Taking on a fixer-upper – jobs to tackle first

Taking on a fixer-upper - jobs to tackle first

Buying a fixer-upper has multiple benefits. If you buy a house that isn’t in pristine condition, the asking price will probably be much lower, so there’s a golden opportunity to add value and put your stamp on your new home. There are downsides, but being methodical and organised can help you reduce risks and save money. In this guide, we’ve outlined some essential jobs to tackle first.

Wiring and electrics

Outdated wiring and electrical systems can be dangerous. If you’re taking on a project and the property needs rewiring or significant upgrades, it’s best to seek expert advice and address issues as a priority. Contact reputable local companies and get recommendations from people you trust and community social media groups. Get multiple quotes and compare prices. Make sure you understand the scale and type of work required, and ask for a full, written breakdown of costs. Always ensure that contractors have the relevant insurance, permits and licences. Many people like to get stuck in when it comes to DIY jobs, but anything that involves electrics or gas should be left to the professionals.

Roof repairs or replacement

The roof plays a critical role in protecting the property from the elements. If your new home has a damaged roof or there are signs of wear and tear or leaks, contact local roofing firms. It’s important to sort the roof out as quickly as possible to prevent further issues such as leaks and damp patches. It’s worth exploring the option of completely replacing the roof if it’s an old house as you’re likely to need frequent repairs in the coming years.

Windows and doors

Replacing old windows and doors has multiple benefits. New windows and doors are more energy-efficient than older examples, which will save you money on energy bills, and they can also look stylish and smart. Modern windows and doors offer enhanced security and privacy, and they can also boost curb appeal. As well as replacing old or damaged doors and windows, you may also want to consider adding extra windows to maximise natural light. Contact glass suppliers to find out more about features like roof lights, lanterns and skylights. Adding more light will make your rooms look bigger and brighter. It’s beneficial to compare quotes and consider different designs and styles before you decide what to do and which company to choose.

Layout changes

Older houses often have different layouts and floor plans to newer properties. If you’re modernising an old house, you may want to alter the layout to suit your lifestyle and your requirements. It’s common for new homes to have bigger kitchens and open-plan living areas, for example. More traditional properties usually have a larger number of smaller rooms. Knocking down walls can help you maximise usable space and design rooms that are better suited to your family. It’s better to draw up plans during the early stages of the renovation than to modify the layout later.

There are lots of advantages to buying a fixer-upper, but there’s often a lot of work involved. If you’re taking on a large-scale renovation project, focus on priority tasks. Examples include updating the electrics or rewiring the property, replacing windows and doors, repairing the roof and adjusting the layout of your living spaces.

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Critical mistakes people make when buying property

Critical mistakes people make when buying property

When entering the housing market, you must ensure that you avoid the surprisingly common, yet major mistakes that people make when buying property. If you don’t, you may find that you end up throwing money down the drain, which is the last thing you want when you’re trying to build wealth within your family. Take a read of the advice below – it may help you avoid plunging into a few pitfalls.

Not getting a loan agreement

When the time comes for you to buy a property, you must get a loan agreement in principle. It’s always imperative for you to do this, because if you don’t, you won’t know if the bank will lend you the amount of money that you’re seeking. This is a certificate that shows whether you’re going to get a valid mortgage offer, and it also helps you to know that you are in a solid position to borrow. It’s always a good idea for you to carry out financial checks to see how much you can afford, too. Remember that an agreement is only a preliminary offer and not a sign that you’re going to be accepted. If you can keep this in mind, then it’ll help you later on down the road.

Going over budget

Another major issue is going over budget. If you go over budget, you may find that you end up stretching yourself too thin. Overreaching, from a financial perspective, can leave you open to a great deal of risk in the future. If you want to avoid this, make sure you take steps early on to calculate what you have to spend and how much it will affect you if you end up exceeding that amount. By doing this, you’ll soon find that it is easier for you to get the result you want out of your house-buying experience.

Not checking your credit score

It’s vital that you check your credit score regularly. You can do this online for free. When you do, you’ll soon find that it is easier for you to find out everything you need to know, and that you can also find ways to help grow your budget. By carrying out these checks, you’ll find that it becomes easier for you to keep track of the budget you have and that you can also accurately predict how much a lender is willing to give you. If you’re using a mortgage to buy a property, then this is a critical step, so don’t leave it out.

Applying for the first mortgage you come across

Another mistake that a lot of people make is applying for the first mortgage that they come across. Mortgage rates are rising and if you’re not careful then you may find yourself struggling. Many people turn to their bank when they decide that they want a mortgage and, although this is fine, you may find that you can find a cheaper deal somewhere else. Saying that, you shouldn’t simply opt for a mortgage that comes with the lowest rate. Sometimes deals like this can be misread as being good when, in fact, they come with hidden catches or limited time offers.

Hiring the wrong estate agent

If you’re selling your home in order to buy a new one, then you must make sure that you hire the right estate agent. If you don’t choose the right agent, you may find you end up not being able to get the result you want out of your sale. Many people simply go for the first agent they see too, which is another mistake. If you want to do something about this, then one thing you can do is investigate mgpproperty.com.au, as they have years of experience in the industry.

