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To ask how do people pay for home improvements?

59 replies

Wishful25 · 11/09/2015 17:05

We're looking at buying an old but beautiful property that needs a hell of a lot of modernisation. Prob 100k absolute minimum for the improvements. It is habitable now, and we would be happy to do a room / area at a time. The mortgage would be 1k a month and our net household monthly income is just short of 5k a month. If we need 20k minimum for the kitchen, 20k minimum to do a bathroom / bedroom, 20k minimum to do the outside / outbuildings, how would you approach that? I think yes we have disposable income but how do we best translate that into home improvements? Do we save each month and do one project every couple of years? Or get a loan for a project at a time and renew the loan every couple of years? I'm genuinely looking for advice! We'll be buying the property at 220k with a ten percent deposit. Thanks in advance.

OP posts:

ghostyslovesheep · 11/09/2015 17:08

I recently moved into a house which I am renovating but I am using the equity from the old house.


Wearyheadedlady · 11/09/2015 17:11

I think you tackle the absolute "must be done" projects first. What can you not live without? A new kitchen or a new bathroom?

Then you do as you say, save until you have enough to do the next project.

Remember though, you might actually save money if you have one person come in and do a few things for you in one go.


MaliceInWonderland78 · 11/09/2015 17:12

We just set small milestones and do a bit at a time. It's tedious, but we won't have extended the mortgage to do it. It also means we do as much as we can ourselves, and are mindful of EVERY SINGLE PENNY in a way that we might not be if we were re-mortgaging.


Wishful25 · 11/09/2015 17:12

Thanks Ghosty that's my concern I suppose that the only sensible way to do it is if you have equity - and we don't! Or rather we have enough to put down the deposit and clear anything owing so we move in with just the mortgage owing. Thanks.

OP posts:

NoArmaniNoPunani · 11/09/2015 17:12

We are doing ours with loans


Spartans · 11/09/2015 17:13

Most people save it remortgage. Personally we saved. We have a new build. 4 years old. We took it because it had a huge garden but didn't like the lay out. So the kitchen is being moved from the first floor, I hate the kitchen so that will be replaced bedrooms shuffled around etc.

We saved up to do it.


Wishful25 · 11/09/2015 17:14

thank you - I think small milestones focussed on the essential will be the way to go!

OP posts:

Deliaskis · 11/09/2015 17:23

Some through saving, some through equity, some through medium term loans (e.g. 3-5 years).

Our current house we used equity from the old house and then got a mortgage to cover the amount we needed to buy the house and so most of the work. If you have no equity/small deposit then that won't be an option at this stage. You could buy and pay off some of the mortgage then re-mortgage in a couple of years, but if you need things doing more quickly than that, you will need to save instead or get unsecured loans. There might be the option of doing some of the work and re-mortgaging then if there is an obvious significant uplift in value through the work done.

I know this isn't what you asked, but the amount you are looking to spend on renovating is quite a high percentage of the value of the current house, so you would need to be very confident that the finished house would be comfortably worth the £320k that you had spent on it.


SmilingHappyBeaver · 11/09/2015 17:40

I'd start initially on some "quick wins", things that will add the most value to the property, using whatever you can save a month, or a credit card on a 0% for 12 months+.

Then once you've added some value initially (and therefore reduced the loan-to-value of your mortgage) you could remortgage to do the next stage of the building, and clear the credit cards/short term debt before you have to pay too much interest. And so on.


atticusclaw2 · 11/09/2015 17:44

Personally I wouldn't buy a house that needed £100k spending on it if that wasn't at least partly in my initial financing plans. So if I had a £500k budget I might buy a house worth £500k or a house worth £400k needing £100k of modernisation. If the house is generally good but just a bit dated that's different since you can easily live with that and then do projects gradually.

I think for the vast majority of people saving £100k for house improvements is something that would simply never be achievable. I would find that figure daunting to save up and we have a high joint income.


Sunshineandsilverbirch · 11/09/2015 17:47

We did a very large project a number of years ago. We used half savings and half a bit of equity from the house.

However by the end of the renovation work we added more than the money spent to the value of the house so I was comfortable adding to the mortgage.


XCChamps · 11/09/2015 17:53

IME, you move in with loads of plans, start on the essential things and then the list gets shorter and shorter as you run out of enthusiasm and decide that actually it's not that bad as it is. Grin

I would finance the must do jobs in the initial purchasing plans (i.e. take enough mortgage to cover it) and then save for the rest.


WitchOfAlba · 11/09/2015 17:56

I think most people don't spend 20k on a new kitchen and 20k on a new bathroom!


XCChamps · 11/09/2015 17:58

That's why "most people's" kitchens and bathrooms need re-doing every 10 years or so Witch Grin


WitchOfAlba · 11/09/2015 18:00

They don't need redoing though, people want them redoing.


woodhill · 11/09/2015 18:01

We used savings, current wages, and took out a loan against our mortgage, overpaying to repay each month


Flutterbutterfly · 11/09/2015 18:01

Do it over time and do work yourself.


MumOfTheMoment · 11/09/2015 18:01

We paid for ours with PPI payouts and a small amount of overspend on a 0% credit card.

But the amount was nowhere near £100k. And without the PPI we couldn't have done it at all.


XCChamps · 11/09/2015 18:05

I know Witch but as a general rule, it is a good idea to buy the best you can afford (be it a kitchen or shoes) and buy once.


hackedoffnow · 11/09/2015 18:05

By buying mostly materials and doing a lot of the work yourself. The labour is the main cost. My dh has stabalised all the walls, repointed a lot of them, plastered, done the electrics, carpentry, plumbing etc. Also spending 20k etc is too much if you have no capital as it will depreciate as will a bathroom. My dh had no previous experience just watched youtubeGrin The whole house is now renovated and the finish is very good.


Whatthefoxgoingon · 11/09/2015 18:11

We saved the vast majority, but still ended up with about a 50k mortgage so we could see it through in one go. We needed to spend more than three times as you though, so realistically i knew we'd need some sort of loan. These things never come in on budget!


hackedoffnow · 11/09/2015 18:12

Just to say a bag of plaster and boards cost about £150 for an average room. But it would cost about £1000 to board and plaster a 5ft by 4ft room.


Whatthefoxgoingon · 11/09/2015 18:14

Oops, posted too soon. What I meant to add is, factor in some contingency in the budget say 10%


hackedoffnow · 11/09/2015 18:15

That's if you take the old plaster off yourself and the joists don't need any work.Grin Then you could expect another grand or so. So it really pays to do at least some of the work yourself if possible.


Junosmum · 11/09/2015 18:20

We've saved and then got some inheritance. We then picked the most important bits and then saved some more, did a bit more.

When the roof needing repairing we had to get a loan though.

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