Advanced search

Has anyone ever bought a complete wreck

(21 Posts)
lastqueenofscotland Sun 12-Nov-17 23:11:59

I've found a house I love, structurally sound no damp and the roof is ok... but that's about it.

Will need everything doing, not a single room that doesn't need gutting.
I'm fairly hands on and can put aside about £30k to do the work... but has anyone actually done it and what should I look out for/think seriously about.

JT05 Sun 12-Nov-17 23:21:37

In the past we have completely ripped out and refurbished 3 houses.
I would say :
You always find the unexpected ( costly)
It always takes more money than first budgeted for
It always takes longer
Not for the faint hearted

Your budget does not seem a lot if it includes new electrics, plumbing, plastering, windows and central heating. But it depends on the size of the house and condition.

Mamagin Sun 12-Nov-17 23:48:46

Is it in Hythe? We're looking at one there, hope it's not the same! I'm in two minds, as would take a good year from our lives.....

Trethew Mon 13-Nov-17 00:35:49

Yes. last one was Structurally sound but needed complete rewiring and replastering. New kitchen and new bathroom. All those were planned and budgeted for, but new soakaway for rainwater and repairs to main sewer were not. As JT says it always costs more and takes longer and is bloody hard work and can be quite miserable doing all the menial tasks to save money (think scrubbing mould, sanding woodwork and scraping off wallpaper in sub zero temps for days on end to save money). There are always unexpected problems which inevitably cost extra. If the budget is small I allow about 20% contingency

But .... have moved up the property ladder doing this because it was the only way I could do it. Don’t pay anyone to do anything you can do yourself, and don’t even think about paint colours and fabrics until you have got a building fit to live in

Sweetooth92 Mon 13-Nov-17 00:48:42

We are still in the process of renovating our house. We went in blind knowing it needed work but not sure how much, three & a half years later we are almost there. So far we have needed a new roof, new windows, re wiring, heating installing, new joists upstairs, damp proofing and new concrete floors downstairs before the usual plastering kitchens bathrooms decorating. Aside from 12k for roofer and glazier we have paid for no labour (lucky to have a very generous and skilled Dad) and it’s still cost us 40k to get this far-and we haven’t gone over the top, lots of auction browsing for bathroom suite worktops etc. I wouldn’t change doing it as we love our home but never again and it’s been very testing at times! Never a weekend of downtime it’s been a constant labour of love-which we didn’t quite grasp fully the extent of beforehand

Sweetooth92 Mon 13-Nov-17 00:49:45

So be prepared to spend more than planned and expect to be drained-but proud of your results if you do opt for it smile

Stinkbomb Mon 13-Nov-17 00:50:09

Yes, done it 3 times - a lot of work, disruption, hassle and expense but def do-able and generally worth it!

Crumbelina Mon 13-Nov-17 07:16:26

We've done two. The first one when we didn't have children. It cost us around £30k and we'd do the work at weekends. It was mostly cosmetic although we did 99% of the work ourselves - new kitchen, bathroom, re-landscaped front and back garden. It was a great project and I loved doing the work. The increase in equity was also a huge positive (London).

We quickly moved on and bought a 3 bedroom detached Victorian wreck in SW London which has been an absolute nightmare! Everything needed doing (new plumbing system, new boiler, new floors, new ceilings, complete re-wire, new double storey extension, new kitchen, new bathrooms, new water supply, loft conversion in the future). DH did much of the work himself although that's now stopped as DD2 is here. We completely underestimated the work and though it would cost around £80k. Three years later we're only just over half way through and it's probably going to cost us £240k!

My advice would be to definitely take on a project if you don't have children or can live elsewhere. If not, then get someone to do all the work as quickly as possible and ensure that they are highly recommended many times over. Otherwise don't do it!! Living with a two year old and a newborn on what is essentially a building site is absolute madness. sad

Pradaqueen Mon 13-Nov-17 07:30:07

I have done loads. Both as my home and as a business. Things to think about: if it is a genuine wreck and you need finance it may not be mortgageable. Unless you have had a roofer look at it and confirmed all is well, a wrecks condition usually eminates from a poorly maintained roof. Expect to replace this. Think about the windows. That's a big chunk of change right there. Living in it is possible but tradesman hate it, as they can't move onto the next room without moving stuff and will charge you extra as generally it takes longer. If it is a terrace clear (not necessarily do) the garden first. You won't want wheelbarrows of dirt coming back through your beautifully decorated home. Skips cost £'s. Yes plumbing, electrics and drains are boring but they need doing first. Plastering mess and dust is the work of the devil. There is no place it cannot pervade. You will spend a small fortune on plastic dust sheets. You will fantasise about a clean, warm bed with no dust on the floor. No one ever achieves the prices mooted on Homes under the Hammer...

Having listed all of the above, it is worth it in the long run in terms of your return on your investment. It is also very enjoyable. And a bit like childbirth, hell at the time but forgotten shortly after.

Crumbelina Mon 13-Nov-17 07:46:54

Excellent points by Prada! I'm at the stage where I'm completely hating it, but this one is the forever house (I'm going to sit in my kitchen drinking wine for the next 20 years) and we'll put on lots of equity despite our crazy costs.

One tip I forgot to mention: if your DH/DP won't agree to pay for storage angry then go out and buy a million plastic storage boxes from Wilko and put everything in them. As Prada says, the dust gets everywhere.

