How to Find Houses that Need Renovation?

Finding a property does not always need to be move in ready, but rather you may also find a gem in those that need some work.

Learning about how to find houses that need renovation comes in handy if you are considering to purchase this type of property whether you mean to use it to be your home, to sublet, or to simply flip and resell. 

Whatever your reason for buying a house that needs work, having one can be worth it because you will be able to own a property at a much lower cost and you have the freedom to make it look exactly how you want your home to be.

renovating house

What Criteria to Have?

If you have decided on purchasing a house that needs some renovation, then you must first learn and understand how and where to find one. You must have some knowledge on the process of getting this kind of property in order to save yourself from wasting your time and effort. Being able to have an eye to recognize the right project would also be much helpful.

Among the first things that you should figure out is the location or the area of where you want to buy a property. Part of these knows a bit more of the neighbourhood, the town, the post code and the like. Next is determining what kind of property you would like to invest in which includes details such as the size, number of rooms, price range, style whether you want semis or terraces, etc. 

Once you have created a list of your criteria, try to narrow them down so you can have a shortlist to make your search more efficient and not time-consuming. Based on your price range, try to first select the property that has the lowest price, then always have a strategy to serve as your direction for your project. While looking at your prospective area, you can further narrow down your search and if around 21 properties show up, then it means that it is a good sign and that you are on the right path because this is a good number.

Finding a house that needs some renovation does not mean something derelict, but instead they should not have any structural issues and should only be something like a renovation project that you are trying to add value to if possible. And as soon as you have made a decision about which property to work on, set up a meeting for a viewing and make an offer.

Where to search?

search a house

Looking for ways on how to find houses that need renovation may not really be much of a challenge as there are so many ways to find one, and it would be much easier if you are creative in your search as well. One of the avenues that you may use in finding a house to renovate is through an online portal called which offers 2 strategies to help you find these types of properties without a hassle. 

To start using this portal, all you need to do is to set up an account and log in. From there you can already filter your criteria and start searching for the property that you are looking for. You can easily click and save those with potential, and they will automatically be added to your shortlist.

Another strategy is to set the alerts which will notify you if a property that is within your criteria becomes available. 

Aside from this portal, there are other online sites that can make your search easier and more convenient. And you can always have a chat with a local estate agent who can surely lead you to one.

Also, if you are up for it, you may try looking for a probate property through an asset management company or the local solicitors. Local newspapers would also be a good avenue to check or specialist websites like Pick Up a Property or Property to Renovate.

Another option would be to check some repossessed homes or look for properties that are off-the-market. You may try to find out who the owner is through the Land Registry site. Do not forget about the property auctions as they are also a good way to find a house that needs some renovation.

How to Start Rebuilding?

Renovating a fixer-upper has its advantages such as you get to see the original features of the property and you have the opportunity of creating something that you really want. Surely, you would want your project to be a success and to achieve this, you want your renovation to have a good finish. To ensure the success of your renovation, think ahead so you can plan accordingly.

Be ahead of the possible hidden costs and create a detailed plan of action to make sure that you are on track in terms of budget and schedule. This schedule must be clear in the sense that all the tasks are written in detail including who is doing which and the expense that it will incur. Make a detailed outline from the beginning to the end of the project so it will be clear to everyone involved in the renovations.

A work schedule varies according to the nature of the renovation project but it usually includes the assessment of the present state of the property, stopping further decay, tax or grants concessions, statutory consent, checking for structural issues, demolition work (if necessary), taking care of damp, drains, etc., creating access to the site, major renovations, making the property weather tight, fixing of exteriors and other externals, plastering then drying out, changing the flooring, final renovations, putting accents, final clean up and finally moving in!

To be sure that you will not have to deal with drainage or damp issues or would have an infestation or subsidence, let a chartered surveyor survey the property. Your building report should also contain the construction methods utilized so you will have an idea on what materials are appropriate to use as well as what techniques work well with the property.