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Modernising a rundown property ’can be a real opportunity’


– Astute investors can enlist help of quality tradespeople to boost returns –

It has long been the case that investors have seen renovating and modernising a run-down property as a good opportunity to make money. But in times like the present, when anyone who is still in the market for property can drive a hard bargain, such investments offer an even more appealing deal.

This is because, with good properties scarce, investors’ attention will increasingly focus on what is available lower down the market, where the potential long-term gains are greater.

Les Yates, of Bolton-based trade comparison site, LocalQuoter, believes that, with lots of tradespeople working at less than capacity due to the recession, there is also plenty of help and advice available for would-be investors.

“Competition is fierce among quality tradespeople, whose workload has slowed with the onset of the recession,” Les points out. “So they have more time to advise on which improvements are needed to a run-down property, and which will bring potentially the highest return.”

Measures such as a new fitted kitchen, double glazing and a new bathroom always have the greatest appeal for buyers, and are one way to make money in a flat housing market, it has been claimed. But with renewed emphasis on energy efficiency, any improvements which enhance a house’s energy-saving performance are also likely to bring good returns for investors.

A recent article in the Times suggests that, while unmodernised homes may not at first sight look very appealing, they offer a real opportunity to make some cash. It states that as house values have dropped, properties which need a lot of work will have seen their asking prices drop even further than their neighbours.

Speaking to the newspaper, Ed Mead, of the London estate agent Douglas & Gordon, agreed. “Undoubtedly, if you want a bargain at the moment, it’s best to buy unmodernised. When the market crashes, the first casualty is condition,” he said.


 double glazing
 home improvements

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