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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:
Spartans · 12/09/2015 16:05

Glad you have revised the figure OP.

It does sound like a lot. We are knocking through 2 rooms into one, new kitchen, then knocking 2 small bedrooms into 1. Then doing what is the current kitchen out into a bedroom. That's only costing 25k including a a good kitchen. But we don't have any rewiring etc to do.

teacherwith2kids · 12/09/2015 16:22

What we did - sounds like a similar property in that it needed re-writing, complete re-plumbing (water and heating), and new windows before we even began on new bathrooms and kitchen (latter needed building) - was take out an offset mortgage.

Basically that allowed us to go for a single 'mortgage process' for all the money we needed to buy the house and do the basic 'whole house' works. However, as that money was actually spent in stages over a period of time, the extra money sat in a dedicated savings account linked to the offset, into which we also 'swept' all spare money from the current account every month. The current account is also linked to the offset, but the 'two separate accounts' for house and everyday money really focused our minds in terms of 'saving up' / what we could afford / how day to day economies could quickly translate into paintpots and tiles.

The beauty of the offset meant that the 'not yet spent' refurbishment money brought down the interest payments each month. We chose to use that extra to overpay our (initially frighteningly large) mortgage, but an alternative would have been to pay less on the mortgage each month and plough the savings into the 'refurbishment savings account'.

We managed the whole thing without taking out any other loans or mortgages or overdrafts - though we continue to use that savings account for 'house', as a way of squirreling away money for new roof (next 5 years or so) or other projects (garage into granny annexe is next project, planning permission willing)

teacherwith2kids · 12/09/2015 16:25

(I would also say that doing the 'whole house things' - water, electricity, heating - all at once was a HUGE saving, and we did those in the first few months by staying in rented for an extra period, the cost of which was paid for many times over by the reduction in cost for the work. We moved into a wreck as a result - lots of bare plaster, completely bare floors etc - but it meant we never had to go 'back' and re-lift a carpet or re-paint a wall.

chrome100 · 12/09/2015 18:04

We bought a house that was pretty run down. We decided just to keep it as it was. Still got a minging bathroom and kitchen, but you know what? It really doesn't matter, both are functional and we would far rather have the cash to live life and enjoy ourselves.

MaxieMouse · 12/09/2015 18:37

We wanted to replace both kitchen and bathroom, but only had enough money for one of them. We got the kitchen done on a 0% finance deal for 2 years, there were plenty around, which meant we could afford the bathroom straight away.

NuckyS · 12/09/2015 18:46

Every room in our house needed redecorating, plus a lot of external work.

We managed to afford it by me doing all the work myself, purchasing the materials. Had a couple of minor disasters but by and large went well.

We financed it from savings and short term loans. For a larger external project (which did require a contractor) we remortgaged.

teacherwith2kids · 12/09/2015 19:33

Oh, yes - decorate yourself, always. It's entirely straightforward (DD, then 11, and DS, then 13 did their bedrooms with me last year, and I learned when I was younger than that) and MUCH cheaper. External painting is fine as well unless you're unhappy up a tall ladder.

Re-plumbing, re-wiring, plastering large areas we have used 3rd parties.

maddening · 12/09/2015 19:40

If you can save enough for the work on the fabric of the building and extension then you would have increased the value of the house enough to create equity to finish the rest?

NuckyS · 12/09/2015 19:50

Most basic jobs are easy to learn yourself, but when you have DCs the big hurdle is TIME!

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