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Would you buy an epic fixer upper?

(19 Posts)
Thingmcthingyface Sun 22-Jan-17 20:55:05

1st world problem alert- London property dilemma... we can't afford a 3 bed but we can afford a two bed Victorian house that is effectively a shell, it has original floorboards still in tact but needs new electrics plumbing kitchen bathroom plaster, loft conversion and garden re doing, even needs new stairs. We would have £100k max to do the work but could move in with parents. Have you done this? Would you dare? We have got a good builder we trust who has experience, and we love design and making things but have a 10 month old so not able to do a lot of diy... terrified and excited by the idea in equal measure...

notsurehowtodothis Sun 22-Jan-17 20:58:43

Yes, we did and totally worth it. We did it before DCs though and lived in one room of it for a year (couldn't even contemplate that now) but the end result was a lovely home for the next few years, and a great return when we sold it on to buy our forever home. Worth every second! Four things to remember 1) manage the budget 2) don't make snap decisions 3) unless 'new' is absolutely necessary try and buy things second hand (we bought granite worktops, new kitchen, a bathrooms from warehouse sales selling end of line good etc.) and 4) did I mention manage the budget?!

Servicesupportforall Sun 22-Jan-17 21:00:31

Sounds bloody amazing go for it.

Bailey101 Sun 22-Jan-17 21:02:21

The biggest problem (after money) is getting decent tradesmen - if you already have a builder you can trust, that's half the battle sorted.

It would be a rough few months, but once it was finished you'd have a home that was what ou wanted and personalised to you.

I'd go for it, if I was you grin

Buddahbelly Sun 22-Jan-17 21:05:23

Yep we did, bought a beautiful victorian 3 storey property for 35k renovated it, we had 11k to do the majority (but were up north so a lot cheaper). we had builders do the majority of the work for first few months, new windows, major structural changes we wanted and the majority of the plastering, dp fitted the bathroom and tiled it all - thanks youtube saved us at least 7000!

Its hard work thought and not for the faint hearted but we loved every second of it and would do it again in a heartbeat - the pay off now is that were equity on our next house as its value has obviously increased dramatically.

The hardest part which I didn expect was living with my brother again and learning to watch top gear on repeat just like being at home again hmm. Id do it, honestly you wont regret it.

mrsclaus100 Sun 22-Jan-17 21:05:37

We did it with our first house and it's the only reason we could then afford to move up to a much bigger house in a nicer area. Bloody hard work but a big sense of achievement. Plus you get to do it exactly how you want it. Very hard with children, however it sounds like you have good parents who may be willing to help with childcare on your diy days. Good luck!

showcropper Sun 22-Jan-17 21:07:01

Do it!! I'm not going to lie it will be hard, but you have a good budget to do the work.

As pp said second hand can save lots of money. Esp with a period house. Try reclamation yards for doors, fireplaces, and other period features.

Can you post a link to the house? Loads of people on here will be able to give tips and ideas (understand if you don't want to though)

Also maybe think about things that are absolutely necessary ie the plumbing/electrics/stairs. And throw the money at those. Then think about the things that are liveable without ie loft conversion? Could this wait for a bit? Good luck!!

Babynamechange Sun 22-Jan-17 21:08:58

I did as a working single parent doing 99% of the work myself while my son was at school.... no regrets. Doing it myself was my way of affording to be able do it smile x

TronaldDump Sun 22-Jan-17 21:11:06

Definitely do it! We managed a 3 bed in zone 2 which was a total wreck - luckily it was pre-kids so we did 2 weeks of intensive re-plumb and re-wire then moved in and did the rest as we went. It was hard at times but it got us a decent sized house with a garden when most of our friends were renting studio flats. Was totally worth it.

Backt0Black Sun 22-Jan-17 21:21:53

another yes here. Bought a 3 bed, 10 acre farm in the freezing N-east. Had no heating or hot water when boiler was condemned in Dec.... for nearly 3 weeks, and we survived grin glad I'm fat and pregnant

It is stressful, and we do have silly spats and are exhausted, but are very, very, very happy with our investment

PossumInAPearTree Sun 22-Jan-17 21:32:24

Did it once.

House needed new roof, boiler, kitchen, bathroom, plastering, ceilings, some plumbing, chimneys needed taking down. Dh worked away from home and I worked full time and had a 2yo dd. We lived in the house while it was done. Never again!

But if you can find a good tradesman and live at parents then yes.

Oysterbabe Sun 22-Jan-17 21:36:48

I've watched Frozen too many times because I have a really annoying song in my head now.

fourcorneredcircle Sun 22-Jan-17 21:41:30

We're on fixer upper #2. So far have re-roofed, re-wired, re-plastered some rooms as ready, re-floored top two floors, re-glazed throughout, about to start on a new hot water system (we've already put in new radiators and run the pipes to where the new system needs them). After that we'll do the first bathroom, then the kitchen, then another bathroom.

We don't mind the stress and hard work because we enjoy the process. We'd rather take our time and spend the money the house deserves - e.g. We saved up for new floorboards throughout the first floor for six months so we could have them made to the original height and design... rather than off the shelf jobs at B&Q or whatever.

However, I think we are unusual... currently due DC1 in June and people keep asking me about nursery colours... then looking panicked when I make flippant comments about the room needing a floor, ceiling and plastering first!

It's not for everyone, but, for those that love it it's very addictive...

ZippyNeedsFeeding Sun 22-Jan-17 21:44:57

I would, in a heartbeat. However, my husband is a builder, my nephew is a contractor and I know a lot of tradesmen who give me mates rates.

samcroreaper Sun 22-Jan-17 21:48:57

We did!! Renovated every room & extended in just under a year & lived there at the time, it was definitely worth but at the time it very nearly broke us at the time - mentally, physically & financially!! This was pre children though could never do it again

Thingmcthingyface Sun 22-Jan-17 22:24:38

Wow i did not expect a unanimous yes! Also- I am having the exact same problem with that song from Frozen in my head ever since we saw the house....
That's a really interesting point that we could do the loft later. A 2 bed is fine until we have another DC. I LOVE the idea of having everything to fit our needs, lots of developers do stupid stuff (halogens in the ceilings of Victorian houses instead of central fittings with roses. WHY? I once saw a bathroom with TV in the wall. So bad).
The builder in question overhauled the exterior of the period house we currently have a flat in and was brilliant, and does a lot of good work in our area which is all period.
We also love wandering round auctions and scrap places so this is right up our street. I guess the worry is that something might go wrong and wed end up flat broke with no roof over our heads.

DJBaggySmalls Sun 22-Jan-17 22:29:24

I've done it, and I'd do the loft now. You'll kick yourself if you have builders traipsing through after its finished.
We did some of our building work under the supervision of our builder, including doing most of the rewiring, and repointing. Then we did all the redecorating.

Silentplikebath Sun 22-Jan-17 22:31:16

I wouldn't because I like an easy life but I can understand why people choose to do it. The fact that you have a good builder helps a lot.

yolofish Sun 22-Jan-17 22:47:57

we've done it every time, but we are used to living in shit pits! (literally with 2nd time, first house - no floor boards in downstairs kitchen for 6 mths, cats used to crap in the dirt...!) I'd agree with PP who said bite the bullet and do loft now - if you can afford it. it will add value and save money and stress in the longer term. And save the hall stairs and landing for last, make the rooms habitable and nice, and when you have littlies going up and down stairs they trash the place. This is what I tell myself, 17 years on, with 2 almost grown up DDs and hall stairs and landing still not done!

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