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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Maintaining property - Withnail

I've always bought old properties for myself to live in. I've enjoyed a Victorian terrace, an Edwardian semi, a twenties detached and a Georgian farmhouse.

I like all that period charm, the character, the blah, blah, blah, that I've been conditioned by the style police to aspire to.

Old properties are troublesome however, the older they get the faster the rate of deterioration, just like cars and people.

Scratch at my Georgian farmhouse and it would crumble away in my fingers, at which point I would throw the rug metaphorically back down and carry on with my day. Even all that pure Georgian symmetry couldn't make up for the endless maintenance, so I updated and moved forward in time back to another Edwardian one. ( still troublesome, but not as bad)

The years of tiresome maintenance on period properties have paid off in terms of decent re-sales ( to other stylish aspirants ) and the joy of living in that period home ambience.

"Just look at my beautiful cornicing darlings, .....and the high ceilings. Have I shown you the stone salting slab in my larder?"

But does it make sense for a rental property that you will hopefully spend as little time in as possible?

My Victorian rental properties are a pain in the back side, solid 9 inch brick walls are a haven for mould and mildew that forces endless re -decoration. I've had to have roofs replaced, root ingress on drains, what an absolute nightmare, damp proofing, shall I go on?

All this work eats directly into the rental profits as well as my time.

The joy of owning an old property is lost if you don't actually live in it, and tenants will happily rent any property in the right location at the right price. So for rental, take my advice and buy a nearly new one ( so you don't lose money on the initial 2 year dip ).

I've just been renovating a 1970s bungalow that was built by it's original builder/owner to live in. The roof and walls have been built to withstand a direct hit from a stray bomb, there is no damp and hopefully no maintenance issues for a long time to come.

Get one that is well insulated and that will give you years of maintenance free letting.

Forget the crumbling old wrecks for renting out, save those for yourself to live in, shivering, but in a stylish and elegant manner. Chin, chin!

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Anonymous said...

If you are going to buy dirt cheap that others have ignored, what do you expect? Many homes built in the past 30 years are builders right-offs, it depends upon what you want to spend and where. I live in an Edwardian town house and refuse to move, it is structurally sound, energy efficient as far as solid walls will allow, and re-roofed 30 years ago. My total spend on this house in the past 10 years has been £2K and that was for double glazing. No more.

Hawkeye said...

Sounds absolutely delightful anonymous.