish to avoid contracting mesothelioma (cancer). What happens if the property contains asbestos? You will need to have it removed by experts trained in its disposal. Don’t under any circumstance attempt to dispose of asbestos materials yourself!

Become friends with a local builder

If you’re a builder yourself, you can ignore this section. But, chances are you’ll need to hire a building firm to help you renovate your new property.

It pays to get on first-name terms with a local builder. That way, you’re more likely to pay “mate’s rates” than a full retail bill. Someone in your family or circle of friends may have a builder as a friend. Make sure they become your friend too! After all; the last thing you want to do is pay over the odds for your renovation project!

Good luck!

 

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