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Doer-upper as a FTB. Crazy?

(28 Posts)
Forgottenmypassword Tue 13-Mar-18 17:30:32

I've not even looked at the property yet, but mum has been and peeked through the windows today and says it looks like heaps and heaps to be done.

They are asking quite a sum for it, so would be hoping to sit tight and get it for much less but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. It has double glazing and the EA notes say a new boiler last year. Mum says the kitchen is barely a kitchen, so I'm imagining the bathroom isn't too pretty.

We'd have to live in it whilst the work went on, we'd be on a budget and it would have to be done over quite a few years. I'd think we'd put in a cheap but liveable kitchen and bathroom and then a lick of paint and carpets to keep us going.... Presuming the whole place doesn't need rewiring etc.

Is it a mad idea? This is all pie in the sky right now but just mulling over whether it would be the way to go as property is so expensive here and it would get us a place in the area we want to be in, but obviously at a cost longer term.

Anyone lived in a doer upper for a long period of time? I'd go raving mad wouldn't I, after a while?

moreismore Tue 13-Mar-18 17:34:51

We did for our first house but we had a lot of skilled family help along the way. A good dose of bleach can sort even the grottiest kitchen/bathroom for a while IME but it’s important to get a few rooms liveable quite quickly (within a month) for your sanity. You may find carpets would shampoo up ok. If you’re generally not too precious and keen then you can def do it but you need to be realistic about how much help you’ll need and what you’ll have to spend.

sausagedogsmakechipolatas Tue 13-Mar-18 17:38:36

Our first (and current) home was a doer upper. We’ve been here over a decade, replaced the kitchen, replastered fully, new floors etc. Still living with an ancient bathroom though but our buyer is happy to be able to do that.

Forgottenmypassword Tue 13-Mar-18 17:39:27

I do have a very handy dh and fil!

It's floorboards upstairs which would be fine with a few rugs. Downstairs looks like just concrete so would need some flooring of some description.

I guess I just need to be patient and wait and see it before I make any decisions. Just jumping the gun.

MrsPussinBoots Tue 13-Mar-18 17:40:55

I bought my home in November knowing that it needs redecorating. I now know that the whole thing could do with being knocked down and started again, roof included. It's been a nightmare 4 months. It'll be a great house eventually but at the moment I hate it. Partly because I'm rubbish at diy and am relying on other people to do the majority.

Forgottenmypassword Tue 13-Mar-18 17:41:00

I'm not that precious, so think I'd be ok. I suppose personality comes into it a lot!

lecossaise Tue 13-Mar-18 17:46:37

Definitely look at it! Something that needs a lot of work but is habitable is just fine! My flat was rank when I bought it - the previous owner was a chain smoker so there was tar/nicotine soaked into all of the walls, the bathroom floor was lino that was no longer attached to anything, carpets looked like they'd been there since the 60s, and it took a good few bottles of bleach to sort out the kitchen (which I still haven't gotten round to redecorating) - but I managed having never picked up a paintbrush before and with a distinct lack of handy (indeed any) DP. Buuut if the damage is more structural than cosmetic... maybe think twice unless you've got a lot of extra funds behind you.

Forgottenmypassword Tue 13-Mar-18 17:47:40

Wasn't implying you were precious boots I was answering the above.

I quite often long for a show home but mine never looks like one. I imagine it gets you down after a while though.

Forgottenmypassword Tue 13-Mar-18 17:49:43

Yeah, no extra funds! It would be save as we go. Anything structural would be a no go I think.

WonkyDonk87 Tue 13-Mar-18 17:51:05

Ours had been taken back to brick in most rooms one by one whilst we've lived in it. It's dusty and imperfect but the end result will be worth it. I've quite enjoyed smashing plaster off walls/painting/deepening my Pinterest addiction. My parents did structural work on a house with one toddler and one babe in arms so it's so-able if you're patient and resilient.

MrsMarigold Tue 13-Mar-18 18:01:48

We live in a doer-upper, mortgage almost paid off now, have done for nine years and done nothing it's doubled in value but is very shabby, luckily in a farrow and ball, worn seagrass matting sort of a way. All our friends and ask when it will get done but I suspect not for years, it hasn't had a lick of coat for 20 years and isn't comfortable by modern standards but you cease to notice

Forgottenmypassword Tue 13-Mar-18 18:04:11

No regrets then Mrs Marigold ?

Do you ever gaze wistfully at Ideal Home magazine? 😁

MrsMarigold Tue 13-Mar-18 18:15:34

You bet, I do! But very few families have the same luxury of space (house is over 3000 sq ft) so with children we all have our space and not sure if you have DC, but I don't feel too stressed about the mucky finger prints, arrow on the landing floor pointing to the playroom, we'll hopefully sort it out when they aren't at such a messy stage. They have a great childhood, I'm not fussing over carpets and get a bit irritated with friends who run around after with a dust pan and brush. I reckon it's allowed us to save and we'll probably move put and get it all done in one hit. Also you learn about the various idiosyncrasies that exist and so when we do it up, we'll know to take that into account.

MrsMarigold Tue 13-Mar-18 18:17:08

Sorry about typos - on my phone and cooking.

