Personal, professional, and local property finders for Northamptonshire.

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Home House Hunting Information Think carefully before taking on a ‘project’


Think carefully before taking on a ‘project’

doing up a wreck taking on a property project


“It’s become very fashionable to do up a wreck – numerous television programmes on the subject are largely responsible !” says Rachel Johnston of Stacks Property Search.

“Before taking the plunge and buying a derelict property, speak to friends who have ‘had work done’ or attempted a significant DIY project – did they find it more or less stressful than they thought ?  You only have to watch “DIY SOS” to see the evidence of what you can be left with when the initial enthusiasm runs dry, even in a house that does not need work to be habitable.  Never forget that living in a caravan through a winter season can put a strain on the strongest of relationships !

“If the dream of creating a couture version of home remains, especially if you are planning an “Escape to the Country” , know that wrecks come with an ever-increasing premium. It sometimes seems that all an estate agent needs to do is generate a bit of interest, go to the auction, and watch people fight to lay down their money – and often a good chunk of their lives and their sanity !

“Wrecks appeal to more than just the ambitious individual.  Private buyers are competing with developers, who are competing with private developers, who are competing with builders. Often, the over-excitement and the levels of competition lead to buyers paying well over the odds, especially when you consider that building costs are rising even faster than house prices.

“There is a simple formula, and purchasers should do their sums carefully and not get swept away on a tide of over-enthusiasm, abandoning all realism in the wake. “Homes under the Hammer” anyone ?


Estimated current market value when done’ minus ‘renovation costs’

= price you might pay for wreck.


Everything else represents a ‘must have’ or ‘fantasy’ factor  – and only you can know what that is for YOU.

“If the sums don’t add up, may be it is time to re-evaluate whether “To Buy or Not To Buy”. It used to be the case that to find an old house with accommodation suited to contemporary lifestyles was extremely difficult. But now, that really isn’t the case, as so many properties have been renovated (or re-renovated) to a modern specification – plenty of open plan living, the pre-requisite living/eating/cooking/family space, uber-modern facilities and appliances, wet rooms, and so on, combined with beautiful original materials and craftsmanship.”

In the final analysis, only you know whether you want to climb the “Property Ladder” the hard way, but Stacks’ final advice is to be very, very, very cautious with your figures – and your dreams. You may find it makes more sense to buy someone else’s project when it’s finished and make a few cosmetic changes.


For help in finding the wreck of your dreams, or the finished article, contact Rachel or browse here  to find out why the #secretshire Northamptonshire could be the “Location, Location, Location” for you.


*** You may also find ‘Don’t Lose the Plot  to help you on your way to ‘Building the Dream’, and make sure you are not under the influence of the urban myths surrounding “Unregistered Land”.