Buying a property that needs work versus a property that is ready to move into

Buying a property involves making a series of decisions right the way through the process. One of the first decisions you need to make before you are ready to view potential homes is whether you want to buy a home that needs work and improvement or a home that is already fixed up and ready to move into, with no work to be done.

We recommend that you evaluate the pros and cons so you can decide which option is right for you.

A house under construction surrounded by scaffolding.
  • The pros of buying a property that needs work

  • Some buyers are looking to make a house their dream home rather than buying a dream home. They will be looking for property adverts that state that the property ‘requires work’ or ‘requires modernisation’. Here are the pros of buying such a property.

  • Lower purchase price

  • The price of a property that needs work is bound to be lower than a property that has everything already done to it. With a lower-priced property that requires work done to it, there is more potential to increase the value of the property in the medium to long run.

  • Opportunity to create your dream home

  • Buying a house that needs work done to it offers the buyer the opportunity to make the property exactly how they want it. You can choose the kitchen, bathrooms and wall colour yourself and spend as much or as little as you choose to make it into your dream house.

  • Appealing period features

  • Many houses that need work have unique period design details and architectural features that add character and charm to a home. Restoring such features well can significantly increase the value of a property.

  • The cons against buying a property that needs work

  • The amount of work involved

  • Whether you are handy and are able to carry out the work yourself or you have no handyman skills and need to hire contracted labour to carry out the work, home renovation projects take time. The amount of work involved is often underestimated and a project predicted to take two weeks often runs into months or even years.

  • Living with disruption

  • Buying a fixer-upper may exhaust your funds and although the property isn’t yet how you’d like it to be, there is no option but to move in and live amongst the chaos of renovations and building work.

  • Underestimated costs

  • The purchase price of the property may be significantly cheaper but renovation costs can end up escalating and you could end up spending more on the property than intended. Do your research and budgeting well, allowing for unforeseen costs that crop up.

  • The pros of buying a property that is ready to move into

  • Convenience

  • Just move in and unpack. With a renovated home or a home in good working order, you will benefit from being able to move in straight away with everything ready to use.

  • Easier to finance

  • Financing a property that is fully renovated, modern and ready to move into, is much easier than financing a fixer-upper and it is easier to qualify for a loan.

  • The cons against buying a property that is ready to move into

  • Higher purchase cost

  • All those modern conveniences and design features come at a price. A property that has had everything done to it already will be priced significantly higher than one that needs work.

  • It may not be to your taste

  • The brand new bathroom or kitchen of a property may not be what you would have chosen yourself. New properties may offer several options for you to choose but buying a renovated older property means settling for the design and style of the previous owner.

    Make your decision whether to buy a fixed-up property or one that needs work, early on in the process so that you don’t waste valuable time.

    If you look for free advice and guides about mortgages, a range of handy mortgage calculators and a series of informative guides, Propillo is the right place for you. You will also be able to compare mortgages.

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