AdvicePainting and decoratingPhil Spencer

Phil Spencer’s Old House Renovation Advice

Buying a brand new shiny home has its advantages but snapping up an old ruin could be a good way to get yourself onto the property ladder as long as you have a third to a half of the asking price to fund those repairs. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not an easy process but it will see the property increasing in value from its original price which will raise your odds of buying a better property when you move up the ladder later on. If you choose a twentieth century property to do up, you’ll find it much more reasonable to afford than an older property too. That’s just the way it is when it comes to tackling loans!

The downside is that some money lenders might not be comfortable loaning you the money in case you quit before you finish the work. Their primary interest lies with making money, so if you’re keen to go ahead you need to show that you have the project under control.

old house renovation

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Consulting with a builder or architect will help you make plans and address things such as planning permission and it’s worth talking to an accountant or broker for financial input. Well organised accounts will make it a much smoother ride and show an estate agent that you are not only well prepared but prepared to move quickly to complete the sale.

You also need to make sure that it’s deemed habitable to help you secure a mortgage. Before you apply for one, have a kitchen or at least the basics of a water tap and roof in place. It will present you with fewer hurdles when it comes to getting the money lenders on side. Having easily accessible tax returns will also speed up the mortgage application process.

property to renovate

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Let’s face it, no matter our budget, we’re always keen to cut costs. There are a number of things you can do to help lower your bill. You could call in favours from tradesmen friends, carry out some of the work yourself or post specific jobs on websites such as Rated People to get comparable quotes.

If funding your old house renovation project as a whole is proving difficult, it might be worth asking a close family member for help – whether you want to buy them a thank you gift or agree a repayment period with or without interest is up to you!

renovating an old house

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Budgeting for unexpected costs at the beginning of your old house renovation project will help to alleviate the shock of any outlays. You could need to treat a case of damp or fix wiring. There’s always the hope that we won’t make a big dent in the fund but if you do, at least you’ve planned for it in advance. Be smart with your savings and your project will start off on the right track.


Looking for trusted tradespeople to help with your old house renovation project? Post your job on Rated People and up to three local tradespeople will get in touch to quote on your job. You’ll be able to view their individual profiles, complete with previous customer recommendations, to help you decide who to hire.

Phil Spencer

Phil Spencer doesn’t need much of an introduction, he’s TV’s most well-known property presenter, having co-presented Location, Location, Location and Relocation, Relocation for over 10 years. Phil'ls blog posts focus on adding value and advice/ tips for when you're buying or selling your house.

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