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The Different Challenges of Buying to Renovate

TV shows like Property Ladder and Homes Under the Hammer have contributed to a huge rise in the number of people who renovate a home and then either sell it or rent it out. At Anderson Associates, as experienced chartered building surveyors in Suffolk, we often work with people who buy to renovate. Here we look at why this requires a different mindset to buying a property to live in.

Remember You May Not be Living There

Don’t fill your home with fixtures and fittings which reflect your own personal tastes, as you need to bear in mind that someone else will be living there, who may not be so enthusiastic about your choices. Neutral colours such as whites, pastels or greys mean you can be bolder with your choice of furniture and accessories.

Don’t Try to Take Short Cuts

When you will not be living in a home, there may be a temptation to save costs by doing all the work yourself, particularly if you only have a limited budget. However, if you adopt this approach you could be storing up problems for yourself in the long term.

For specialist work, it is advisable to call in the professionals. Suitably experienced tradesmen should be employed for any structural alterations - qualified electricians should be used for any rewiring, and accredited plumbers to sort out any issues with the hot-water system, unless you are absolutely confident of your own knowledge and expertise.

Works to boilers or other gas appliances must be carried out by a ‘Gas Safe’ registered engineer.

You Need to be Aware of the Legislation

It is essential that you are aware of the legal position if you are renting the property out. You could face prosecution if you don’t respect your tenants’ rights, or don’t have the right safety certificates. If you are carrying out any structural changes to the property, then you need to be aware of building regulations and whether you will need  planning permission.

All these factors need to be accommodated within your overall budget. And remember that the situation is constantly changing – for instance, from April 2020 landlords will no longer be able to deduct the interest paid on their mortgage from their rental income, which currently brings down their overall tax bill.

Have a Survey Done

Whether you are looking to buy and renovate a property with a view to selling on or renting it, having a survey carried out is just as essential as it is for owner-occupiers. This gives everybody peace of mind about the condition of the home or flat.

Anderson Associates recommend a full building survey, as this will show up any potential problems. Even if the property looks to be in good condition, there may well be some hidden issues which an expert will be able to detect. The report will also give you a good idea of what any problems will cost to put right.

And with a full building survey from Anderson Associates, you can be sure you will receive an independent report as we are working directly for you.

Anderson Associates

Chartered building surveyors Anderson Associates also offer commercial property surveys, leasehold and shared freehold surveys and structural surveys. Like our full building surveys, we can offer these on properties in Suffolk, east and south-east London, Kent and Essex.

Anderson Associates’ principal Paul Anderson has more than three decades’ worth of experience in both the public and private sector and he set up his own practice 20 years ago. We can also help with party wall and neighbour disputes, building maintenance planning and project management. If you would like to know more, follow this link and fill in the online form.


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Whether you need a simple valuation or a full structural survey as well as being expert building surveyors we’re happy to give you free, impartial advice on anything to do with buildings and property.
Anderson Associates
(Head Office & Correspondence Address)
Warneford House, Portal Avenue
Martlesham Heath, Ipswich
Suffolk IP5 3QY
T. 01473 623 656
T. 0800 652 8285
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Registered Office: Anderson Associates (Surveying) Ltd. | Warneford House, Portal Avenue, Martlesham Heath, Ipswich, Suffolk IP5 3QY
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