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  • Neil Harrison

Seeking a new home? What about a top value project ‘doer-upper’ to save cash now and add value fo...

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

For sure, uncertainty continues on the house-buying front, and is set to continue into the New Year. As highlighted on this blog recently, the outlook seems to be that 2020 and beyond could well be a bumper period for home extensions and renovations.

A further developing viewpoint we spotted this week from the Home Owners Alliance is that a possible way to cope in the current market place, just might be to buy a cheaper property needing extension and renovation. For sure, this may be a way to cushion house pricing pressures and to add value right from the start of your move to your newly bought home.

support and guide

If you have such a approach in mind, we at Mint are well-versed and experienced in all areas of home extension and renovation and, of course, we can support and guide you in taking up this ‘buy a do-er-upper’ and improve approach. We expect more people may well indeed adopt this approach during the year ahead.

thoughts and suggestions

The excellent Home Owner Alliance has recently highlighted online some valuable thoughts and suggestions on successfully on going down this buy a “renovation project” or “fixer-upper” route. They also indicate that going 'this route' can enable a home-buyer to not only save money on the buying price, but very soon get their home exactly the way the they most want it to be more quickly!


Here are key thoughts and advice from the excellent HOA - “If you’re looking for the opportunity for a big extension and to significantly increase the footprint to get the space you need, consider a bungalow or a small house ideally on a largish plot. Also, if you are looking for something in need of a lot of TLC to make it your dream home - an older three or four bedroom semi-detached or terraced properties would probably need to be the more ideal choice. A down-sizer sale or one that could be part of an estate sale might also offer that renovation value advantage.”

search factor

A the HOA team, “How much a potential home-owner can afford to spend must of course no doubt be THE key factor framing such a home search plan. Adds the HOA “ When your search turns up a potential project don’t get carried away. Before you even start picturing what you could do to the place take a step back and consider the bigger picture.”


To be considered very carefully points out the HOA are - the things you can’t change? Will these put a dampener on the property’s potential? Think about such as location; parking; neighbourhood; restrictions and more in order to effectively assess a potential 'doer- upper' project.


Explain the HOA team further, “You can’t pick the house up and move it. So one needs to know for sure whether it has good transport links, nice local schools, local amenities etc.. etc.. Remember – they point out - the old adage too 0 “better to buy the worst house on the best street than the best house on the worst street”. Another key issue is parking, of course. Is there off-road parking? Is there potential to add parking as part of the renovation – all most important in the 'added value' arena!

properties nearby

Also key hints the HOA are to review other properties nearby your ' doer-upper' 'target'. Have they been extended or had loft conversions or other major works? This will serve to give you an idea of how amenable the local planning officers are in the area. Get the full picture on potential restrictions such as if the 'target' property is leasehold, in a conservation area or subject to a restrictive covenant You need to know as these factors may limited what alterations you can make.”

key choices

There is so much to be aware of -no doubt about it and we at Mint Builders are happy to work with you on your plans. We can help guide your key choices as well as ensuring the key work happens as you expect it to in terms of time-line and price. We know all the ins and out of renovation and extension projects - the pitfalls and ways to ensure they deliver to best effect in all respects

renovation potential

It’s true what the HOA say – it IS all about the renovation project potential of course! The HOA indicate quite bluntly that this can on many ways be a tricky consideration needing some caution and care. As they say :- “Your instinct may be to bring in an architect or professional designer but you don’t want to get ahead of yourself. Paying those fees at the research stage will get expensive. So, it is down to you to make an initial assessment of the property’s renovation potential.”

basic work

First of all, consider the basic work you would need to do to bring the property up to the standard you want - How many extra bedrooms and bathrooms would you want to add? Is the kitchen big enough? If you add bedrooms will there be enough living space to balance the house?

layout consideration

Next consider the layout of the property. Does it flow? Are the rooms in the right position in the home? For example, does the living room have a view or look out on the garden? Where is the master bedroom? Is the bathroom in a convenient location? How many toilets are there and is one downstairs?

hard look

Finally, take a long hard look at the outside of the property. Is there enough room for your extension plans?Would you want to replace the windows? Is there enough room in the roof for a conversion? What can be done to improve the external appearance of the property?

more information

There is such a lot to consider – but get it right – and you could scale that property ladder in these difficulty times with great success So plenty to consider for sure. For still more, visit The Home Owners Alliance for mountains more information and help available right here:- Here you'll find further info covering other key issues such as structural assessment; planning issues, key costs and more.


Also, you can join the Alliance too and also sign up for their very informative newsletter too. Good luck with your plans for a new home move -whatever they may entail.

Refurbishment, improvement and extension of your home. Mint offers a full development and finishing service to add value to your home. We are here to help with any questions or concerns you may have. We have all the expert contacts on hand to help you whatever you need to know.

Whatever your need, please request your quotation to improve, refurbish or extend your home – whether it's your 'old' one or a planned 'do-er upper' new home you're considering moving to. Contact Mint Builders on 01242 279739or email

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