In these uncertain times, one thing is for sure. Cornwall is hot stuff right now. Our little corner of the country has never known such popularity or competitive house prices! If you’re currently on the house hunt in Cornwall, then you might have found a few properties that are more affordable (hooray!) but maybe in need of a little TLC… Not only are fixer-uppers more affordable, but renovations also add value to a house, so when it comes to selling up, you’ll be in with a chance of making a profit. Bespoke renovations also add a unique touch. When you take on a fixer-upper, the house truly reflects you and your family. So, all sounding pretty great so far! But before you start googling “how to fix a rag slate roof DIY”, why not read some top tips from our lovely construction team, so you know exactly how to tackle your Cornish fixer-upper!
“Know what are you getting yourself into.”
You’ve seen The One on Rightmove. You’ve booked your viewing and you’ve completely fallen in love with the dark beams, the garden, the little play park down the road- and now, this is the clincher- the beach is not too far away either. How could you not make an offer! But, as your estate agent takes you around the property, you notice some damp coming through the wallpaper. The galley kitchen is a tight squeeze. And does that beam look load-bearing, or could you knock through?…
Aside from asking the estate agency for all the required documentation for a property, it might be a good idea to bring an experienced constructionist with you, if you have one in the family! Alternatively, take photos of anything that seems like a concern, and send the pics to a trusted construction company to get a ‘No Obligations Quote’. This will give you a good idea of how much any cosmetic or structural renovations are likely to cost you, how long the renovations might take, and what to prioritise first.
Though a fixer-upper might appear more affordable, it’s vital to do those sums and to consider the true cost of the house once all of the renovations are completed to a high standard. Crunching the numbers BEFORE you make an offer will help you to decide if you can really increase the value of the property, and how much that will cost you. Once you’ve added the cost of the renovations to the price of the house, you can make a fair offer.
Check in with planning permission and permits before you make an offer, also. Is an extension likely to get planning permission, or will the neighbours object to a large loft conversion? Will fitting new windows overlook other gardens? Have a good idea of the kind of ‘fixing-upping’ you will be undertaking and the kind of permits you will need.
“How will the renovations fit your lifestyle?”
It’s important to picture your life in the future. How long do you want this renovation to take? You might want the home of your dreams finished as soon as possible, so you can get on and enjoy your lovely new house. Or it might be more financially viable to take things slowly and have a longer timeframe for the work to be completed. It’s a good idea to look at your calendar and your upcoming events.
Whilst planning renovations, you should also consider which rooms of the house you currently use the most. Do you work from your lounge? Do the kids do their homework in the kitchen? Do you need regular access to the back door? This will help you plan out which rooms to start work on first.
“Get the experts in”
So, you’ve made the offer! And the place is yours! Whilst there may be some renovations that you can DIY (thanks to a handy-dandy YouTube tutorial or two…) Maybe a paint job will be achievable, but just remember that it takes years of training to get good quality results in most other remodelling jobs. Not only do renovations take skill, but they also take time, motivation and patience. Be honest with yourself about how much of your free time you are willing to give to the house.
Leave the big stuff to the experts, who will get work done quickly and to a high standard. Shop around for quotes from constructionists with good testimonials. Find out how to hire reliable local builders here.
When investing in a ‘fixer-upper’, there’s a lot of work that must be done before you buy the house, and preparation is key to making sure that any renovations run smoothly, are cost-efficient, adds value to the house, doesn’t interrupt your life or your neighbours lives, and gets you the house you’ve always dreamed of.