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TBS in The Times: The Fixer-upper is fashionable again

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Knight Frank
London and Country specialist property buying agents
06 Jul 2018  |   Harry Gladwin

Buyers are seeking distinguished but dilapidated properties to make their own according to The Times today. Particularly popular are those needing full refurbishment so purchasers can tailor it entirely to their own lifestyle, tastes and designs. The most promising renovation properties are snapped up immediately.

While there are opportunities to be had, Harry Gladwin, Partner at The Buying Solution, warns not to get carried away with your budget and to factor in obstacles and unknowns. “When you’re preparing to make an offer, you need a full picture of faults and challenges. Key areas of focus will be the ecology of the property, such as whether bats inhabit the main house or outbuildings, and the use of hazardous materials such as asbestos; we were recently able to negotiate £150,000 off a £7 million country manor house because of asbestos.”

Added to this, Harry adds that it’s crucial to have the right team of experts in place from the outset such as lawyers, surveyors, architects and planning consultants to provide expert knowledge and a realistic timeframe – this team will make or break a successful purchase. Another point to consider is the VAT on project management costs and the cost of the works this usually adds another 30-40% on top of the purchase price. When dealing with the Conservation officer and possibly English Heritage remember to set off on the right foot. They will have to understand the benefit to them. Value can certainly be found across the UK on dilapidated country mansions especially those which don’t qualify as mixed use and are liable for the lower stamp duty rate.

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