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28-07-2020, 22:12   #1
Ridgerun
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Fixer upper experiences?

Hi guys,

I'm looking into buying a house that was built in the 70s that needs a few large jobs done to it. I had a viewing yesterday and brought a family friend along who has been a builder for 20+ years and he noticed some of the following that needs to be done:

- BER is G rated. House will need whole new heating system, insulation, boiler and windows

- Rewiring, most likely of whole house

- Woodworm visible on outside of garage roof, unsure if it extends to inside of house (will need surveyor to check this out)

- Whole house needs to be plastered

- Cosmetically house is quite old and will need to be updated with carpets taken out etc

From visual inspection he thinks the house roof and build seems very sturdy with no evidence of damp or leaks. The plumbing will need to be checked by surveyor but presumably needs to be done.

The perks of this particular house are that it's in a great location and has great potential for extending in the future.

Just wondering if anyone has had experience of fixer uppers and what your thoughts are?
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29-07-2020, 05:19   #2
Queenio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerun View Post
- BER is G rated. House willpneed whole new heating system, insulation, boiler and windows

- Rewiring, most likely of whole house

- Woodworm visible on outside of garage roof, unsure if it extends to inside of house (will need surveyor to check this out)

- Whole house needs to be plastered

- Cosmetically house is quite old and will need to be updated with carpets taken out etc

From visual inspection he thinks the house roof and build seems very sturdy with no evidence of damp or leaks. The plumbing will need to be checked by surveyor but presumably needs to be done.

The perks of this particular house are that it's in a great location and has great potential for extending in the future
I'm sale agreed on a similar property although it's D1 rated at least. Have been talked through the structural survey report and decided to go ahead. The urgent / immediate remedial works for us will be flashing to a garage roof, gutters, fumigation and an electrician to review the electrics. I suspect we will need a rewiring Job. All the rest can wait. We plan to extend in 5 years so makes sense to do things properly once. Location is great. Big back garden with tons of space and I think the potential is great for a solidly build 60s house that's
In a good area. Remind me of this in a year and see if I still think the same! 😂
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29-07-2020, 08:29   #3
BrokenArrows
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If it's the right price and you have the cash to do the work then go for it. I've done it before.

Just make sure that the price after renovation costs are worth it compared to buying something already renovated. You should also include hassle and stress to your costings.

Last edited by BrokenArrows; 29-07-2020 at 08:38.
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29-07-2020, 08:45   #4
Smiley11
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We've placed a bid on a serious project after a lot of thought & number crunching. We haven't had our engineer in yet but I can see the whole house needs to be rewired, heating updated, insulation, decorating, flooring & thats just for starters. We want to remove the chimneys as well & have decided this needs to be done before moving in or its a major upheaval down the line.

We can afford the initial work but the rest will have to be done on a phased basis. I'm happy to do that as its the forever home but it definitely requires a lot of patience & dedication. I think that if you love the house enough you'll be willing to take on the work.

For us, we don't care about the value after renovation because we'll never be moving out but its certainly something to consider if you don't intend to stay in yours forever. I've looked at the ceiling prices in our area & we'd most likely be going over that in our eventual spend. You definitely need to consider the total cost if you think you might sell up in a few years.
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29-07-2020, 09:17   #5
Rew
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You looking at 100-150k renovation, so make sure you have the money and that it will be worth 100-150k more after. You may hit issues with mortgage as banks often withhold funds till critical works are done.
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29-07-2020, 10:24   #6
Yellow_Fern
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Is it hollow block? If you can avoid hollowblock. They are very hard to make cosy. I think external insulation is the only option with these houses.
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29-07-2020, 10:26   #7
Yellow_Fern
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiley11 View Post
We've placed a bid on a serious project after a lot of thought & number crunching. We haven't had our engineer in yet but I can see the whole house needs to be rewired, heating updated, insulation, decorating, flooring & thats just for starters. We want to remove the chimneys as well & have decided this needs to be done before moving in or its a major upheaval down the line.
By all means block a chimney but the idea of removing the entire thing doesn't make sense to me. Changes the look of the house in a negative way and unnecessary cost.
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29-07-2020, 10:34   #8
GreeBo
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Is this a house for life or just a stepping stone?
If its a house for life I wouldn't worry as much about recouping the costs invested, if its just a stepping stone then its obviously much more important to do the maths.

