A house is by far the most expensive investment you are ever likely to make, and while it is just a pile of bricks and mortar, a home is more than the sum of its parts. This is where we live and love and make our memories.
Fair to say, then, that there is plenty of emotion attached to buying a home at the best of times. But when you are purchasing something with history and character into which you will pour your blood, sweat, tears and bank balance, the emotional factors increase exponentially.
There are plenty of opportunities for the unwary to let their hearts rules their heads, so here are some survival tips for avoiding disaster.
Love Is Blind
With a period property, it is easy to fall in love at first sight, and love is blind. Seeing the potential is great – in fact it is what it is all about – but don’t just shove the negatives under the carpet.
Do your best to remain as pragmatic as you can, and try to approach it from a business-like perspective. This is where it is important to make sure the estate agent really understands what you are looking for and doesn’t start tempting you with things that are beyond your skills or your bank balance. Online property searches are well and good, but select some suitable agents by checking online reviews at sites like https://www.feefo.com/reviews/fox-sons and actually go and talk to them.
Check The Properties Regs
None of us are exempt from planning rules and building regulations, but with an older home, you could even more bureaucracy. The idea of owning listed building or one that is in a Conservation Area might sound fantastic, but it can be a real constraint on what you can and cannot do to the place.
The exact rules will vary depending on your circumstances, but in general, you will probably be prohibited from making any significant extensions and you will have to keep key features like the roof, doors and windows as close to original as possible.
Start With The Essentials
Whatever you think needs doing at the outset, there will be a hundred other things you hadn’t noticed and everything will cost more money and take more time. So while it will be tempting to rip everything out and order a new fitted kitchen, bathroom and a million other things, it is better to proceed one step at a time.
Start with the basic essentials, which are the roof, walls, doors and windows. Then sort out any problems with damp – all old properties have a few damp issues. Then move to internal doors and ceilings. From there, you have a solid basis and can start going room by room.
Don’t Expect Perfection
If you want to live in a house with evenly shaped doors and windows, perfectly flat floors and a wonderful heating system with the best thermal efficiency, go and buy a brand new house.
Period properties are full of their own imperfections, and these are what attracted you to the place. As long as you keep on loving them, you will end up with a home that makes you happy.