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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:
WhatAHooHa · 11/09/2015 18:20

Something like this, op?

Bearbehind · 11/09/2015 18:33

I think it depends on your circumstances- I'd prefer the 'get a loan and get it done route' but you can only do that if you are pretty confident in your income being consistent for the foreasble future- if that's in doubt then it's probably a room/ trade at a time.

There is a lot of labouring type work you can do yourselves but I'd steer clear of electrics- it's a criminal offence to carry out electrical work if you aren't trained unless you have it professionally certified in a certain timeframe.

YBR · 11/09/2015 18:54

We predominantly use savings, only taking a loan for things like double glazing which pay back in reduced bills (previously was rotten wooden window frames in this case).
We also did lots ourselves pre-DDs which saved, and meant things were done how we wanted them.

I learned that the longer you wait (to save, or lack of time or whatever) the more you can think through the process so you can do things in the right way and order. e.g. I want central heating, to redecorate and a new carpet. Redecorate first - walls done before radiators in the way, Central Heating second, then carpets when the plumber won't trash them!

TenForward82 · 11/09/2015 19:01

We've had to wait 4 years, then remortgaged, freeing up a pot of money.

Bakeoffcake · 11/09/2015 19:05

Can I just ask Op, is the house going to be worth nearly 320k when you've spent 100K on improvements?

mummytime · 11/09/2015 19:24

You do need to check it will be worth £320K when you finish, and that would be realistic.
We have spent years getting bits done on our house, and I would be wary of putting in "new" features that are more than 10% of the value.

The work could be done much more economically if you are in the trade. But for "normal" people spending too much may not be returned on your investment.

It may be your dream home, and you don't intend to ever move - but even then I'd be wary of going too much in debt for it. And do remember interest rates can rise.

hackedoffnow · 11/09/2015 19:27

Depends what you are doing to the electrics bearbehind . You are legally allowed to replace any existing electrical cicuits. You can add sockets and lights to an existing circuit. You cannot add another circuit without an electrical certificate of safety.

MatildaTheCat · 11/09/2015 19:33

OP, be very careful about overspending on this property. Putting in a £20k kitchen and bathroom on a house of that value would be a very poor investment in most cases. Unless it has real uplift potential you should aim to spend a lot less. If you were forced to sell for some reason in a few years you would be likely to make a loss.

However, in your position I would try to borrow extra on the mortgage and get the most urgent work done as soon as possible because then you have the additional pleasure from living in a nicer house. Doing it on credit cards would be an extremely expensive method. With interest rates low a mortgage is a cheap way of borrowing.

Just be careful. Ask some estate agents and do some research on the value of similar houses in good condition.

Notasinglefuckwasgiven · 11/09/2015 19:35

I bought during the crash with a deposit. Since then it went up and now a new marina etc has been built opposite it's gone up again so the bank lent me the money on a really low interest rate. Not secured against the house but they lent happily knowing I can remortgage and pay it off plus still have equity. So I suppose luck with me. And a good bank.

XCChamps · 11/09/2015 20:08

I don't understand why all spending on renovations has to be an good investment. We spend money, when we can, on nice cars, holidays,shoes, just because we like and want them. Why not spend it on your dream kitchen, that you'll use everyday, just because you want to,even if it doesn't make sense financially?

hackedoffnow · 11/09/2015 20:12

Depends if you can afford it. You would be pretty silly to buy a Gucci bag on a credit card if your roof was leaking.Confused

Notasinglefuckwasgiven · 11/09/2015 20:13

Mine needed upgrading. Bathroom was awful. Ripped out the 60s suite.....just in time for it to come back into fashion Sad

HicDraconis · 11/09/2015 20:30

We built rather than renovated so situation slightly different, but we moved into a shell (walls mostly in but not all, no kitchen, one flushing toilet, two sinks, no carpet / curtains).

Our mortgage is split into two loans - one is a standard repayment and the other is revolving credit. All income goes into the revolving credit loan, which offsets the interest. When there's enough available in that loan, we take it out again and use it on whatever needs doing next. We did kitchen first (after 6 months), then bathrooms (showers, sinks, bath, more loos, tiling) and finally carpets / curtains. Last thing to finish was building/plastering and painting a non essential internal wall. Took us 3 years and now we're using the same system to sort the garden out piecemeal.

