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A Guide to Buying a Property to Renovate

Posted on 2 February 2015

Many Australians love the challenge of a good DIY project. More and more people are becoming inspired to tackle their own projects, likely thanks in part to popular renovation shows on television. In fact, according to the Westpac Renovation Report, there has been a 147% increase in the number of home renovation projects in Australia since 2010.

It’s not just renovating the existing family home either. People are also purchasing properties specifically to renovate, either to create the home of their dreams or to sell with the aim of making a profit. If you are considering purchasing a property to renovate, then it’s vital that you do your homework before making an offer. Here are five important guidelines to keep in mind when buying a property to renovate, to help you achieve the results you want.

Buy the right property

Before you start beating a path to your real estate agent’s front door, it’s a good idea to have a clear idea of what your goals are. It’s quite likely you will have very different expectations of the type of property you are searching for if your goal is to renovate and turn it into the family home of your dreams, compared to if you are going to renovate and sell.

Know what you can afford

Regardless of the vision you have in mind for a property, at the end of the day it all comes down to cost and what you can afford. Before attending your first open home, it’s important to have a budget set, as it can be all too easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying that renovator’s delight. When you find a property that appeals, have a chat with a couple of builders about your plans, and get a few quotes, before you sign the contract. This will ensure you go into your purchase armed with a clear idea of what you will be spending.

You’ll also need to arrange a pre purchase building inspection in Sydney, Melbourne or on the NSW Central Coast. Wherever you happen to be purchasing, finding an experienced and professional inspector is vital to ensure you don’t have any nasty surprises after you take over ownership of the property.

Know what kind of renovation is best for the property

You may have visions of completely gutting a property and starting from scratch, when in reality you may be doing more work than you really need to. It’s important to factor in the cost of the renovations, compared to the value of the property, to ensure the work you have planned is going to be worth it.

Arm yourself with the right advice

Ask anyone who has renovated a property before and they will all tell you one of the most important things you need to do is surround yourself with the right team of people. Where possible, engage a builder, architect and engineer who are all experienced in home renovations prior to making a purchase. This will allow you to consult with them during the property hunting process, and seek both their advice and ideas to help you choose the right property to meet your goals.
With a little planning and the support and advice of a team of professionals behind you, selecting the right property for your renovation project can be a smooth, simple and satisfying process.


By Darel McBride


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