Thinking about investing with a view to upgrading distressed properties to sell or rent out? Taking on a derelict or distressed property to upgrade either as a future home or investment opportunity, if not done right, can be a real money pit.

Determine the Scale

Once it was almost impossible to pick up a dilapidated property. It seemed as if the professional developers had some kind of clairvoyant ability to snap them up before they came on the open market.  While currently the market has fairly buoyant numbers of renovation properties available, you need to be absolutely clear on the scale of the works you intend, to undertake.

Small works like a bit of plastering and decorating can be achieved whilst still living in the property. More involved works like reshaping rooms, moving internal walls, or even larger works like changing the roof, might lead to wanting a retreat away from the building site. This is a significant additional cost which must be factored in to the budget of the building/renovation works.

Professional Help

Carefully select your project property. You would be wise to enlist the services of an architect in the early stages. Even before preparing drawings for your project they should view and identify potential risks/flaws in the current fabric. They should identify the limitations in the existing building should they exist. These could prevent you from progressing the works later as you wished.

It should go without saying that the property should have a full survey. This can uncover a plethora of hidden tasks that may have been hidden under a cosmetic mask by the previous owner/occupier.

The surrounding area is of major consideration too. If buying in a conservation area the local authority will have final say on many of the external features of the property. This could be from matching window and door styles, down to paint colours for exterior surfaces. These limitations can often add unexpected cost to a job.

The Right Builder

Once you’ve secured your property and have a set of drawings suitable for submitting for planning consent (if needed), make sure you do a thorough search for the right builder. Walk the property in minute detail with each builder you have shortlisted. Get each to quote on the work. Getting into the detail here can prevent a headache due to “extras” or “variations” later. Better to have a higher initial cost that is expected and planned for than spiralling costs once work is underway .

Whatever the pitfalls might be there can be little more satisfying than stamping your personality and style on a property.

If you are considering upgrading distressed properties to sell or rent out then get in touch. Edge2 are London based experts at complete house renovation. Call now to have a preliminary discussion about the work you would like to undertake.