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‘Project’ Properties Prove Popular with Homebuyers

According to recent research, over 70% of prospective homeowners in Britain would prefer to buy a property in need of work rather than a home that is already in move-in condition.

Buying a ‘Project’ Property

The research, by property website Zoopla, found that these homebuyers are prepared to spend an average of £16,765 to bring their ‘project’ property up to the required standard. On a regional basis, home improvers in London and the South East of England are apparently prepared to invest the most in adding a personal touch to their property, with averages of £22,413 and £20,047 respectively. Homeowners in Wales put the least aside, budgeting £7,705.

The scale of work that people are prepared to undertake can vary. Around 33% of people surveyed said they would take on major alterations including structural work, and around 20% said they were willing to do the bulk of the work themselves, without calling in professionals.

On a smaller scale, the types of DIY jobs people are happiest to take on include decorating the walls (14%), replacing the flooring (12%) and landscaping the garden (9%).

Adding Value

Resale value appears to be the biggest motivation for buying a ‘project’ property. The research found that 61% of respondents consider the value a renovation will add before they start work on their property.

When asked what alterations they believe will add the most value to their home, 17% of respondents said installing a new kitchen. This was closely followed by a new bathroom (15%) and extending the property to include a loft or conservatory (13%).

However, for some homebuyers, taking on a project property doesn’t always go to plan and many find they have bitten off more than they can chew. Around 64% said that no matter how many improvements they make there is always more to do, while 24% admit that they have started DIY projects but never finished them.

DIY Skills are in Decline

Research by Halifax Home Insurance also found that some homebuyers are unprepared for the reality of buying a home that needs substantial work.

According to Property Wire, the research found that 27% of people who had taken on a DIY job ending up doing the work wrong, and 34% said they gave up and didn’t finish the job. It also found that DIY skills amongst the 18-24 age-group were continuing to fall. Only 62% expressed confidence in their ability to change a lightbulb, and just 13% thought they would be able to undertake tiling work.

Property Wire also reported on similar research by insurance broker Towergate, which found that over 20% of first-time buyers are buying ‘project’ properties in order to be able to get on the property ladder. They then try to keep costs down by doing much of the work themselves, but unfortunately 27% subsequently find themselves having to call in professionals to redo the work, at an additional cost of £2,358 on average.

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If you are looking to buy a new home in Scotland, whether it is a new-build or a fixer-upper, then contact our expert property lawyers today.