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Spend money renovating old house or sell "as seen"?

(14 Posts)
hoolabombshell Mon 08-Aug-11 17:17:07

Sorry if this question has been asked loads before - this is my first experience of selling a house and myself and DP are not sure of the best way to do it, especially in this current, utterly depressing housing market. We are in Scotland.

DP inherited the family home (3 bed bungalow) after his mum passed away. He is wanting to sell it as we have our own house which we are also looking to sell, then the plan is to move abroad by late next year <hopeful yet kidding self emoticon>

The place is pretty run down eg. courtyard garden with concrete tiles and dead plants, some plaster coming away from exterior walls, broken boiler, same kitchen & bathroom since his parents moved in in the early 70s etc. He had big plans to restore and upgrade the house so that we could sell our current place and move in there for a while, however as we both lost our jobs last year we've not had the money to do any more than clear out junk and clean it up. We did manage to get a new roof less than a year ago and it has new-ish double-glazing, but that's about it.

I may be able to borrow a small amount of money from a family member to get the basics done (boiler repair, some simple upgrading to bathroom and kitchen, neutral carpets etc.) but is this really going to be worth it? Are we best to just cut our losses and sell it as it is?

The reason we are so undecided is because the funds from the sale of the house will be a big help towards our big move (and subsequent settling) overseas, as well as paying off some of DPs debt before we leave. The house we are currently in is on an interest only mortgage (doh), so I very much doubt we will make anything on it when we sell. Having said that, we are very much aware that it's a buyer's market right now, so if we need to get shot of the house at a bargain price then that's what we'll need to do.

Sorry for the long post, any advice is much appreciated! smile

ElbowFan Mon 08-Aug-11 17:26:10

Get some local agents in to value it and talk to them - they should have a good idea of what is worth doing and should be able to advise you. They at least are the people who see what sells!

hoolabombshell Mon 08-Aug-11 17:34:00

Thanks elbow, probably a really stupid question but does it cost to get a valuation done?

noddyholder Mon 08-Aug-11 17:36:13

It depends what the profit margin would be and whether you could manage it yourselves or if you would need to pay someone. If the profit isn't huge I would just get it sold as prices are due a fall tbh and by the time you get the renovations done the market may have changed!

hoolabombshell Mon 08-Aug-11 18:37:56

I think I agree noddy, realistically we'd need to spend at least 10K to get it in a basic decent condition, however I doubt that would raise the value by much. And you're right, I think the market's only going to get worse, so what's the point?

Thanks for the advice, of course I'll speak to some local EA's too.

ElbowFan Mon 08-Aug-11 18:42:18

Coming round to value should be a free service surely?
If they charge just to come and look I'd not give them time of day!

Gonzo33 Mon 08-Aug-11 19:09:30

I thought that it was the conveyancer that advertised the property in Scotland? Not EA's as such

ElbowFan Mon 08-Aug-11 19:39:50

Ah sorry! I know the situation is different in Scotland, but didn't realise that EAs were out of the picture. What DO EAs do in Scotland? (If its not a silly question)

CristinaTheAstonishing Mon 08-Aug-11 19:51:11

I would just get it very clean (even if this shows up all the faults) and tidy up the garden. Also air the rooms so it doesn't smell damp & old.

hoolabombshell Mon 08-Aug-11 20:35:50

Er, not sure. When I bought my current house I went through a conveyancer for the legals but the property was advertised by an EA.


Thanks Cristina, it's looking likely that we'll just need to clean it, paint it in neutral colours and sell it. DP is sticking to his guns about wanting to do more to it but we just don't have the ££ (or the time) and it is only going to be worth what someone wants to pay for it, really.

I think we'll just have to suck up the fact that we'll be trying to sell 2 properties over the next 12 months and may not even break even sad

ShoutyHamster Tue 09-Aug-11 09:07:56

Sell as it is.

1. The market might well drop, in fact probably will a bit, while you renovate.

2. You will in all likelihood spend more than you get back - lots of hidden costs, and the cost of TIME too, if you do any of it on your own.

3. If you put your all into it and can't sell, or sell for less than you hoped - it's a big, personal disappointment.

4. The main one: people LOVE to get what they perceive as a bargain. Especially right now. Get the advice of some agents, but I bet you would get far more interest, and possibly (weirdly) a better price in relative terms, for a 'doer-upper'. They ALWAYS spark interest. People like them. I bet something looking tired, with a bit of work to do (but not TOO much - roof already done is good!) would get more interest than yet another blandly 'done' run of the mill option.

We were looking until recently, but have put it on hold - and we were looking for a doer upper with the intention of using it as a way of maximising our funds for the next few years - buy cheap, do up, hopefully sell in a couple of years. Lots of folk will be thinking like that at the moment I reckon.

ShoutyHamster Tue 09-Aug-11 09:13:18

Just read your last post - Get your DH to do some actual totting up. We did up our flat a few years ago. Didn't have to sell in the end, fortunately - but by God it cost SO much more than you would imagine, and that's with us doing lots of the work. We would not make that money back. It was part of the reason we finally changed our minds about buying right now. Unless the market rose, we know from experience we'd probably make less than we spent.

Bear in mind that doing a quick job in neutral colours is basically spending money to make your house look EXACTLY the same as all the others on the market. Talk to an agent - if they say that, in fact, your house's 'unique selling point' is that it needs work ('fabulous opportunity for the enthusiast' etc.!) then you would be mad to erase that - if that makes sense!

hoolabombshell Tue 09-Aug-11 21:43:54

Thanks for the advice shouty smile

Fizzylemonade Wed 10-Aug-11 07:47:34

I agree with talking to agents but leaving it as it is.

Tools for the job cost extra, there is always something you haven't thought about, things always take twice as long as you think and cost more money than you think. You would also need to factor in travelling to and from the property and travelling to collect materials.

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