All monthly spending goes on a credit card (to maximise the time the funds are in the offset loan account) which is cleared at the end of each month. It works but you have to be fairly strict with budgeting and spending. Ultimately when we've finished we'll pay down the offset loan then use that to pay a chunk of the repayment loan (different interest rates) until it's all gone.

Then we'll start again with repairs / repainting / redoing :)

sproketmx · 11/09/2015 20:34

We do most of ours ourselves. We got a 3 bed house for 60 grand so you can imagine what needs doing. Buy the kit cheap or second hand, watch you tube videos and do it yourself. I'm better with plumbing, hubby's the better sparky, he plasters I tile, he paints I paper, he does the flooring and I walk in on it and shout at him that he's missed bits Grin

poocatcherchampion · 11/09/2015 20:42

£100kseems a lot.

If it need rewireing, new plug sockets, new radiators etc do them first - not on a room by room basis. We've spent about £15k so far on windows, kitchen, one bathroom, boiler, plastered ceilings and carpets and paint for 4 bedrooms. 1 bedroom and two bathrooms to go. Taken 2 years so far.

It's been fun!!!

backwardpossom · 11/09/2015 20:55

We had saved £15k and remortgaged to come up with the rest of the money for the extension we're building. We've been doing up every room one by one as we go up until this point, watching the pennies because we were saving for the extension!

Bearbehind · 12/09/2015 05:33

hackedoff I've assumed the OP is going to be rewiring the house given the level of modernisation required, therefore not working from existing circuits.

Also, it's an offence to work on an existing circuit in a 'dangerous area' like a bathroom unless the work is certified.

I think a lot of pp's are very relevant though- is the house really worth this level of investment?

Whoknewitcouldbeso · 12/09/2015 06:06

Remortgage or if like us the portage is new and there is no equity, do things very very s l o w l y.

Whoknewitcouldbeso · 12/09/2015 06:06
  • mortgage is new
KathyBeale · 12/09/2015 06:23

We've done a mixture of equity from our flat and remortgaging. However in the five years we've lived here we have: fitted a complete new kitchen (there was basically just an empty room!), knocked the dining room and living room through, knocked out fireplaces, knocked out old cupboards in the bedrooms and fitted wardrobes, refloored the hall and downstairs spare room, redone the bathroom and knocked it into one room, had a driveway laid, completely redone the garden, relaid the lawn and had a patio laid. In total we have spent about £35k. So £100k on all that seems extremely expensive!

Whathaveilost · 12/09/2015 06:46

Over the last few years we've had a kitchen extension, a new bathroom and a loft conversion. It cost around 60k. We saved and paid as we went along. I didn't want to re mortgage or take out of my main savings. It took us 2 and half years but was worth it.

Fairylea · 12/09/2015 07:05

There's no way you need to spend £20k each on a bathroom and a kitchen. Our kitchen cost £10k and that included building it from scratch!! (Huge extension at the rear of house). We measured the space ourselves and ordered units from wickes and got the builders to install it. We spent about £3k on the units themselves. Still going strong nearly 7 years on.....! We paid for that out of the equity difference.

We got out a loan to retile and refelt our roof. That was £5k. We used a 0% credit card to do lots of other little bits and bobs.

Don't spend £100k unless it makes your house worth more than that in the end!

Wishful25 · 12/09/2015 15:40

Thanks all! So helpful as I have now started to look properly at kitchen / bathroom prices and yes I had way over-estimated! We will still have some structural expense (mainly one wall to knock through and one extension to build), but the rest should cost far less than I initially anticipated. I now think 50k but the next plan now is to work out exactly what we'd like to do and then cost it up properly.

OP posts:
LunchpackOfNotreDame · 12/09/2015 15:50

20k for a bathroom?! We are planning 5-6k and that's fairly high spec!

We only do what we can afford to do from savings. I hate credit and debt.

OublietteBravo · 12/09/2015 16:03

We've just got used to the granny-chic look Grin

We're supposed to be saving to start tackling the house, but the money keeps getting spent on holidays...

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