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Buying to Renovate

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5 Property Experts Reveal How To:

  • Get the home you want, within your budget
  • Buy in your favourite neighbourhood – for less
  • Create your perfect home to your tastes 
  • Find, fund, purchase, design & renovate your ideal home 
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How to get the Melbourne home renovation you want at a lower cost

Found the Melbourne suburb you want to live in, but can’t find the right property for you? If your ideal house seems out of your reach or you don’t have quite the budget to buy the best property in your chosen suburb, finding a renovator’s delight may be just the option for you. By renovating your Melbourne home you can have the house you want at the price you can afford.

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you find the perfect fixer upper for home renovation in your chosen suburb and get your foot into the market at a lower price point.

Decide what you want: Firstly, determine what type of property you are after. Is it a family home you want? Or a terrace-style house or Melbourne city apartment living?  

Do your research: Search real-estate websites, magazines and speak to local agents for homes in your chosen area that match the style you’re after. Remember you’re looking for places that look a little tired or with outdated décor and make the perfect canvas for renovation.

Check-up time: When you find a house that fits the bill, have a building inspection done to check the property for any structural damage and/or expensive repairs that may be required.  Ideally, you want a house that is structurally sound and simply requires a cosmetic home renovation.

Do a comparison: Do a little more homework into comparable sales within the suburb and surrounding Melbourne area. You especially want to know what similar, fully renovated homes in the same area have recently sold for. This will help you establish a good understanding of this property’s potential worth.

Sealing the deal: When you’re purchasing the property, bear in mind comparable sales and the home renovation work that is required. Discuss negotiating early access during settlement (so repairs/renovations can be done before you move in).

Renovation begins: If you negotiate early access, obtain an access agreement and have your interior designer and builder begin renovations during the settlement period so that the work is done and ready for you to move in the day of settlement.

A recent client was searching for an East Melbourne home with a specific style of kitchen. The couple’s budget was $1.4M and as they had a very clear idea about what they wanted for their kitchen space, they were having trouble finding a home that suited their needs. After much searching, they decided to look for a home that didn’t offer their ideal spaces or suit their style and was in a lesser condition than they hoped but could easily be renovated to their liking. After a few weeks, they found the perfect house to renovate for $1.1M ($300,000 less than their budget). They spent $140k renovating the house to create a new kitchen space, as well as new bathrooms and adding modern finishes throughout the house. Buying a “less than perfect” home saved them money but meant the finished product aligned perfectly with their style and needs.

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Richard Armstrong is Director of The Makeover Group. He has more than a decade of home renovation experience, including kitchen and bathroom design and build, and has helped hundreds of Melbourne clients undertake renovations to create their ideal home. Richard is an active and experienced property investor who contributes to Australia’s leading property publications and websites.