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Guide to buying a fixer-upper

Whether you’re an investor, first home buyer or looking for your next renovation challenge, purchasing a fixer-upper can be the perfect way to snag a well-priced property in a dream location, while also allowing you, to put your style and stamp during a home renovation.

With most buyers looking for a turnkey property to move straight into, there’s lots of opportunity in the market to get a good deal and transform a property anew.

Here, we take a look at purchasing the perfect fixer-upper property, and how you can get started on renovations.

HomeBuilder scheme

The Morrison Government has recently launched the HomeBuilder initiative in a bid to stimulate the residential construction industry and help soften the economic downturn from COVID-19.

The scheme offers eligible applicants a $25,000 tax-free grant towards either a new build or a renovation.

“With the HomeBuilder scheme in place, now is the perfect time for those who were considering buying or renovating a property to hit the market and get started. This tax-free grant could mean the difference between a new kitchen or bathroom.”

Finding the perfect combination

Ever heard of the phrase ‘buying the worst house on the best street’? This is definitely the case when hunting for the perfect fixer-upper.

“When looking for a fixer-upper, look for the winning combination; lower price, prime location, good layout and positive property condition report,”

“Remember that the lower the price you pay for the property, the more money you have to spend when it comes time to renovate.”

Getting started on renovations

Starting a property renovation can seem daunting, but in reality, with planning, research and budget in check, you will be in for an exciting and profitable renovation experience.

Whether you are doing small improvements or a large-scale renovation, to help you get started, we have pulled together our top tips on how to get started.

  • Wants and needs list

Start your planning by creating a list of everything you would like to achieve in your renovation. It is important to remember that everything you write down might not be achievable within budget and timeframes, but this is an important step in the renovating process.

Once you have everything written down, you can start to work through your overall goals, what is achievable, and aesthetic wants, versus maintenance needs to help you to prioritise and plan.

  • Planning and research  

Now you have your renovation goals, you need to begin planning and researching how you can turn your goals into a renovation roadmap.

This may include tasks like prioritising maintenance, setting out timelines, design ideas and deciding whether you will tackle the renovation yourself or have a contractor manage the process.

“The important thing to remember with these sorts of projects is that no matter how organised you may be, always allow wiggle room as you will most likely experience delays or setbacks along the way. It is all part of the experience”.

  • Cost estimates and budgeting

Finding out cost estimates is an important part of getting started and will be used to inform your overall budget and dictate how much you can achieve within your financial limits. 

By doing online research, asking friends and family about their experiences, and shopping around for trades and materials, you will be ahead of the game and avoid being disappointed if your renovation and design plans cannot be executed.

“Another tip is to consider the price of the property and what the return on investment is on the property once renovated,”

“Look at the purchase price, compare to new homes in the area and get advice from the experts if you are thinking of selling post-renovation.”


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