Buying a property that is a bit of a fixer-upper can be a good way to skip a few rungs on the property ladder. It can be the best way to move into your preferred area without spending more than you can afford on a house. A lot of buyers would consider buying a property that needs some work. 

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Buying a fixer-upper can be a great way to get more house for your money if your budget is tight. Taking on a renovation prospect can seem very exciting, but it’s not for the faint-hearted. There are some things that you need to know before you start. 

  1. Be aware of building regulations and planning permission. If you have big plans for your property, you might need planning permission. Some properties are listed with permission already granted, so do your research before you buy anything. If you want a project in a certain area, it can help to look at what other homeowners have been allowed to do. Any work must have approval, for your safety. 
  2. Commission a full building survey. When you’ve found the right project, you’re going to need to know about problems that the property has. A full building survey will find any damage that might not be immediately visible. It can also help to ask professionals like a plumber to take a look at the property. These reports can help you to work out the cost of repairs and see if it fits your budget. With a clear picture of the property’s condition, you can make an informed decision on whether to buy it. 
  3. Consider how much stress you can handle. The word renovation has different connotations to different people. Some people want to make a few simple cosmetic changes to bring the house up to date. Others are more willing to get stick in and knock walls down. With a renovation project, it’s not just about budget. Think about how much stress and disruption you can manage.
  4. Create a realistic budget. If you can get a bargain on a run-down property, you still have to be careful to overspend on renovations. It can be easy to get carried away in the early stages of a project. Try to be realistic about the time and money you are able to put into a project. The best way to manage your budget is to create a spreadsheet listing all the things you want to do to the house. List everything from putting in a new bathroom to repainting. Get quotes on the labor that you need doing, as well as the materials needed. 
  5. Start at the top and work down. If you’re going to live in the house while you’re renovating, this is important. Don’t spend months on the ground floor, and then mess it up again when you convert the loft. Do any needed structural work first. This makes the house stable and is the most disruptive and expensive part of most renovation projects.