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Cheap House Too Much Work?

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I'm after advice should we or should we not?

House price: 75k

Zoopla estimate for the street: 73k

As for nationwide estimates they are all over the place because of few sales. There has been 1 sale per year from 1998 (12.5k) to 2007 (112.5k) before 2007 no house had breached 89k.

The house is a gable end terrace, it is a wedge shape(back of the house is the same length as every other in the street the front is larger and the postage stamp garden is smaller). There are three bedrooms all long and thin (widest 7'3'') a tiny bathroom, downstairs large living room and what would be a large kitchen if the chimney was removed now it is just a sink and one cupboard with a large pantry. The garden still has the outhouse. There is on street parking.

The house has never been sold. it was built in 1890 odd by one family who built all 6 surrounding streets then continuously rent them out, occasionally they sell one. They are not big on improvements. The house will probably need a rewire, chimney removal in the kitchen, double glazing, new kitchen (fitting cabinets will be fun with no straight walls) bathroom we would make do but would need an over shower, plastering the kitchen and general redecoration, it currently has central heating installed.

We have lived in the street before (rented) and we like the neighbors we have family all within 10 minute walk, it is in the catchment for the 3rd best primary school and the best high school in the area (for now we don't need either of these) walking distance to the shops and for one of our works, the car wouldn't get touched at weekends.

Downsides are parking can be bad once i had to park 5 streets over after coming back late one night, but usually if you are back for 6pm you'll get a space. The awkward upstairs rooms, the amount of work that would be needed, we also would only be there for 5 - 10 years.

Upsides are we like the area we have the money to to put down >50% deposit and still have savings to complete the work, the rents in the surrounding streets currently range from £450 no central heating basic rental to £525 average rental .

what do you think ?

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I'm after advice should we or should we not?

House price: 75k

Zoopla estimate for the street: 73k

As for nationwide estimates they are all over the place because of few sales. There has been 1 sale per year from 1998 (12.5k) to 2007 (112.5k) before 2007 no house had breached 89k.

The house is a gable end terrace, it is a wedge shape(back of the house is the same length as every other in the street the front is larger and the postage stamp garden is smaller). There are three bedrooms all long and thin (widest 7'3'') a tiny bathroom, downstairs large living room and what would be a large kitchen if the chimney was removed now it is just a sink and one cupboard with a large pantry. The garden still has the outhouse. There is on street parking....snip...what do you think ?

A few points sprang to mind. Most 'big' jobs end up costing about 5 grand each, and if there are a few of them that will soon mount up price-wise.

If you are doing the work yourself it is cheaper, but then you have to live in semi-building site mode. Most men can cope with that, but my wife was really not keen on the amount of mess that DIY generated. And DIY always takes way longer than expected (well it does when I do it). You may find that several of the 5-10 years living there are in the DIY mess zone.

THe size and shape sounds odd. You mention the catchment zones for schools, but is it a family house? I guess if you have one child you can get them into the good school and then move house....

When I buy a house I don't mind if it needs jobs doing because I am hoping to live in it until I die. If I was looking at somewhere for 5-10 years then I am not sure I would bother with somewhere that needed a *lot* of work.

As Americans might say, your mileage may vary. :)

Cheers

QB

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If you are only going to be there for 5-10 years can't you make do rather more drastically?

I was in a similar situation - house built by spec developer 1840s; never sold (at least not since WW1) Very ropey condition (by which I mean for example top floor unusable because of holes in the roof!) But it took us 10 minutes to make up our minds because we REALLY liked the house & location.

We fixed the roof, put in central heating and a basic bathroom and that was it apart from a lick of paint. We lived there for over 20 years, bringing up 3 children. You don't HAVE to have a wonderful Smallbone of Devizes kitchen or C P Hart's bathroom.

If you don't absolutely want the house, and your time horizons are short, I wouldn't go in intending to spend a lot of money on it. You probably won't recoup it.

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what do you think ?

Erm, sounds great to me. Apart from a price that seems to be in a timewarp from ten years ago(!), don't underestimate the value of an area you know and like!

Use your local knowledge to find a builder you can trust to tell you what really needs doing and set a budget.

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I would go for it if I was you. If you like the area and its proximity to work, schools etc, then get stuck in. I always quite enjoyed the idea of having to refurbish my house, its an exciting sort of project to get involved in I think.

Like Cartimandua said, it doesn't have to be immaculate if you're only going to be there for 5 years.

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It'll be a pain doing the work or getting it done, but at the end of it you'll have the house you want. Somebody else's idea of a nice kitchen etc. is hardly ever what you'd have chosen yourself.

Worth it in the end.

Edited by Mrs Bear

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I'm after advice should we or should we not?

House price: 75k

Zoopla estimate for the street: 73k

As for nationwide estimates they are all over the place because of few sales. There has been 1 sale per year from 1998 (12.5k) to 2007 (112.5k) before 2007 no house had breached 89k.

The house is a gable end terrace, it is a wedge shape(back of the house is the same length as every other in the street the front is larger and the postage stamp garden is smaller). There are three bedrooms all long and thin (widest 7'3'') a tiny bathroom, downstairs large living room and what would be a large kitchen if the chimney was removed now it is just a sink and one cupboard with a large pantry. The garden still has the outhouse. There is on street parking.

The house has never been sold. it was built in 1890 odd by one family who built all 6 surrounding streets then continuously rent them out, occasionally they sell one. They are not big on improvements. The house will probably need a rewire, chimney removal in the kitchen, double glazing, new kitchen (fitting cabinets will be fun with no straight walls) bathroom we would make do but would need an over shower, plastering the kitchen and general redecoration, it currently has central heating installed.

We have lived in the street before (rented) and we like the neighbors we have family all within 10 minute walk, it is in the catchment for the 3rd best primary school and the best high school in the area (for now we don't need either of these) walking distance to the shops and for one of our works, the car wouldn't get touched at weekends.

Downsides are parking can be bad once i had to park 5 streets over after coming back late one night, but usually if you are back for 6pm you'll get a space. The awkward upstairs rooms, the amount of work that would be needed, we also would only be there for 5 - 10 years.

Upsides are we like the area we have the money to to put down >50% deposit and still have savings to complete the work, the rents in the surrounding streets currently range from £450 no central heating basic rental to £525 average rental .

what do you think ?

The parking would be the only serious downside in my opinion. Is there likely to be a residential parking permit scheme? I would check. Is it possible to get an annual ticket in a local council car park? Can you make a parking space out of the garden?

The school, shops, good neighbours and close family aspects of the property are important pros.

Personally, I would live in a shack if it was in a good location - you can do the work when you get some money, if ever. At least you can have plenty of visitors without worrying about them damaging anything.

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I'm after advice should we or should we not?

what do you think ?

If in doubt dont buy. Only buy if you are prepared to be stuck there forever.

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... and what would be a large kitchen if the chimney was removed ...

Just a small bit of detail: this could be more expensive than you are estimating. If the chimney still goes up through the upstairs and through the roof space to an actual chimney, then possibly all this will need to be removed ... or you might be able to put lintles in to the kitchen ceiling to take the weight. Either way, a builder is not going to do this until a structural engineer has told him what to do. And you're going to be paying for that structural engineer's work. If you're in a conservation area there may be restrictions on what you can do to an external chimney (nothing to do with whether a building is listed or not).

Also, you might find you are having to remove elements of the property's character that furture buyers may be disappointed about. This would be your call, just something to be mindful of.

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  • 152 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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