Settling

Buying a property can be frustrating, but, saying that, you must ensure that you don’t settle due to panic or losing your patience. If you do, then you may find that you end up struggling to navigate a busy market, and this is the last thing you need. Buying a home is a long-term commitment, and it’s certainly not something that you should be rushing into. If you feel pressured or rushed, then this is a major sign that you need to slow down a bit. If you don’t, then you may find that you end up not being able to make ends meet because you’re buying a home that’s too expensive, and you have to move again in a very short space of time.

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How to get into property investment: 3 tips for buy to let beginners

How to get into property investment: 3 tips for buy to let beginners

With inflation at an all-time high, it’s never been a better time to invest your money to avoid it depreciating in value. Investing in property is a great way to ensure that your money is working for you and buying to let is always a fail-safe option.

For anyone looking to get into the buy to let property market, there are plenty of ways to do it and lots of benefits to enjoy along the way. Consider this your guide on how to get into property investment.

What is a buy to let investment?

Put simply, a buy to let allows the buyer to rent out their property instead of live in it themselves. They essentially buy a property and become the landlord of whoever moves in. It’s the only legal way to do it, as UK laws dictate that you can’t rent out your property unless you have this specific kind of mortgage.

However, before you invest your money, you need to select the right kind of buy to let mortgage. With so many available, choose carefully, consider your options and seek a professional advisor if you’re feeling unsure.

How to get into the property market

With lots of homes available to buy, there are plenty of opportunities to secure an investment and rent it out. In fact, a recent survey conducted in the UK showed that the UK needs 230,000 new rentals per year to handle the growing number of renters.

The greatest advantage of buying to let is, of course, the regular income that it provides you. Not only that, but your tenants’ rent should also cover the cost of any renovations or repairs that need to be done.

You may also want to consider the option of renting a House of Multiple Occupancy. This way, you can receive a sum of up to three times higher than if you were to rent the whole property on one agreement. Make sure to check all the rules and regulations around an HMO as different councils have different rules and you’ll need to obtain a licence to do it.

 What to look out for along the way

There are plenty of things to consider when investing in a buy to let. First, calculate what your capital growth is going to be, including what you need to do to add value to the property should you wish to sell it later on down the line.

When looking for a potential property, location and size is key. Depending on what your money can buy, think about the kind of renter you’d prefer. Would you favour a family over students? Maybe you’d like to appeal to young professionals or people who just need something handy in the city.

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4 tips for new home-owners

4 tips for new home-owners

Congratulations, new home-owners! You’ve finally got your dream home, and now all that’s left to do is to move in. This is a very exciting time in your life, but it can also be overwhelming and stressful as well. So many tasks will be vying for your attention, it can be easy to let things slip through the cracks. But don’t worry! Below, we’ve compiled a few things that you might not have thought were on your to-do list: we’ve thought about it, so you don’t have to.

Speak to your insurance company

Make sure your insurance policy is up to date on the day that you move in! Finding a trustworthy insurance company can make all the difference when purchasing a new house. In the flurry of all the other things you had to take care of during the move, dealing with insurance paperwork is likely not your priority.

It may be a little bit stressful, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and that’s what home insurance is for. Accidents always happen when you least expect them, and you don’t want to get caught off guard. Speak to your insurance company before your move in date.

Invest in good furniture

This is the freshest start you will ever get with this house, and you should start this stage of home-ownership on the right foot. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to buy furniture. Good furniture is an investment, one that’s more likely to pay off in the long run than the immediate future. Quality pieces like bedroom furniture are well worth the money, as they can last a lifetime if taken care of properly.

Check all the appliances

Before you officially move in, you should take stock of what appliances your new home will come with, and which ones you’ll need to install on your own. By making an inventory list ahead of time, you can really get on top of things so as to ease your moving experience.

You’ll want to start with the big ticket items like the fridge-freezer, stove or washer-dryer.

Don’t forget to take measurements to ensure that any appliances you buy will fit into the space that you have. Once everything is installed, check that they’re all functioning properly. You should inspect and service your appliances every once in a while to maintain their good working order.

As a new home-owner, it can be tempting to go all out with renovations in your new home, but be careful not to bite off more than you can chew!

Deep clean your home

Before you bring all your moving boxes into your new home, you should take advantage of the sparseness of the house to do a deep clean of the entire property. Not only is it hygienic, it can also be a great way to get to know every nook and cranny of the house. Whether you clean the house yourself or you decide to hire a cleaning service, it is good to spiritually cleanse the house of its previous owners and prepare the space to be inhabited by you. Vacuum, mop and polish the floors, scrub the kitchen areas, disinfect the shower, bath and toilet and deep clean the carpets and rugs (professionally, if necessary). If handing over the work to a third party is your preferable option, click here for more info. There’s nothing like the feel of moving into a sparkling new home, so roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Happy moving day!

Buying your first home is a big deal, and you should treat it like one. Now that you’re a home-owner, you’ll be in charge of handling household maintenance and all the other things that, previously, were the responsibility of your landlords. These tips are only a few of the many things that will be on your to-do list for the big day, so it’s a good idea to keep a physical checklist of things to accomplish so that you can stay organised. Remember to enjoy this experience, and don’t let the stress of the move make you forget what an exciting time this is!

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