The proliferation of property improvement and interior design programmes on TV has prompted a substantial increase in the number of buyers wishing to purchase a “dump” and “do it up” for a huge profit. Sadly, the days of making a quick turn have all but gone, and in some cases demand for unmodernised property is adding such a premium that the purchase cost plus the cost of improvements can even exceed the “finished” value!
So we would urge a word of caution. If you are keen to put your own stamp on a property, it might be worth investigating those that are tired, but not necessarily totally unmodernised. Perhaps they were “modernised” twenty years ago and just need a cosmetic makeover. The structural aspects might well be alright if the property was comprehensively refurbished at the time. The roof should be fine for the next fifty years, the wiring fully compliant with current regulations (but check), the damp proof course in order, and the plasterwork sound.
But if your heart rules your head and these aspects have not been attended to in the recent past, then these are the things that will cause you the greatest headaches, time, considerable and often unforeseen expense and, particularly, personal upheaval and dust if you are living in the property.
We hear too many stories of people saying – “Oh, we’ll only have to re-plaster one wall”. Yet when the old plaster is removed, the ceiling comes down as well, revealing dangerous wiring and woodworm-infested timbers.
A general rule-of-thumb is that if something other than purely cosmetic work needs attention - then so does a whole lot more!