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What would you do?

(45 Posts)
kirinm Fri 12-Feb-16 12:56:39

We are viewing this house tomorrow:

Southwell Grove Road, E11.

There's no doubt about it, it needs a lot of work. The amount of work is a bit scary for me but it's a house and that's better long term than a flat.

I'm thinking it needs a bay window added, the top window being returned to two windows like every other house and the pebbledash removed. The area was bombed in the blitz ( two houses on that street) so I suspect the pebbledash was used to strengthen the building rather than for 'decorating' it. I doubt it can be taken back to the brickwork but it can be removed and rendered so it's not as horrific.

The poor house basically needs a facelift before you even get into the front door.

Am I thinking along the right lines? Any other suggestions?

Moving15 Fri 12-Feb-16 13:00:07

I think the pebbledash would be the least of your concerns! Modernising a house in London will easily touch £100k unless you are able to carry out trade skills yourself or via relatives for free. Do you have that kind of cash and time and experience?

lalalonglegs Fri 12-Feb-16 13:09:26

There is no way that it needs £100k worth of work unless you are planning some massive extensions. You can have the front rendered over the pebbledash which will mean you don't have to pay for it to be removed (and potentially damage the brickwork). I agree it would benefit from having the bay reinstated and making two windows upstairs but that is down to taste rather than a matter of essentials. It has gas so presumably already has GCH which will probably need upgrading, a new kitchen and bathroom but, if the roof and walls are sound, you're looking at c£40k for a thorough tart up including rewire and major boiler upgrade.

kirinm Fri 12-Feb-16 13:09:55

DP is an electrician, brother a plasterer and DF a carpenter so I have access to tradesmen. It'll be a slow process but we potentially have access to money and will be able to save quite a lot a month as our mortgage repayments are nearly half of our rental payments but it would be a long term project definitely.

kirinm Fri 12-Feb-16 13:13:18

DP works for a large construction firm who are responsible for renovations for the very wealthy and celebs over in West and Central London so accessing tradesmen is something we won't have a problem with which from my friends experiences seems to be a problem in London.

RandomMess Fri 12-Feb-16 13:16:20

I would get a full structural survey - was the bay removed etc to try and hide some serious structural issues...

Getting rid of the polystyrene ceiling covering will be fun too!

kirinm Fri 12-Feb-16 13:27:45

Yeah if anything shouts full structural survey it's this beauty!

I'm expecting to see it and run away to be honest. It looks like it has the potential to be an absolute nightmare but there are some really nice houses on the street so there's a little ray of hope.

Moving15 Fri 12-Feb-16 13:35:54

As you have access to so much expertise, and people will potentially be scared off by the ugly front, it sounds like a promising project!

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Fri 12-Feb-16 13:42:47

It looks like a money pit to me.

Everything about it screams 'bodge job' with regards to any work done on it so far.

Are those copper pipes running along the kitchen ceiling? The bathroom looks like a Bob the Builder disaster and as for the polystyrene ceiling in the bedroom - what's that hiding? confused I think the fugly pebbledash will be the least of your worries. It needs stripping right back to basically a shell and starting again.

kirinm Fri 12-Feb-16 13:45:28

DrGoogle - that's what my instincts are telling me! Roof looks a bit dodgy too. And the fact there are no pics of the living room hmm.

Worth a look though.

kirinm Fri 12-Feb-16 13:48:36

Moving - its location (10 mins from a tube) and the fact no one else will want it is why we are seeing it. A sale fell through recently so my initial thoughts were that there's some structural issues (ignoring its ugliness). I think I can see a crack in the front bedroom which would tie in with that god awful window replacement. Why do people treat houses like that?

RandomMess Fri 12-Feb-16 18:02:32

Height of fashion at the time probably!!!!

whattodoforthebest2 Fri 12-Feb-16 18:17:57

It looks like a good project to me, if you can get it cheap enough. If you like the space it provides when you see it tomorrow, then arrange to take a friendly builder (ie someone you know) along for a second viewing and get his opinion on it. Use sale prices along the street as a guide and start deducting for the work that needs doing, but bear in mind that you'll need a mortgage valuation too.

The first house I bought was v similar to this in layout and was a lovely home with good sized rooms. It's in the middle of a terrace, so it won't fall down! smile

MidnightDexy Fri 12-Feb-16 20:55:05

Only buy it if you would be happy with not being able to reinstate the original bay window. My understanding is this would require a true structural overhaul of the property. People removing the original wooden windows on older bay windows and replacing them with UPVC windows is enough to trigger cracking and settlement / movement so this might be a bigger job than you think - ask your surveyor. Fixing the front might require a financial outlay far greater than the any value added to the house. I am vaguely familiar with prices in that neck of the woods and if I'm being honest I think it is a little overpriced for the condition its in.

kirinm Sat 13-Feb-16 12:52:00

I'd be pretty gutted if I couldn't put the bay back. I'll have a look into it. Is it stupid to not buy somewhere because it's going to stay ugly whatever you do?

superram Sat 13-Feb-16 12:56:31

I think it will easily cost £100k to do up, removing of the bay will have caused the cracks I imagine. Reinstating it will cost and make the downstairs smaller.

kirinm Sat 13-Feb-16 13:08:35

Why would reinstating it make the downstairs smaller?

MuddhaOfSuburbia Sat 13-Feb-16 14:09:56

have you been to see it yet?

could you camp live in it while the work gets done? It's awfully disruptive. But easier if you don't have kids

also, do you both work ft? Big works like this would be a struggle if you do

kirinm Sat 13-Feb-16 14:27:34

No the appointment got cancelled and rescheduled for next week.

Yeah we both work full time. It might be a bit of a pipe dream. I know that the reality of the extent of work will hit when we actually see it in real life.

kirinm Sat 13-Feb-16 14:28:27

We don't have kids btw.

OhYouLuckyDuck Sat 13-Feb-16 14:30:54

400k for that? Bloody hell, I'm glad I left London! With your access to trades, you'll make it look lovely though Op.

CallieTorres Sat 13-Feb-16 14:38:14

(i know this is not the point of this thread)
but £400,000 for a 2 bed terrace, the world is definitely mad

kirinm Sat 13-Feb-16 14:41:08

£400k is starting to feel cheap. We've lost out on 5 flats in the same sort of location. They've been selling for £430-£470k which is just mental. That's why a house that we could get for around £400k is such an exciting prospect. Just a shame it is in such bad shape.

bibbitybobbityyhat Sat 13-Feb-16 14:56:44

I think it looks great! The kitchen and bathroom are relatively modern, you could easily live in it. Don't be suspicious about the front bay, lots of Victorian terraces that weren't bomb damaged were "modernised" like that to include a porch. It was fashionable at the time.

bibbitybobbityyhat Sat 13-Feb-16 14:57:34

400,000 is not a lot for a two bedroom house in London, unfortunately.

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