Robert Williams Estate Agents, Exeter

This is a very broad question and one with many answers!

There are three major factors to consider before embarking on any such project - your long-term plan for the property, the scope of the work you’re prepared to carry out, and your budget for both buying the property and to cover the renovation costs. All of these will have an influence on where and what to buy.

Whether you’re looking to create your ‘forever’ home, planning to sell with the aim of making a profit, or generate an income by renting it out, there are some things you can’t change so make these a priority:

Location – a very apt principle to remember here is that it’s better to buy the worst house on the best street than the best house on the worst street.

Outside space – does it fit your needs or those of others who might live there? Is there space to extend without taking too much of the garden? Is there parking or scope to add it?

The local area – do any of the nearby properties suffer with subsidence or is there a history of flooding, for example? Also, have any of the neighbours extended or converted the loft space or garage? This may give an indication of the likelihood of gaining permissions.

Restrictions – is it listed, leasehold, or in a conservation area?

When looking at specific properties, look for signs of damp, structural damage such as cracks, and the state of the roof as these can be costly to repair. Think about their renovation potential and whether that fits within your scope of work and budget. Would you be able to carry out most of the work yourself or would you need to enlist the services of many tradespeople? Does it need new windows, a new kitchen, bathroom, heating system, complete rewire? Could you adapt the flow of the layout or add bedrooms or bathrooms, or could you extend with a fabulous new kitchen family room looking out onto the beautifully landscaped garden?

Do a cost vs potential income analysis. If the project is for profit then there will be an optimal spend:reward level, so keep an eye on your budget and try not to get carried away. If you’re creating your ‘forever’ home, you may want to go all out with wow features as you’ll enjoy them for – well, forever.

To find suitable properties, register your details and build a rapport with local estate agents and auction houses – this will ensure you’re ‘in the know’ about what’s coming to the market, and their expertise may be useful further down the line.

In summary, think carefully about the purpose and scope of the project, and make decisions in line with those objectives. Do your best to stick to the budget, and factor in any Capital Gains Tax on profits. Keep your head and it could be a very exciting, interesting, and rewarding experience.

Give us a call on 01392 204800 to discuss this further – we’d love to help!


Vouch Tenancy Deposit Scheme The Property Ombudsman RICS Rightmove Zoopla OnTheMarket Prime Location