We’ve been living in and renovating our 1930s semi detached house for 2 years now and even after all the blood, sweat and tears turning this house from an ugly duckling to a swan, we would never ever regret starting it.
There are so many reasons why taking on such a big home improvement project has enriched our lives. In today’s post we want to share why anyone that’s investing in a new house soon should buy the ugliest on the street, not the nicest.
Why we will never regret taking on the biggest home improvement project ever + why you should do it too
1. You can get an incredible deal with a fixer upper
There’s no doubt about it, UK housing prices are eye-wateringly high but what we’ve seen is, estate agents are valuing properties with home improvement work in mind. For example, if your budget is 400K, you could buy a 400K house that is completely done out or a 330K house that is in need of some work, and suddenly purchasing a fixer upper is more attractive. Spend your 70K equity getting it how you like it.
2. There are lots of options for financing home improvements
I’d like to do a bit more research around home improvement loans before I offer suggestions to readers, but in the experience I do have, there are two choices for financing a renovation. Ask for an additional amount from the bank for the renovation work whilst you are getting your original mortgage or you use the equity raised selling your previous home. Nowadays, you don’t have to move from house to house looking for the perfect kitchen that someone else has chosen. Think laterally, can you bring your needs to the house with a juggle of financing?
3. You can get on the housing ladder sooner
This is especially attractive if like us, you’re living somewhere like London or the South East where house prices are typically on an upward trend (but who knows what Brexit will throw us). With a lower upfront amount to pay for a fixer upper, you would be able to get on the housing ladder sooner. And every day you are owning your own property is another day it could be increasing in value. The earlier you get onto the housing ladder, in theory, the more you save, since housing prices tend to be forever increasing by a certain percentage.
4. The big win – you can put your stamp on it
Going back to the example before – a £400K house that is already done, or a £330K house with work needing to be done. There is an amazing feeling of having that ‘blank canvas’ – we know, we’ve been there! Ripping out old carpets and scraping off terrible wallpaper. But the real benefit comes from being able to start from scratch and design everything with your own unique sense of style. You just don’t get this with a house that is already done, you are paying for someone else’s choices.
5. You can see the beauty that others cannot – and you bring the vision to life!
There is no better feeling than that. Home renovators, you’ll know what we mean. That ‘renovation high’ when you complete a room or a corner, it’s addictive. When we viewed this 1930s house that we eventually bought, we noticed that there were with lots of people viewing but we suspected that there would only be a handful of people that would be up for the challenge of taking on the improvements needed. We now believe that this is one of the reasons that we were able to secure the deal since the competition was not as high as a completed house.
6. It's an amazing project that will teach you valuable life skills
Before we took on this project we were naiive, having never done a project on this scale before. We learned A TON throughout the whole renovation. Of course we strengthened our DIY skills but we also learned: how to budget for a renovation, a deeper knowledge of design, planning, layouts and project managing the build phase, plus so much more. Sure we made mistakes, but thankfully none of them were costly in any way, and we refined an approach that just worked fluidly which we’re sharing on this blog and in our renovation online course.
All in all, we truly believe that renovating a house is one of the most rewarding experiences you can do in your life, young or old. And (OK if you’d have asked us when we were rowing over a paint colour we might say differently!) it is an incredible thing to do with your significant other, it brought us closer together. We’re a team!
We hope you got value and inspiration from reading this post, if you did we’d love you to hop on to our mailing list (sign up at the bottom of this page) or visit our shop page for more tools and resources for renovating a fixer upper!
Thanks for reading,
Fifi & Neil xoxo