The Easy Buy To Let Property Experiment: Renovation Kick Off

29 Jun

Is there any such thing as an “easy” buy to let?

That’s the question which prompted the purchase of the latest property (video tour here)

Perhaps I was premature in that question.  I think the first question I should have asked was: Is there any such thing as an easy property renovation?

The answer to that question if you have unlimited time and money is yes; yes property renovation when you can throw lots of money and time at a project is very easy.  But when you’re trying to do a renovation in the real world with actual budgets and strict time schedules it gets much, much harder.

This is because no matter what you think you have seen or budgeted for, there is always something else which will crop up.  And that’s why you always need to have a contingency…and a FFS-contingency!

When I viewed the property it was crammed full of stuff making access difficult to many areas.  I had checked some of the windows and noted they were early timber double-glazing, but thought with some TLC I could eke a bit more life from them.

The big mistake I made was not to climb over the furniture and test EVERY SINGLE ONE.  Because the ones I didn’t test – and which I now have access to – have literally fallen away in my hands and have now had to be nailed together!

Would this have made a difference to the price I would have offered?

Yes and No.

In an ideal world, I would’ve reduced my offer price to reflect the cost of the works, but in a hot property market, that offer wouldn’t have been accepted.  The property wouldn’t have been secured before auction and it’s very likely that in the room it would’ve sold for more and I wouldn’t now own the property.

So like anything, you have to look for small consolations – mine are: a) I now own the property and b) the money I would’ve spent on additional stamp duty will be better spent on actually improving the property.

The key issue which has arisen is that the window replacement has now become a top priority both in terms of project budget and also timings.  And this has consequences for the rest of the project schedule.

And so we start day one knowing the budget is blown….and the time schedule is screwed.

Welcome to the real world of property renovation 🙂

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