Have you ever considered a renovation project for your next home? Yes, you’d have to put the graft in, and free time might become a distant memory, but it could be a great way to move a couple of rungs up the property ladder. So what exactly could add value? And what kind of property could you go for? 

We’re all looking for a bargain when buying a house, yet somehow they don’t seem that easy to find. You may put in an offer and then your surveyor discovers that the reasonably-priced semi might need a new roof, or the cut-price cottage a replacement damp-proof course.

You can spare yourself this kind of nasty surprise by buying a place that you already know needs a bit of work. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re willing to be realistic about the scale of the project, and plan carefully before jumping in, it could end up being a wise decision.

Lisa Hodgson, West Cumbria area branch manager, said: “Buying a renovation project can be a shrewd move for a variety of reasons. You could finish up with a house that would ordinarily have been out of your price range, get more space or move into that desired area without breaking the bank…

“But there is a lot to think about before buying that doer-upper which looks so tempting. If you’re planning to convert an attic or build an extension, you’ll need planning permission.

“It’s always best to have a full building survey done so that you know exactly what remedial work is required, which also helps with your budgeting. And be honest with yourself – do you have the skills to personally carry out all the work or will you need to get experienced tradespeople in? 

“This kind of project is not for the faint-hearted and can be extremely stressful. But if you know what you’re letting yourself in for, have a realistic and detailed plan of work and, most importantly, are confident that you won’t run out of money before the work is finished, then take the plunge – and good luck to you!”

We’ve picked five great renovation properties and shared why we think they’re worth considering…

If you want to make an investment…

Ruskin Avenue, Coniston

If you’re looking for an income stream from rental or tourism opportunities then this three-storey townhouse in the Lake District National Park could fit the bill.

Alternatively, you could potentiallynet a tidy profit after remedial work throughout the Victorian property, which has gas central heating but no double glazing installed.

The chain-free house in Coniston has two ground-floor reception rooms, both with stoves, three bedrooms with lovely views and a modern bathroom.

The rooms are all of reasonable size, apart from the small fitted kitchen, and have remaining period features of tiled and wooden floors, traditional spindle staircases, panelled pine doors and beams.

Outside is a garage in need of attention, a seating area and a patch of garden.

In summary: You can get more bang for your buck by house-hunting outside the traditional honeypot locations of the central Lake District. 

Property details: On offer at £275,000 from Corrie and Co

If you’ve done this kind of thing before…

Low Moorhouse, Moorhouse, Carlisle

This is a Grade II-listed farmhouse in the heart of a rural village. The main house could be transformed into a large detached family home.

Currently, the farmhouse has two reception rooms with attractive sash windows which you may have to conserve or replicate, although the new floor-standing Worcester Bosch boiler and radiator in the dining kitchen will save you a pretty penny.

The large walled gardens include a courtyard and off-street parking. There’s a lot of house and land here but you could create a superb family home.

In summary: Make sure you know what exactly you’re getting yourself into and that your budget matches your plans. And don’t start work until planning permission is approved.

Property details: For sale at £270,000 from PFK

If your DIY skills aren’t the best…

A property such as Raiselands Croft, Penrith

This three-bed semi already has central heating and there is double glazing, so there’s no immediate need to upgrade these areas. Instead, spend wisely by installing a new kitchen and consider upgrading the bathroom suite while you’re at it.

There’s not much to do in the living room or the bedrooms, which, like the rest of the house, are just in need of redecorating and recarpeting.

These improvements done, you’ll be sitting pretty in a family home with gardens and off-street parking in a popular area to the north of Penrith town centre.

This property is now under offer but you could look around for something similar.

Lisa Hodgson, West Cumbria area branch manager, advised: “When renovating a property, spend as much as you can reasonably afford on a new kitchen and bathroom.

“Not only will you get the benefit but you may sell more quickly if you want to move on in the future – buyers always factor in the cost of upgrading or replacing kitchens and bathrooms when making an offer. 

“New carpets, flooring, curtains, painting inside and out and tidying up the garden can make a huge difference without busting your budget.”

In summary: Shell out on rooms where you can make a big impact and keep costs down elsewhere with cosmetic improvements.

Property details: For sale at £115,000 from H&H Land & Estates

If you’re looking for a room with a view…

A property such as Silver Howe Close, Kendal

This bungalow has been laid out so that its reception room and porch have fantastic panoramic views across Kendal and the Lakeland fells beyond. Not even the properties on the other side of the road can distract from the scenery as only their roofs can be seen from your vantage point.

You can pay a lot of money for great views and if you find a house that has the sort of vista you like, many people will let their heart rule their head and find themselves saddled with a money pit.

That’s not the case here. Realistically we’re only talking about a new bathroom and kitchen, revamp of the sun porch and freshening up throughout. 

Other bonus points for this home are that it comes with off-road parking, a garage and carport and low-maintenance gardens.

This property is now under offer but you could look around for something similar.

Lisa Hodgson, West Cumbria area branch manager, said: “Properties like this are very much in demand as they don’t need a lot of work to get them up to a modern-day standard. 

“Look beyond tired décor and a poor layout and decide how you could change it to suit your lifestyle.”

In summary: Don’t let emotions get the better of you by buying something you can’t alter without a lot of expense and stress.

Property details: For sale at £220,000 from ThomsonHaytonWinkley

If you’re looking for The Cumberland’s property of the week…

Green Close Cottage, Kirkby Lonsdale

A family home with large mature gardens on the edge of this popular market town, Green Close Cottage has a self-contained annexe tailor-made for teenagers or dependent relatives.

The annexe could also make a great home office, something so many of us have had to consider over the past months.

Although this property has been a much-loved home since its owners moved in 35 years ago, it is now in need of complete refurbishment.

The spacious cottage has a lovely flow with the reception rooms and a ground-floor bedroom opening off a central conservatory. There are four bedrooms above while the annexe provides a living kitchen, double bedroom and en-suite wet room.

Why is this The Cumberland’s property of the week?

Lisa Hodgson, West Cumbria area branch manager, said: “This cottage sits in a sizeable plot with established gardens yet is within walking distance of all the amenities of the sought-after market town of Kirkby Lonsdale.

“It does need a fair bit of work but it’s an exciting opportunity for someone to put their own stamp on it and create their forever home.”

Property details: For sale at £600,000 with Davis & Bowring, 015242 74445, http://bit.ly/2XU8NrB

If any of these properties take your fancy, speak to our local experts or quickly see what you can afford by using our mortgage calculator.

This is a useful place to start when looking to buy an investment property. Finding out how much you’re able to borrow will give you a clearer understanding of the price range of homes you can start searching for.

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