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What to watch out for when buying a property to renovate

What to watch out for when buying a property to renovate

Published Fri 3 May 2024 • 6 min read

Home renovation can be a smart way to get the most bang for your buying buck. But it pays to know what to expect before you start. Because you're looking for potential and not the finished product, there's give-and-take when buying a property to improve.

Let's look at the essentials to consider when buying a home to renovate.

Structural soundness

It's wise to get independent pest and building reports done, even if the owners have already done these. Consider the reports as double-checking to ensure any red flags are spotted, which could affect your renovation goals. Having these reports handy gives you as much information as possible to guide your renovation decision-making.

What's your layout?

If you can find a home with the layout you like, you're already a significant step forward with renovations and budgeting. If you need to change your home's layout — we're talking plumbing and gas lines, wiring, adding a bathroom and more — the cost will quickly rise.

Future-proofing

If your family plans to live long-term in your renovated home, future-proofing is a cost-effective way of approaching your planning. For example, you may think of a playroom if you have toddlers. Later on, the playroom might be better off as a study or gaming room. Ensuring the room can adapt to your family's changing circumstances can save money by avoiding extensive modifications.

Find out how much you could borrow. In only two minutes you could have an obligation-free indication of your borrowing power.
Start your application online or call us on 1800 100 258, 8am-8pm Mon-Fri and 9am-5pm Sat (AEST/AEDT).

Design features

Instead of adding features from scratch, you could touch up old features and give them a new lease of life. If a feature is already in place, it's one less thing on your list to buy! Updating features can quickly add value to your renovated home.

Here are popular features you should look for:

  • High ceilings. High ceilings make small rooms feel bigger and give a unique feel throughout… plus it's no walk in the park to install higher ceilings.
  • Windows and doors. If your windows and doors are original to the home and in decent nick, you can save a great whack of money by uplifting them rather than splashing out on replacements. For example, fresh paint and new handles for doors are far more cost-effective and sustainable than buying brand new doors.
  • Hardwood floors. What if your property had gorgeous hardwood floors hidden beneath the carpet? Check your cupboards or go under your house to learn whether you have a timber subfloor. This could be a huge value-add to your property.

Dress up your walls

Prettying up your place can be a quick win. Bare walls after your renovation mean your property could miss out on the ambience art provides. You can't go wrong with nature or generic wall art, with the bonus of being minimal cost compared to other upgrades.

Know your finances

Whether you're DIY or bringing in outside help, you need to know how much your reno plans will cost before they begin. But be realistic with your budget, too — expect the unexpected and give yourself a buffer with costs. If you come in under budget, you're ahead. If not, the wiggle room may have saved your plans without cutting back.

Find out how much you could borrow. In only two minutes you could have an obligation-free indication of your borrowing power.
Start your application online or call us on 1800 100 258, 8am-8pm Mon-Fri and 9am-5pm Sat (AEST/AEDT).