Finished property vs Work needed

(14 Posts)
LolaLollypop Thu 20-Aug-20 09:44:53

We're currently looking to upsize from a flat to a house, NE London. I've found 2 properties on almost identical roads. £130k difference between the two. One has a loft conversion, back and garage extension. It's a 4 bed with tons of space, all high spec and could easily be our family home until we die.
The other is a 3 bed, still neat and tidy but with no extensions or work done. We would definitely want to extend and add a 4th bedroom at some point.
WWYD? Lots of people have said go for the house that's finished, no work to do and less stress. We have two under 3's so any major works would be difficult at the moment.
But there's a part of me that wants the blank canvas and to make it OUR home over the next 10 years, rather than moving into someone else's design.
DH is up for the finished product.. but the £130k difference in price also makes me gulp!
Anyone have experience of my position?

OP’s posts: |
Bells3032 Thu 20-Aug-20 09:50:49

Normally i'd say go for whichever one your heart desires. But bear in mind an extention and high spec complete refurbishment will likely cover the cost of the £130k difference and you will need more free cash to do this. This means less cash in your deposit and higher LTV ratio for a mortgage (if you have one) so worse interest rates.

Then you have the added issue right now of Covid. This may result in further lockdowns and also a shortage of building supplies due to factories not working for months. This means it is likely to take significantly more time to complete and living in a mess with two young kids sounds a nightmare.

But it really depends on what you want and your appetite and imagination

WhoWouldHaveThoughtThat Thu 20-Aug-20 10:36:27

What @Bells3032 said, it's a lot of work and is going ro take a long time to do the work on the 3 bed, and cost always escalate if it were me I'd go for what I can see now - you know what you'd be getting, but really one would need to see both properties as they may be extraneous issues that might sway it one way or another. e.g. traffic, bus routes, yellow lines, sewage plant etc. etc.

Smallgoon Thu 20-Aug-20 10:45:41

I'd go for the finished home. Having gone through a 6 month renovation project of my own, I don't think I'd take on another project, unless it was my forever home. The one advantage of doing it yourself is you design it entirely to your spec, but if you're content with the deisgn of the fnished home, I'd go for that. Extensions are expensive. I've had bathroom and kitchen replaced, new flooring and entire flat redecorated (no structural changes) and it's cost me in the region of £40k.

ComtesseDeSpair Thu 20-Aug-20 11:04:08

With something as significant as a large extension and complete remodel, I’d always go for the finished property. An attic conversion and extension plus high spec finish will easily creep above £100k at London prices.

I think a fixer-upper is generally better value when it’s more cosmetic things like kitchen, bathroom, flooring and decor etc, but not so much building work.

Roowig2020 Thu 20-Aug-20 11:14:43

I'd go with the finished home as you'll likely pay more than 130k to get it to what you want it.

Climbingallthetrees Thu 20-Aug-20 11:18:12

I’d be surprised if the 3 bed plus the extensions worked out as cheaper than the one with the extension work already done. You can easily spend £100k on a good loft conversion in London. Unless you can’t afford the more expensive one at the minute, financially it makes sense to go for that one.


anonymouse Thu 20-Aug-20 11:33:38

Given the difference is 130k and you have young children I'd say its definitely worth going for the finished house if you like it. Extending the 3 bed will cost similar or more and will be super stressful.

bilbodog Thu 20-Aug-20 11:45:40

Finished home - you can still make it your own with re-decorating and furnishing to your taste without all the hassel.

Link to the properties as we are all nosey?

Amammi Thu 20-Aug-20 13:04:41

If either of you want to work from home getting work done on a house right now could be stressful. I was a stay at home mum when we did our kitchen extension and it was stressful might also annoy new neighbours with the noisy building works, if you can afford the more expensive home it would be the easier option.

OpalExtra Thu 20-Aug-20 13:08:17

Work to do every time, we've done it with young children and it's fine. Maybe easier when they're little as you can (for instance) was them in the sink.

JoJoSM2 Thu 20-Aug-20 13:52:09

Are they the same type of house? Eg the same 3-bed semi with same plot size, garden, garage etc?

If so, then the done up one is basically cheaper than the one needing work. If you like it, go for it. If the fixer upper is the same style house, I’d only buy at substantially below the asking price. If it’s a different type house, then you really need to compare the sq footage, garden size etc. before deciding.

Zebrahooves Thu 20-Aug-20 13:55:43

I would go for the finished house too, all else being equal.

That way you avoid the stress of the work, the risk of costs escalating etc.

Saz12 Thu 20-Aug-20 14:01:35

Could you google likely costs of the work to the 3-bed (and add any stamp duty differences) to get a more direct price comparison between the two?

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