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What to think about when buying a older property

Is it your dream to be able to buy an older property? If so it is best to know the pitfalls you will encounter, especially if it is your first purchase.

Below are a few things that you must look out for:

How much work is required?

Depending on your DIY expertise this may differ. Painting and fitting new coverings are relatively easy. New bathrooms and kitchens will require more expertise, especially if you need to tile and move pipes for instance. These are relatively simple to sort. If you do not know, then there are tradesmen who can do it for you.

If there are issues with the property that are integral to the structure, that require a new roof or underpinning, you are going to have to spend a lot of money without much change to the look of property.

Will you be able to get lending on the property?

As mentioned above cosmetic and structural changes to a property are vastly different. A lender will take whatever the issues are into consideration but a big red flag to them is structural problems and if they are to lend on the property then they will want those issues highlighted and rectified immediately before they will agree to lend. This is one of the main problems that people come across when they are looking to purchase a property to renovate.

Plan ahead

Once you have had confirmation of lending you can plan the work that you will need to do. Best advice here is to touch base with tradesmen and whoever you are purchasing the required appliances off, as it can be a while before work is ready to start. 

When planning the work required be prepared for delays

When renovating the lounge of my house we thought it would be an easy job to take the skirting off in order to put new flooring down. However what we imagined would take an afternoon at the most ended up taking a few days as the skirting had been nailed into the concrete with 4 inch nails and needed a lot more effort to pull out. This was just a small problem but it meant that we had to delay the floor going down and the whole work took longer than expected. If there are problems that arise and you are doing the work yourself my advice is to relax and try to take it in your stride. Even if it means getting up at 5am to try and get some done before work!

Will any of the work require planning permission?

If you have purchased a property that was built in the 1970’s or after, the chances are that you will not have any planning restrictions on the property. However, if you have purchased an old granite cottage then it is more likely that you will have to get planning permission before you carry out any work. This is for both external work and internal work. Many old properties have internal features that the planners will make you keep and you will have to plan accordingly. Before you purchase the best thing to do is to check with the planning department what approvals are necessary if you intend making any changes to the property.
These are just few pitfalls you may encounter. If you have questions regarding the above or any others, then please do not hesitate to contact me on

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