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found a house in the area. but needs lots of cosmetic work. should I bother???

(11 Posts)
raggedtrouseredphilanthropist Fri 29-May-09 18:49:56

So houses that I like arent ALL that upcoming in the area. Most are terraces with either 2 bedrooms, or 2 beds and a boxroom.
I have come upon a house in a good location, good building, BUT it has been done out entirely in horrendous flock wallpaper. Also it has hideous tiling in the bathroom and kitchen, hideous carpets and all the doors are 80s brown. It sounds liek I am being picky, but seriously, I left the viewing with a headache as it was so busy. I have not got the time to strip and repaper myself, and it is too horrendous to live in. Also, the garden is almost entirely concrete, and not suitable for ds. And no scope for grassing over, as it is proper concrete.

So, the building itself is fab - I havent seen a similar sized property available in this location for this price since I have been looking. BUT I am a single parent, with a toddler. I know I personally dont have the time or inclination to get it all done, though I could potentially save on the asking price and use the savings to get decorators in. BUT I would have had to knock them down anyway to be able to afford it, and then knock even more off because so much needs doing???

Should I bother?

bunnymother Fri 29-May-09 18:53:08

If it has "good bones", I would consider making an offer. I helped some friends strip wall paper etc of their place - they had lots of weekends where friends would come over and help them do it. Not sure if that sort of "working bee" is an option?

wonderingwondering Fri 29-May-09 18:57:01

We renovated our house (pre-children). It was loads of work, physically demanding, time consuming (even the good bits, like choosing the decor, took time, and was stressful as we were trying to work out what to splurge on and what to economise on). So be realistic about what it will cost you, in terms of time and effort, as well as financially.

lalalonglegs Fri 29-May-09 20:43:27

It is hard work (even if you use professionals as they seem to take a lot of organising and hand-holding) but I would always buy the ugly house that could be made beautiful. And you can get rid of concrete - my parents-in-law just had (literally) three feet of it dug out in some place in their yard. It isn't that big a job with a kanga or, if you have access, a drive-along digger.

Fizzylemonade Sat 30-May-09 19:59:27

I agree that it is massively time consuming even if you get someone in to do it, all the ringing around, getting people in to quote for the work, choosing what you are putting in each room.

I have just finished doing my house, top to bottom, every room and had a baby in the middle of it all. Never again will I want to do a whole house.

I now totally understand how much work it is. We were totally naive before only ever having lived in new build properties that were a few years old.

You can reflect all this work in your offer, state why your offer is lower than they would want.

Lots of families do not want to spend their time renovating a family sized home.

kif Sat 30-May-09 22:18:18


I've just offered in a place that needs lots of cosmetic work.

lalalonglegs Sun 31-May-09 09:36:39

kif it is really hard work but, in the current market, the most sensible thing you can do as you will be adding value. And you will get a fantastic home at the end of it - just prepare yourself for a bit of hair-tearing over the next few months wink.

I wonder what ragged decided to do.

SoupDragon Sun 31-May-09 09:39:14

You don't need to strip and repaper. You can slap on a couple of coats of paint to see you through and then tackle the other problems slowly.

If you're hooping to find a house that is the right size, price, location, decor, the right everything you'll be waiting a very long time. Unless you're lucky.

raggedtrouseredphilanthropist Sun 31-May-09 12:12:59

hmmm, thanks for your thoughts people
I am still in 2 minds - swaying AWAY from going for it tbh. Its the garden that is the main issue really - it would take LOADS of work to get all that concrete up..
BUT I am considering putting in a stupidly low offer and letting fate decide for me..
Its on the market for 155k. I reckon all done its worth 140k. So, I might put in a stupid offer of 120 - 125kk. That would cover all the work etc, and I am not THAT keen that it would bother me if they said no.

kif Sun 31-May-09 14:32:21

Our 'secret weapon' is that the lease on our rented place still has three months to go. So, if our offer was accepted we should have a clear 6-8 weeks to go 'all out' renovating without needing to live on a building site.

Round my way, I find a lot of place that are cosmetically 'nice' are actually done to suit young sharers. DIY should hopefully help us blow out the demons of years of slightly-not-right rentals . I remember the tiny flat with an enormous glass coffee table and six glass knick knacks artfully scattered in a bemusing attempt an city chic... the separate kitchen at the opposite end of the house to the dining area leading to the whole flat having bits of food scattered... the block coloured dark carpets that show up all those baby milk burps/sudocream bum slides.... I think the thought of all these will keep me motivated.

I've also seen a lot of wildly overpriced 'interior designed' places on the market. Clearly, these were conceived as 'investments' in better times, and now people are trying to claw back their 'return'. I'm steering well clear of these - always unrealistic vendors.

SparkyUK Thu 04-Jun-09 22:12:19

we bought our place in a similar state (paisley carpet - lovely!) and did it over. Our thinking was we didn't want to pay a premium (pre-slump) for someone else's taste. It was hard work and a real strain on me and DH at tiems (even tho we had decorators for most of the hard work) BUT it is lovely and really feels like our home now. This was all pre-baby and if we were to do it again I would have to be living elsewhere while the building works are going on. that said, the redocrating probably would have taken half the time if we weren't living in the place at the time. If you can build in a few months rent into your budget then definitely consider it!

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