Please make me feel better about the huge amount I am spending on a house renovation

(19 Posts)
Notcontent Mon 07-Sep-20 20:20:31

Just feeling slightly stressed as I am spending what is quite a significant sum of money on a house extension and renovation. I am not having to borrow the money, but it’s pretty much all my savings! I will never have a lump sum like this again sadly... On the other hand, this work is really very much needed (old, very neglected terrace house in London that I have lived in for a number of years, just making do with ancient electrics, damp, etc). And it will increase the value of the house so I can sell it in the future if need be.

But is it normal to feel like this? I never felt nervous about taking on mortgages, but spending my very hard earned and saved cash feels different!

OP’s posts: |
Chicchicchicchiclana Mon 07-Sep-20 20:25:52

What is the alternative? Could you sell it as it is as a project (would probably still get a very good price in London in the current market) and buy somewhere more finished where you don't have to take the gamble/make the leap of faith?

Some temperaments are not really suited to big renovation projects - perhaps you are one of these?

minipie Mon 07-Sep-20 20:31:06

We spent a ridiculous amount on a house renovation - also London - last year. I do still feel a bit uncomfortable about how much we spent (not sure we would get it back if we sold right now) but the house is so nice to live in now. We will just have to live here a long time!

Notcontent Mon 07-Sep-20 20:32:24

Chicchicchicchiclana

What is the alternative? Could you sell it as it is as a project (would probably still get a very good price in London in the current market) and buy somewhere more finished where you don't have to take the gamble/make the leap of faith?

Some temperaments are not really suited to big renovation projects - perhaps you are one of these?

You are right - I am not suited to this kind of thing! I did actually look at selling and buying something else but in my area that would still be very expensive and the stamp duty (London prices) would be so extortionate as to make it a very poor decision financially. And I am kind of stuck in the area where I am (which I like anyway) because of my work, DC schooling and other personal commitments.

OP’s posts: |
Notcontent Mon 07-Sep-20 20:39:46

Chicchicchicchiclana

What is the alternative? Could you sell it as it is as a project (would probably still get a very good price in London in the current market) and buy somewhere more finished where you don't have to take the gamble/make the leap of faith?

Some temperaments are not really suited to big renovation projects - perhaps you are one of these?

The costs really mount up, don’t they? My house really needs everything to be done and for lots of different reasons I am really not in a position to project manage it myself. So on top of the building costs there are the architects fees, party wall costs, extra insurance - the list goes on...

But yes, hopefully it will be worth it.

OP’s posts: |
PragmaticWench Mon 07-Sep-20 20:40:23

We're just spending a scary amount on an extension/renovation, but with a mortgage which feels awful as it costs you so much more overall.

Saying that I completely understand finding it hard to suddenly not have that savings security, somehow it seems more like 'real' money when you've saved for a long time.

Hope you enjoy the updated property though!

Dohorseseatapples Mon 07-Sep-20 20:40:27

It depends how much and what your overall financial position is.
Some people wince at 10/20K. Others would think nothing of spending 100K
I would shudder at 150-200K but that’s because I would have to borrow a sum that big.
It’s all relative! If you have the money, spend it. The banks aren’t paying interest so you may as well benefit from using it.

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Notcontent Mon 07-Sep-20 23:18:11

PragmaticWench - thank you - and good luck with your renovation.

Dohorseseatapples - that’s very true - it’s all relative. My financial situation is ok but I am by nature very cautious.

OP’s posts: |
mumdone Tue 08-Sep-20 05:56:29

We are spending a ‘shuddering’ amount and it is scary. I eve had the money in a bank for a while and it’s hard to see it go. We bought the house knowing we needed to do this and it will add way more value and make it easier to sell, if we needed to. We plan on staying here for 10+ years so I comfort myself knowing this and it is quite exciting!!

Sewfrickinamazeballs Tue 08-Sep-20 07:47:58

I’m in the same position. Need to renovate and extend. We bought the house knowing it needed the work, and fortunately have the savings to do it. It’s also going to be a ‘shuddering’ amount, a lot of which will be spent on ‘invisible’ things like the rewire, plumbing, moving the electric meter, reinforcing foundations, moving manholes etc. I have butterflies every time I think about it!