SilverSpot Mon 13-Nov-17 08:47:39

I think 30k is pretty amitious for a total renovation even if there is nothing structural.

Boiler, re wire, bathroom, kitchen, plastering, flooring throughout, new doors and skirting maybe etc

thenewstateswoman Mon 13-Nov-17 09:00:23

We did this on a very ambitious six week schedule ( new wiring, new plumbing, bathroom, floors, skirtings, walls replaster, new kitchen repoint outside walls ) it was a flipping nightmare and took double our cash budget and we ended up moving in the week before Xmas with no kitchen fitted. Dust and shite everywhere but one bedroom was ok. Our two year old loved playing on a building site. It’s still not entirely finished but more or less done.

However it took its toll and my husband and I are now separated. The house is lovely though. And he will be moving out not I. We have a bit of equity from the renovation but not much once you factor in the costs.

mummyhaschangedhername Mon 13-Nov-17 09:07:23

We have, 30k isn’t a lot, depends on what you need done and what you want rage end result to look like.

Like above, it always always costs more, and it takes over your life! I loved into a smaller house, it’s completely not decorated in a style I like, but I’m taking a break since our last renovation.

TangBloodyFastic Mon 13-Nov-17 09:32:45

We’re just in the process of buying a house which is going to be a money pit. New roof needed (est £15k) new electrics, walls need moving, central heating needs putting in part of it.
I’m really nervous as we will have to do it as and when we get the money but parts of it are liveable, albeit very hmm
It’s going to take us yearsconfused

user263781638 Mon 13-Nov-17 09:41:35

We’re doing the same, we’ve done it previously with £25k including extension (DH is a bricklayer) we saved loads of money through cash in hand by friends of my DH but it did mean a lot of of waiting around, took us 18months all together but we wasn’t living in it, at one point it was that bad it was classed as inhabitable and we didn’t have to pay council tax, the only bonus we had!

Now on to our second with £50k. waiting on planning permission to come through before we start anything major but we’re a bit unsure if we’ll have enough this time as the house is a lot bigger than the last one we’ve already realised it needs a new boiler we didn’t budget for as the other was heat only 😩 which the vendors lied about.

Once everything is done it’s one of the most rewarding things imo it’s just getting there what’s a bit hairy! Good luck

bunerison Mon 13-Nov-17 10:17:44

We're coming to the end of it and we'll be lucky to have change from £200k. We thought it was going to be about £130k. Don't underestimate what they could find. We thought our roof was ok, it wasn't. We thought the electrics could be saved, they couldn't. We thought the pipes were ok, they weren't. Old extensions didn't have proper footing so they had to be re-dug, steels had to go into rooms we didn't think were going to be touched, floors were uneven so had to be levelled. It has been a total nightmare but it's our forever house and we've managed to get our hands on the cash and we'll get it back when we sell but I probably wouldn't have done it if I had any idea quite how huge the project was going to be. My DH disagrees though, he thinks it's worth every penny.

TheABC Mon 13-Nov-17 10:37:40

Be prepared to overspend. Seriously, it's never just a case of rewiring and plastering. There will be unexpected surprises and it will take longer than expected. My grandfather used to do this for wrecks in France, Spain and Greece: his rule of thumb was to pay extra if needa be for reputable workmen (get references!) and add % to his budget for extra problems. In this case, I would be looking at how much house will be worth after he work and adding 20% to the expected bills.

tentative3 Mon 13-Nov-17 11:32:32

We bought our house around 4 years ago, did a single storey extension, new boiler, radiators and some pipework, new bathroom, new kitchen, new floors downstairs, back to bare brick on most walls so plastering, ceilings in some places, woodburner and knocked down an internal wall as well as the external walls for the extension. Oh and a full rewire. Roof fine and existing windows all kept, just extension windows, new front door and new patio doors needed. And a small deck. We spent about 42k but had some of the work done at mates rates.

We didn't live in the house during it, which made it quicker, no doubt about it. It still took longer than we'd hoped and there were some dark days when the garden was a swamp and every single wall was damp dark plaster. Was worth it, yes, would I do it again? For the right house, yes. But I believe costs have risen significantly since we did it.

harrietm87 Mon 13-Nov-17 11:35:48

We’ve just bought a wreck. Needs rewiring, replastering, flooring throughout, 2 new bathrooms and new kitchen, underpinning front wall, repairs to roof, redecorating throughout. We got loads of quotes from builders, went with the one with the best references, and have a 100% contingency (ie double the amount of the quote), though some of that is a retention on the mortgage so can’t access it until the works are done. Whole project estimated to take 2 months, but will be more like 6. I’m pregnant and we’re living there so it’s stressful but will be worthwhile I hope. Oh and we couldn’t get a normal mortgage so paying through the nose for a renovation one.

Crumbelina Mon 13-Nov-17 11:40:26

Oh Bunerison, it sounds like you've had a very similar experience to me. We'll make enough money to justify the renovation but if I could go back and you showed me how much work was involved then I'd be absolutely shocked and refuse to buy the house. DH would gladly take it on again even though he's had to sacrifice almost every weekend for three years. confused

carb0nated Mon 13-Nov-17 12:28:45

We did it. Moved out and had a team of builders to do renovation. Small house (120 metres square) and cost us about £200k to renovate. Could have done it perhaps 50k cheaper if we'd chosen less expensive white goods and other options.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: