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Not our 'forever' house - how much do you spend on improvements?

(7 Posts)
1percentawake Sun 19-Dec-10 11:10:11

We bought a house recently which needs some updating. Is an 80's house and everything is still functional (just!) but it does need new carpets, boiler, windows, bathrooms and redecoration.

I can't imagine we will be here forever as I'm not really that keen on the village. I'm thinking maybe 5-10 yrs max and want to make it nice for us to live in but not to spend thousands on it.

What sort of quality do you go for e.g. bathrooms/carpets? Also if we were to get a conservatory or extention, would this be worth doing in a falling housing market?

Just after some advice or to hear about anyone in the same situation!

Thandeka Sun 19-Dec-10 14:19:24

We are in same boat so marking place with interest. Our house is 35k below max price other houses in street have gone for- therefore that is our absolute limit (and won't be spending that much at all if we can help it!). Therefore that rules out any extension loft conversion etc as you just wont get the return.

We are going for functional rather than dream on everything - most important thing is fairly hardwearing as we may rent it out when we move on as rental returns quite good in area (have worked out we can get a 4% return which is more than our savings at min!)

We are still going for stuff to our taste though but not dream- eg I would love a real african slate floor but going for a slate effect lino instead. I don't want to be living in a house that "isn't me" but its defo not worth shelling out for African Slate on a house I'm not even sure I like very much.


noddyholder Sun 19-Dec-10 14:23:10

Get the basics of plumbing heating electrics and structure right so that when you come to sell the survey goes smoothly.Do not extend in a falling market plus if its not your forever house the disruption is huge and not worth the grief!get medium quality carpets and buy furniture and art that you love and can take with you

lalalonglegs Sun 19-Dec-10 14:54:20

Conservatories never seem to pay their way (God knows why they are so expensive in the first place). You seem to be doing quite a lot to the house already - that's a big list of improvements - so I would say get to know your neighbours and see if they have done anything in addtion that will make your lives more comfortable and the house more attractive without spending a fortune (it could be the way the kitchen is laid out or building in a bit of extra storage) but, after that, just save your ideas for your next place.

Laquitar Sun 19-Dec-10 15:09:20

I would do boiler and windows, thats for sure because i cant tolerate the cold. This should save you some money from heating cost.

And of course i would listen everything noddyholder and lalalonglegs say because they are they are the experts on this section and always talk sense wink

1percentawake Sun 19-Dec-10 19:37:35

Thanks - that does all make absolute sense! Most of the houses in my estate have a conservatory except ours but we also have the smallest garden so would eat into the outside space I suppose. Will try and get some costs for the other jobs and try to slowly start doing some of the main ones.

I guess if we get stuck here longer term we could think about extending at a later date!

DisparityCausesInstability Mon 20-Dec-10 12:42:16

I wouldn't do a conservatory, horrible things that are too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter, I have no idea how they have ever become so popular - either do a proper extension or leave well enough alone.

Bathrooms can be done quite cheaply, check out good deals in Wickes for tiles and bathrooms - they are surprisingly stylish and are thought to be of good quality.

It takes a lot of energy saving to pay for new windows or for a new boiler (although boiler repairs can mount up).

Draw up a proper budget - decide how much you have to spend, price each job and then prioritize. Carpets are pretty cheap, as is redecoration and you can get some pretty cheap curtains - shop around.

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