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Cheap do-er up-er vs nothing to do

(16 Posts)
ColdFeetWarmHeart Wed 06-Aug-14 22:14:15

We are looking to move very soon. Ideally we are looking for a 3 bed semi, with the potential to extend later on rather than having to move again.

Would you/have you bought a house than needed work doing (e.g. new kitchen/bathroom/carpets/all 3), or a house that had been all done and you could move straight into?

From what I have seen online this evening there is only £10-20k difference between a house that needs work, and a house we won't need to touch. Obviously this could change tomorrow, as it depends what comes in and out of the market.

How much did it cost you to completely redecorate the whole house? And more importantly how long? (I don't want to spend years doing up the house - 1) we would like to try for another baby in the next year and 2) my DH takes FOREVER to do anything.

What I am really trying to work out though is the financial side. Would it be worth the extra £50-£200 pcm on the mortgage (mortgage might not go down by that much if we buy the cheaper house, as we will need money to do up the house).

Blueskies80 Wed 06-Aug-14 22:23:48

Having lived with building work for 2 yrs with a fixer upper I would say go for the property that's done. You could very easily spend more that 10-20k doing work and it always costs up more than you think it will. We had to do a fixer up as we wanted to stay in a specific area and got priced out of everything else. The house will be mostly as we want it when we are done on the plus side but it will take another 1-2 yrs and it's been very hard managing works around young children. If you do a fixer upper do the work before you move in if you can! Or blitz it before kids come along!
Good luck whatever you decide!

ColdFeetWarmHeart Wed 06-Aug-14 22:28:33

We already have a DD who is nearly 2, and I'm sure would have enormous fund climbing over a building site! I would have kittens though.

Just had a chat with hubby - I don't think either of us want to take too much on. A lick of paint, and maybe a new carpet or two (DH works for flooring company, so we can buy at trade price) - but we don't really want the hassle of fitting new kitchens and bathrooms. DH would be fine to sort out units, but neither of us have ever tiled / plastered etc!

Thinking about it, I am going more and more off the fixer-upper. It is doing my head in being surrounded by boxes as it is!!!

tryingtocatchthewind Wed 06-Aug-14 22:32:16

Fixer-upper = money pit!

Seriously though even redecorating is laborious and not cheap, you're looking at thousands to do kitchen and bathroom and at least a thousand to change a load of carpets.

It's taken us 5 years to redecorate, do the bathrooms and a kitchen extension. PITA I'm getting a 'done' one next time

flingingmelon Wed 06-Aug-14 22:33:57

I bought a doo-er up-er in 2006 and spent about 20% of the house price again redoing it from top to bottom. It seemed like a nightmare at the time but after about three months it was finished and in the following years it's been lovely to live in a house that was just right. However this time I have a full time job and a 1yo. We're getting the kitchen done before we move in and nothing else. I just couldn't cope with all the effort on top of my day to day life.

MistletoeBUTNOwine Wed 06-Aug-14 22:37:54

We've just bought a fixer upper 1 month ago, 1 bathroom done, 1 wall knocked down, 1 to go... Another bathroom to do, eith a 7 mo DS and 9 yo home ed dd grin
It's fun. Get people in to do the technical stuff ie plumbers and sparkies, doing the decorating ourselves.
But we love this house, size area etc and was a bargsin.
Good luck smilewink

ColdFeetWarmHeart Wed 06-Aug-14 22:44:41

I am trying to think with my head at the moment, but I'm sure when we find "the house" we will justify it whether its a fixer-upper, or all finished!

But at this moment, I am so tired, the thought of a fixer-upper nearly brings tears to my eyes!!

NormHonal Wed 06-Aug-14 22:51:46

You have a nearly-2yo. So...

The answer is: whichever is in the right school catchment area/location for the right price.


Just speaking from experience, we did the doer-upper long before having DCs and created a lovely house we just-about made our money back on BUT hadn't done our research on road/area/schools. So ultimately had to sell up and move.

It turned out that the more expensive new-build house we turned down would have been the better purchase, as it was smack bang in the catchment area of a great primary school.

ColdFeetWarmHeart Wed 06-Aug-14 23:00:23

I have put together a spreadsheet after researching loads of primary schools in the area smile

NormHonal Wed 06-Aug-14 23:44:08

smile. As you were, then.

ColdFeetWarmHeart Wed 06-Aug-14 23:52:51

I really am hoping a few more properties come on to the market in the next week or so. We finally seem to have a buyer for our flat, and now there don't seem to be many houses on the market in our place range - not that we're interested in/excited about anyway. Just one that is right at the top above our budget. In a nice village, but near an ok primary school, rather than a really good one

Chiana Thu 07-Aug-14 03:41:27

Renovations always cost twice as much and take twice as long as you expect. I say go for the house which is move-in ready. Good luck looking!

bishboschone Thu 07-Aug-14 04:03:50

I really wanted to buy an fixer upper last year but we bought a new build instead . My dh didn't want to do the work because ultimately he can so did . It was a 4 bed and I wanted to extend straight away but he didnt have the vision or the energy ! We have just sold our lovely done house so I can see his point but it was £100k less than the new build so we would have made money and moved on if necc but the showhomes are soo seducing !!!

ch1a Thu 07-Aug-14 06:55:12

Completed on a fixer upper in April and by May had fitted new kitchen, bathroom, wooden floors downstairs, carpet upstairs and completely repainted. Total cost around £8,000 plus Labour.

My uncle in law did the work and we paid him £2.5k but he said he would have charged around £5k on the open market for kitchen, bathroom and wood floors . I love it everything is exactly what I chose. Took a month, and we did the painting and built up the kitchen cabinets ourselves.

Beaverfeaver2 Thu 07-Aug-14 07:00:06

We bought a house that had just been done.

It's still been expensive though as we needed to buy all curtains, light fittings, bathroom cabinets/accessories, oven and the garden needed re-turfing.

Overall we would have spent about £7k since moving in.

The place had been freshly decorated, extended, with new kitchen, bathrooms, heating stystem, carpet and utility.

I wouldn't want to know how much we would have had to spend if we bought a doer upper

ColdFeetWarmHeart Thu 07-Aug-14 21:59:11

I shall bear that in mind chiana - ideally I don't want to do too much work myself (I am a perfectionist, and would want my house to look like a showhome, but I have limited DIY skills). I'd like to be able to focus on decorating DD's room (and fingers crossed, the play room) in wonderful themes!!

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