Look out for beauties in disguise

Buyers who can spot a Cinderella property in a good area stand to make aroyal profit when the time comes to resell - if they are willing to roll up their sleeves and tackle a spot of home renovation.

Homes that have been neglected but are structurally sound are prime candidates for makeovers that will make them fit better with the overall tone of the neighbourhood. And buyers with the imagination to see them as belles of the ball when they are still in rags may well find fairy tales coming true.

That's the word from Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group, who says bargain hunters should of course steer clear of properties needing extensive and expensive renovations such as propping up poor foundations, re-roofing, complete re-wiring or plumbing replacements.

"Such costly operations are usually outside the ambit of most DIY-enthusiasts and if specialists have to be contracted to do the work, much of the potential profit flies out of the window."

But homes that have been marked down because they need painting or because the garden has gone to seed are definitely worth a second and even third look, he says.

"Setting a neglected garden to rights may easily be done within a season, and just mowing an overgrown lawn, trimming hedges, pruning trees and a bit of weeding will make an immediate impact. Painting the house should also be relatively inexpensive if owners do the work themselves."

Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, Everitt says other easy-to-fix faults include worn and shabby floor surfaces or carpeting that can usually be treated or replaced at a reasonable cost, and old-fashioned light fittings.

"Indeed, new light fittings are probably among the least expensive and most profitable home improvements one can make.

"And finally, homes with single bathrooms offer a big profit opportunity since second bathrooms will generally add double the cost of the renovation to the value of the house.

"This is especially true if a second bathroom can be fitted into the existing layout of the home and connected to existing plumbing.

Article by: www.chaseveritt.co.uk