News and Articles

News and Articles
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Written by Melanie Toye

You have seen those homes in dire need of a renovation from hit TV shows such as 'The Block', but how does one know if a home can be restored or if it should be demolished?

Part of it comes down to appearance and money. Do you like the layout of the exterior of the home or would you prefer to just demolish the entire block and create the home you want? The answer comes down to your budget and what you want.

If you do want to renovate, choosing a home that needs a good change is one thing. But choosing a home that isn’t going to cause you additional high costs due to an originally badly built home is another thing. You do not want to start knocking down walls and ripping up floor boards only to come across an obstacle that could cost you tens of thousands of dollars to fix.

What do you need to look out for when purchasing a property to renovate?

You want to get your hands dirty and experience the challenge in renovating an old home to a more stylish, inviting and value adding property. But when you go on the hunt in finding the perfect Reno, you discover it’s not just as easy as finding a house that needs help. Other potential issues arise.

The number one rule when considering buying any property is organising a building and pest inspection. Ensure you also seek an asbestos test as well which may be an additional cost but one that is well worth it. If Asbestos is released into the air, i.e. if a wall with asbestos is knocked down, the asbestos can be inhaled into a person’s lungs. Asbestos is invisible to the naked eye, so caution is critical.

Also have a good look to see if the walls, roof and floors are straight and levelled. Check the safety switchboard to see how old the electrical wiring is. Old wiring can be an expensive cost to replace. Turn taps on and flush the toilets. You will be able to tell if there are any leaks or possible blocked drains.

If possible, ask the real estate agent for a copy of the house plan. This way you have the measurements and layout of the home. If you do want to change the layout, speak with an architect and/or an engineer to see if your new desired layout is possible.

Understanding and having a reserve of additional funds is a must, because when renovating, costs always exceed the initial budget. Be aware of all costs before committing to the project. Running out of money to complete the renovation may well mean having to live in a non-finished home.