Bluntness100 Tue 08-Sep-20 07:54:47

It is scarey but you can start saving again, and you can always access money if required be it a loan or whatever.

We have been renovating our house for six years now, and spent six figures, to be honest, we never really intended to when we bought, but it hadn’t been touched for three decades prior and none of it was desperate it was just tired. Something we didn’t realise fully until all the previous owners lovely stuff was out. It also has a huge amount of potential.

It’s been worth it, we love it, but when we think about how much it’s cost, it’s a gulp moment

Dontcarewhatmyusernameis Tue 08-Sep-20 07:59:08

I’d say because you like the area and have commitments there, it’s totally the right decision. It’ll add value onto your house and it’ll be even nicer to live there. I can understand that you feel queasy about it, that’s a natural reaction to spending so much, but in my mind it’s a good thing to spend money on.

IdblowJonSnow Tue 08-Sep-20 08:49:57

Think of it as an investment OP. And enjoy it.
If you are cautious by nature I doubt its anything bonkersly lavish?
Hopefully you can build your savings up again soon.

AltheaVestr1t Tue 08-Sep-20 08:50:05

I view this as a simple mathematical question. Will you recoup the money on the value of the house? If so, then it's a win-win situation. You haven't spent the money, you've invested it.

NWnature Tue 08-Sep-20 09:12:52

Same position! We are doing a full back to brick reno and side extension, had to redo the loft and roof as no building regs etc etc. We took a smaller mortgage and are using all of our savings to fund it. Really scary to see the bank balances dimish, especially as it feels never ending and constant problems (read costs) cropping up.
However, it needed to be done and we should recoup costs as the price we paid reflected the fact that it needed doing.

Totally feel you on the invisible costs and incidentals. We had a bloody nightmare with party walls which were just complete fluke but meant £££, loads of structural engineer changes as weird victorian pipes and what not cropped up halfway through - and my biggest pet peeve - paying the council ££££ to suspend a space for our skip on the road where I could be parking my own bloody car! Infuriating!

NewHouseNewMe Tue 08-Sep-20 11:10:52

I sound like the voice of doom but don't be tempted to spend more than the house is worth unless you're going to be there for 20/30 years. I mean, do the necessary work (electrics, heating) but scale the extensions and fittings to the overall profile of the property. If it's a terraced in a normal street, don't add a basement unless it's Chelsea!

I see many houses that people can't sell because their idea of the value is not the market's, but they can't lower the price as they've spent so much possibly on finance.

There's a house near me which is a small bungalow type house with one room in the attic. However the vendor has built a huge basement and really spec'd it up (bar, sauna etc.). Now it's stuck on the market as a million overpriced.

LetItGoHome Tue 08-Sep-20 11:22:58

I think you need to change the way you are looking at the situation. Tell your self you are investing the money. Much better to invest in property than to have it sitting in the bank doing nothing.
I do feel for you though. I spent a lot on extending and renovating my small London terrace last year. The money is borrowed from the bank though. It used to make me feel a bit queezy handing over the large sums to the builders. But now it's all done it's fantastic and all a distant memory. A bit like child birth I suppose!! 😂

whataboutbob Tue 08-Sep-20 18:56:54

I have just emptied my savings account to renovate a house I inherited prior to letting out. I also decided I did not want to do the cheapest job possible, but invest in good quality materials and builder and hopefully attract good tenants Everything needed doing: complete re wiring, new boiler, new kitchen, new bathroom, new flooring, gigantic leylandii chopped down, new garden fence, new locks, new window frames as old ones rotted. It got to the point where I had to detach from the money as the spending has been relentless. I do see it as an investment though and financially I am protecting my asset. Fingers crossed won’t have to renovate again for a long time. The alternative- to do nothing was not a viable option as it would have been impossible to find tenants.

AmandaHoldensLips Tue 08-Sep-20 19:06:22

House renovations are eye-wateringly costly. We spent waaaaaay too much money on the house we currently live in. Got a bit carried away. Also builders and tradespeople vary widely in competence and cost. I've really been stitched up by some of them but was too green to know any better.

I'm now a much more competent project manager. We're downsizing soon into a house that needs renovating. My heart sinks at having to deal with bastard builders again.

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