Searching for a new home can be tough, especially when you’re unsure as to what you’re really looking for. It is best to view a range of properties including those you are not sure about, if only to confirm your thoughts and discount them.
We've broken down how to spot a ‘diamond in the rough’. This home might need a bit of work or just some TLC, but once you’ve fixed it up, it could be your dream property. Here’s what to look out for.
A Floor Plan that Works for You
Re-arranging the layout of a property can be extremely costly, but it can also provide the opportunity for you to produce a floor plan that works for your needs. Knocking down walls to open the living and dining areas, or moving a bathroom upstairs from the ground floor, can add value to the property and make the livability of the home work better for you.
A Messy Property
Whilst a very messy property might send you running for the hills during a viewing, use an open mind to look beyond the mess and you may see the promises of a diamond in the rough. Do your best to imagine the rooms in the property as if they had different uses. The dining room that previous owners may have used could be the perfect study. Your perfect property might just be there under the clutter.
The Price is Right
If you’re wandering around a property thinking "I can’t believe they’re only selling this place for x amount", you could have found an absolute gem of a home. Many sellers attempt to sell a property for more than it is worth, so a true bargain is hard to find (and something you should consider capitalising on). It could also mean that the property has some serious defect, so make sure you carry out the correct checks and surveys before you buy the property.
A Great Location
The only thing you cannot change about a property is its location. A less conventionally desirable home in an attractive area is certainly a diamond in the rough, especially if it’s being offered at a discounted price. When you are viewing properties, be sure to consider the additional amenities that an area might offer. Local shops and restaurants can make all the difference in identifying a ‘diamond in the rough’. Be sure to keep your commute in mind, as well. A property with good access to transport links is certainly one to consider.
Equally, the property may be in an area that is said to be ‘up and coming’, perhaps due to investment in regeneration or new road and rail links. Now may be the time to grab a bargain and watch the house price increase in value in the years to come.
Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA MIRPM
Chief Executive Officer, Oakfield Estate Agents