Popular TV shows such as The Block and Grand Designs may have convinced you to buy a fixer upper and design your own dream home, but is it really worth it? Property prices across the country continue to increase at record rates and show no definitive signs of slowing, so is it value for money or could you be getting yourself into something that you shouldn’t be?

Here are five things you should consider before buying a fixer upper:

  1. Renovation time

    From the moment you purchase the property to the time your renovations are complete is by no means, short. Consider how soon you want your dream home and how long you’re willing to live in the house in its current state before you simply can’t. Renovations also cost money, money that might not be as free flowing after purchasing a property. You may need to wait months, even years, before you can begin crafting your house into your dream home.

  2. What needs fixing?

    Consider the scope of work on your hands. Is the structure of the property sound or are you going to have to knock down and rebuild? Renovations can be as simple as a fresh coat of paint, or as difficult as a complete rebuild of the bedrooms and bathrooms. Before you commit to the purchase, thoroughly inspect the property to ensure the work needed is manageable.

  3. The local council

    Before you purchase a rundown beach shack with dreams of building a double storey mansion, check the local council regulations for that area. Certain zoning regulations may prevent you from building the house you want and features such as an easements and heritage stature may prevent you from changing the layout of the house.

  4. Be prepared to spend

    Although it might be cheaper to avoid using professionals, it pays to have them involved in the process. Be realistic about what you can achieve on your own. You might think you can paint the whole house over the weekend, but have you thought that through? Don’t forget to also use a licensed plumber and electrician to avoid getting those aspects wrong and having it cost more in the long run.

  5. There’s always more work to be done

    Be prepared to accept that there may never be a completion date. Preferred styles, family size and lifestyle aspects all change throughout the course of a year or more. If you’re taking the time to complete the renovation over the years, the design of your house will change as you grow and learn what aspects you like and dislike. So keep in mind that there may never be a completion date for your home and there’s always more work to be done.

Consider carefully whether you should be buying a fixer upper or a ready to live in house. When the time comes to move in, let Grace get you from point A to point B. We also provide reliable storage solutions so you don’t have to worry about your household effects during renovations.