Forgottenmypassword Tue 13-Mar-18 18:35:00

The kids are 10 and 7, but still very grubby. Also the dog means I'll never be able to have a white carpet, she helps keep it all very un-ideal home-esque.

StarsBrokenAgain Tue 13-Mar-18 20:24:31

First flat was one. Looked at it and though it needed decorating... we did everything as FTBs, rewire, plumbing, kitchen, bathroom, floors, back to brick in two rooms, windows... we did most of it ourselves save electrics and gas stuff.

I used to wonder why no-one in Grand Designs looked like they wanted to kill each other, because we did. But, it was totally worth it. Flat we would never have got for the money otherwise, everything exactly as we wanted, new skills learnt, massive sense of achievement. Made some money on it when we sold, and felt like we'd restored it to as it should be.

StarsBrokenAgain Tue 13-Mar-18 20:25:43

If you need to rewire try to be out for that bit, its mega dust. Also really try to plan well to get the kitchen out and in quickly once you decide to do it.

trilbydoll Tue 13-Mar-18 20:30:24

Redecoration is okay if it's liveable. Our house was fine except there was no kitchen so we had to spend £10k on that including a boiler before moving in.

Other than that tho you can do a room at a time, we did our bedroom first then worked our way round. Stripped walls, replastered a few ceilings, new carpets throughout etc. We paid people to do most of it, we only did the stripping and the painting. Bathroom last só that we were not worried about washing up paint trays etc.

Structural work would be a lot more daunting!

ShowOfHands Tue 13-Mar-18 21:34:31

We did it with our first. New flat roof, new kitchen and bathroom, new electrics, replastering, new flooring, new downstairs layout, new boiler and central heating, opened up the chimney. We had a baby in the middle of it all too.

I'm not a lover of living in a building site and I did struggle at times but we're in another doer upper now (just replaced the entire roof and upstairs ceilings in a slightly dangerous, untouched 1930s house). So I survived it and I am doing it again. It means you can buy a house that's bigger than you thought and add value but it's not for the faint hearted.

CookieDoughKid Tue 13-Mar-18 21:44:25

We did a complete doer up plus loft conversion. Hindsight is that it would have been a lot quicker to tear it down and start again with it only costing an extra £30k more. We were inexperienced at the time. Tried to do much of it ourselves but ended up paying someone to do a quicker and much better finished job (including painting!)

Forgottenmypassword Tue 13-Mar-18 22:04:05

Thanks everyone. I'll come back and let you know what happens after Saturday.

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Wed 14-Mar-18 09:14:30

Would it be liveable for the moment? I mean with heating, a shower, etc.?
A dd FTB bought a doer upper - terribly dated, needs complete renovation, but it was clean and is perfectly liveable until she has the time and money to get it all sorted.
Other dd did the same, hers wasn't quite as dated, but it meant the price was within reach - anything properly done up would have been a lot more.

Some people can't bear to live with anything very old fashioned - swirly carpets, naff old wallpaper and avocado bathrooms etc., but it may often be the best way for a FTB - and at least you won't be paying a premium for someone else's idea of a nice kitchen/decor, etc.

JoJoSM2 Wed 14-Mar-18 19:18:26

I've bought a lot of fixer uppers (only one done up place in fact) and love them. You can make them just right for you in terms of storage and layout + choose the finishes that appeal.

However, I've always had the money to get the work done. I think you need to think through it carefully. How much will you be able to save towards the refurb every month? Considering that a full re-wire, new kitchens, bathrooms, walls, floors etc will cost tens of thousands - is that something you can realistically afford in the next few years? Personally, I wouldn't live in a dreadful house that's a building site for 10 years.

Forgottenmypassword Thu 15-Mar-18 15:59:09

GETTING I dunno if it's liveable with or not yet, Saturday will tell, but yes it means a bigger place than we can afford otherwise.

There are other already refurbished properties in the same road, but smaller gardens and not the view this one potentially has (with the hedge cut back a little!) for the same price. I think the EA considers this to be snapped up by a developer - I don't know if they would pay over the odds though. One slightly bigger a few doors down is up for another 50,000 but that also needs work.

JoJo it would depend on what our mortgage repayments ended up being. If we happen to get it for less than our maximum it would still take years to get everything done. This is why I'm hoping it is liveable with after a lick of paint! We certainly won't be offering our max budget for it though and I'll be looking round with my head and not my heart. I hope.

fromtheshires Thu 15-Mar-18 17:42:27

My first property was a repo do-er upper. I learned the majority of DIY on that purchase. I can now tile, grout, plumb in a bathroom and all sorts of other skills that I never thought I would need. Im sure if it were legal to do wiring still I would probably be able to say i can wire a socket in as well.

Some points to be aware of:

() Keep the momentum - Yes its tempting to have a weekend off, but thats when things start grinding to a halt
() Ensure there is a small side project ongoing to do whilst you need to stop during the bigger projects such as needing dust to settle / paint to dry
() Get stuck in. If you want to learn then learn
() Do te girly home decoration stuff last. Yes itmight look cosy having cushons but there will always be more important things to spend that money on

Lastly - take before during and after photos and look at them when you are sitting there pissing into a bucket, why did I take this on. I commend you for doing this as a lot of people want a new and shiny right now which is why there is so much consumer debt. Good luck if you go ahead

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