One of my requests when we purchased our first home was that it had to be a project home. I’ve always wanted to renovate property whether it was my own or someone else’s and well, at the tender age I was when we first bought our house, I had watched enough Homes under the Hammer to know exactly what I as doing. Side note: I still don’t know exactly what I’m doing but its a rough guide. Like, really rough. Sandpaper rough.
That said if we were to move again I would still choose a home that was in need of a renovation and likely would again and again so thought I would state why as I can imagine some people would be looking at me like I’m crazy right about now.
Cost. They tend to be a little cheaper because of the amount of work that needs doing and you don’t have to spend the difference all at once, as long as the house is in a liveable condition and everything works as it should the rest is aesthetic. Before we moved into our house it needed the plumbing and electrics doing before we even moved in and we decorated the living room and bedroom so we had two rooms to relax in but the rest of the house for a long while was a mess. It still is and I still love changing the rooms up.
Satisfaction. That feeling when you stand back to admire your handiwork and you beam because you’re just so incredibly proud of it. You can flip this and there have been plenty of times in the early days where I have stood back to see something shockingly awful and instead of a beaming smile it was a roar of laughter and a sigh. The sigh is knowing it either needs redoing or that it’s staying and you’re going to have to stare at it in its hideousness before you can change it. However, most of the I’m proud of a little DIY job, like the tiles in the kitchen, and I would happily learn a few more skills to have the satisfaction of seeing it finished and likely finished cheaper than getting a tradesman in (unless I have to of course!)
Bare Bones. You can take a project home back to its bare bones, add your own stamp and start from scratch pretty much making it whatever you want it to be. You can keep elements of the homes history and character or you can decide it’s not your cup of tea and take it out and with limitations you can maybe move walls or extend the property. With the right house there is so much potential to make it ‘yours’ and I love that about home renovations.
If you have anything to add in favour or against buying a project home let me know. Maybe I will do a list of the reasons why I wouldn’t buy a home to renovate one day…a lot of work…the hidden costs…being covered in dust regularly…
I recently posted a list of things that I would want a new house to have if we were to move again and it got me thinking back to the must haves that I wanted our now house to include. We were first time buyers so had a lot to learn (we still do) and we were set on a certain radius as we wanted to be close to family and friends. This in itself narrows the options down a fair bit as in a suburban area with a budget we find ourself set within limitations. We just had to find the diamond in the rough so to speak. or even better: the worst house on the best street. Even with certain limitations there were still compromises I wouldn’t make and I thought I would jot them down.
If we hadn’t have found the right house we were in a comfortable position renting a nice cottage and simply wouldn’t have moved at the time but kept looking. We simply wanted to start putting money into our own house and we were in a position to do so. When we moved in our house needed quite a lot of work so I’ve added some pictures to give you a feel of what it was like after just after we’d started but more on that later.
A Garden. We knew we were going to get a dog as soon as we moved in so a reasonable size garden was a must. We hit the jackpot when we bought our house as the garden is a good size and south facing. We haven’t done much to the garden since moving in and we keep saying ‘next year’ and one year will be the right time but for now the majority of it is laid to lawn with an apple tree. (The apples get given to friends and family to make pies – have you seen me bake?)
A Hallway. Another item on my wish list was a hallway so that we wouldn’t be walking straight into the living room. For me I like to get in and have somewhere to take my coat off and have a little buffer to pick up the dirt before heading into the rest of the house. Saying this we don’t take our shoes off when getting in the house and used the back door leading straight into the kitchen for 3 and a half years of the 5 so this point did fall a little to the wayside but I still appreciate having a hallway.
A Project House. Yep it had to be a do-er upper. I wanted a renovation project and boy did we get one. Some times have been harder than others and it’s not cheap but when you stand back from a room and see the changes that you’ve made (with help of course) and know that you’ve learnt new skills doing so, well, I love that feeling. When we need a tradesperson to do a particular job I don’t mind getting quotes and enjoy knowing I’ve done the research to getting the best quote – and quality. I may be weird but I would do it time and time again without hesitation and if anything you can only get better at things you repeat right?
Off street parking. This one doesn’t need much explaining. I wanted to park in front of my house, who doesn’t.
AGood Location. After all it’s all about the location. I know it sound cheesy or cliche or whatever but when we saw our house, we knew. We were only driving round and had 2-3 more to check out afterwards but after seeing one other from the outside I didn’t want to see anymore. I just wanted to get that one, our house now. It was in a quiet location but close to amenities and was the worst house on the best street due to the work that needed doing to it. It was in a good location in regards to family and work and automatically I had set my heart on it. Something I wouldn’t recommend but do we ever follow our own advice? No. Exactly.
Now, call me spoilt or call it simply impossible but if we were to buy again I would want the same as above ADDED ON to the list of things I recently wrote about in my future home post. Compromise? Pffft.