I've done it and made money from it, a lot depends on how much you can do yourself and how long you are willing to live with "a work in progress".
The cheapest way is to do as much yourself and do it as you go (other than things like plumbing and wiring) but plastering and finishing room by room for example, while being more expensive in the long term, means you don't have a large initial outlay.

/edit
lol
forgot to add that I'm in a total fixer upper for the last 12 months, ~80 years old and needs everything done to it (plumbing, wiring, slab poured, EWI, roof needs a bit of TLC, windows/doors, some flat roof extensions that need rebuilding) and we have 1 toddler and another on the way.
Its all about how you look and deal with things, we will get the structural work done in one go and then finish each room as needed.

Last edited by GreeBo; 29-07-2020 at 11:16.
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29-07-2020, 12:38   #9
Smiley11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellow_Fern View Post
By all means block a chimney but the idea of removing the entire thing doesn't make sense to me. Changes the look of the house in a negative way and unnecessary cost.

Thanks but we'd be removing the entire wall to make an open plan living space & the second chimney has already been partially removed so we won't miss either. Removing it in its entirety will also free up space above for an extra bathroom rather than extend so it makes sense for us.
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29-07-2020, 12:53   #10
jonnybravo
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We're in the middle of our second fixer upper at the moment (both 1970's houses in Dublin 15).

The first was a full rewire, replumbing, kitchen bathrooms, flooring, changing windows doors etc. It was pre kids so was much easier as had more time to organise things and didn't make a difference if it wasn't finished when we moved in.

The second is the same as the first plus a small extension, knocking an internal wall (which needs steel support), underfloor heating & external wall insulation. It's obviously taking a lot longer and it was a lot harder & more expensive to get people to do the work (first house was 2012). We need the house pretty much finished before we move in. We're lucky that we have a house to stay in while the work is going on so pressure to move in is less, but it does take a lot of time.
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29-07-2020, 17:32   #11
JimmyVik
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IF its your first time it will be a learning experience.
Ive done similar with so many houses now I could do it very economically and in my sleep. But the first time I was totally lost. Great experience though.
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30-07-2020, 09:14   #12
 
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I'm in the middle of renovating my house now. First time, huge learning experience. Hoping it will all be worth it in the end as right now I'm in the thick of it and there are some hard moments for sure.
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31-07-2020, 16:53   #13
SheepTurtle
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Does anyone know if banks are giving loans on top of mortgages for renovations?

I have seen a house with huge potential online, haven't gone to see it in real life yet due to working hours, but it needs some work - new kitchen, bathroom and reviewing of hall/sitting room layout but it can be lived in. There doesn't seem to be any big structural work as far as I can see. No expert now! We only have our deposit at this time though and not much for renovations.
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01-08-2020, 10:52   #14
myate
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We've just gone through that process! Bought in late November, started reno a week later, finished the majority of it the week before lockdown! We had an architect do plans for it, as the house had massive potential but wasn't taking advantage of it. Architect done the plans only, we looked after getting various trades to reno it. A builder/carpenter did the majority of the work, then had a separate plumber, electrician, bathroom install, windows/doors etc.
Planned to spend around 50k...that soon went to 65ish when we made a few changes to plans. Then we said we'd do a small extension properly instead of just re-roofing. That sent it to 100k, including landscaping, tarmac which we could have left but it's done now & finished! So yes we went over budget but only because we did more.
I'm good a dealing with people & project managing (apparently) and was on site nearly every day keeping trades on track & lined up. But even then it was constant following up & chasing to get stuff done, electrics especially.
We knew the finish the house was going to have, so making those decisions was fast, easy & no problem for us & certainly didn't delay anything. Example, we priced, then ordered our kitchen & had it installed 3 weeks later!
Huge learning experience as others mentioned, but we're delighted with the finished house now! I haven't got it valued yet, but don't really care as wont be selling, ever!!
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01-08-2020, 11:55   #15
beauf
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I know you don't want to sell it but..

Considering you put in 100k into the house above what you paid for it, its sounds unlikely you would get that back if you tried to sell it.

So it that kinda investment wouldn't make sense if you trying to flip it. Only if you were intending to live in it long term? Any thoughts?
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