Top Tips for making a success of your project home


18 Aug Top Tips for making a success of your project home

We’ve all watched Restoration Man and Grand Designs and thought “wow, I’d love to do that”! These shows are edited to make it look easy but we have heard some horror stories in the past; you just have to watch DIY SOS to see how some if these projects can go wrong.

Buying a fixer upper or a project home can be exciting and hugely rewarding, both in terms of financial gains and personal accomplishment. Tired and damaged properties can be picked up for less than a similar property in good condition, but the work involved in modernising a property is not to be taken lightly.

We’ve put some tips together to help you improve your chances of making money on your fixer upper.

If you are looking for a property for sale in Colnbrook and the surrounding areas, make sure you get in touch with a member of our team who will be happy to talk through your options. Call us on 01753 683000 or email us.

Research the market

To quote another well-known TV show… “Location, location, location”. This is key when you are looking for a project property. There is an old saying that it is “better to have the worst house on the best street, than the best house on the worst street”.

If you can find a property in a desirable location for a price which factors in the cost of works, you’re on to a winner. Usually when you are embarking on a project home, the ultimate goal is to sell it for a profit; this means that the final sale of the property should equal bought price + cost of works + xx% desired profit. The percentage profit is really down to the individual and needs to be fluid.

For example you wouldn’t buy a property for £250,000, spend £50,000 then sell it for £275,000 as you’d be making a loss. Make sure you buy a property in an area which has the potential to


The property market can be a bit of a chess game; when searching for your project property, think a couple of moves ahead. Who is likely to be buying this property off you in a couple of years’ time? If it is likely to be a family make sure you plan your renovations to make the property appeal to a family.

The biggest market is second steppers – these are people who have been in their first home for 3-7 years and need more space to accommodate new families; they are looking for somewhere to spend the next 10-15 years and will want to be able to move in, live and look to improve the home later down the line.

Keep within your Budget

The cost of works can be the difference between making a profit or a loss on the property, especially if you are looking to flip the property quickly rather than live in it. It is important to plan meticulously and make sure you stick to the plan. While it can be difficult to budget properly until you are in the property, a survey will help uncover any issues which will need rectifying and that will give you a starting point.

It’s advisable to be pessimistic with the budget, if you think something is going to cost you £5,000, budget for £6,000 just in case. Things can go wrong and so you need some wiggle room; you will also feel much better about the project if it comes in under budget.

Book a survey

In this instance, the most comprehensive survey is more of an investment than an ‘additional’ cost. The RICS homebuyer’s survey will give an excellent insight into the finer details of the structure and will save you money in the long run. Generally project homes are older and subsequently can hide a number of structural issues which are not visible to the naked eye; a comprehensive survey will give you peace of mind that you are investing wisely.

Have a strategy

This may sound obvious but getting work done can be a confusing thing and is often subject to a bit of a domino effect. You need to make sure things are done in the correct order, otherwise you could find yourself re-doing certain aspects. For example make sure you have the plumbing and electrics checked before you plaster or decorate the walls – that way, if you need to make changes you’re not digging through your freshly painted walls.

Get in Touch

Remember, as the leading independent estate agents in Colnbrook and the surrounding areas we are location experts and are always happy to talk you through your property options. You can contact us on 01753 683000 or email us. You can also follow us on FacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.

Image: CapturePB