Fixing up is in when budgets are tight

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RENOVATION projects are finding favour with buyers keen to make the most of a sluggish market.

Agents and builders are seeing an increase in the number of people opting to buy run-down houses in good suburbs.

They are buying their renovator’s delights now with the aim of fixing them up in a few years’ time.

Many others are choosing to stay put and renovate their existing home instead of taking their chances on the market.

Housing Industry Association figures show Victorians spent more than $6.7 billion on home renovations in the past financial year – up about 5 per cent on the previous year.

Master Builders Association of Victoria executive director Brian Welch says increasing numbers of people are buying dilapidated houses in reputable suburbs.

“It is young people who have got time on their sides and patience and a lack of money,” he says.

“Many of them are choosing a home that will see them out for the rest of their time. It is all very logical.”

Welch says the renovation market is “the only happy place for the building industry” at the moment.

He says renovations can significantly help improve the liveability and saleability of a home.

He says the popularity of home renovation television shows is also driving the trend.

“Everyone is wanting to give it a crack,” he says.

Top mistakes would-be renovators make

1 Over-capitalising

Be aware of your location, how much you are spending and how much the property will be worth.

2 Underestimating the work involved

It can be easy to think that a coat of paint will fix it when often it won’t.

3 Thinking you can do it yourself

DIY is not as easy as it looks, regardless of how easy it appears on TV.

4 Not getting professional advice

A quick building inspection isn’t enough. Think about getting a builder or architect to look at the property.

5 Rushing into it

Don’t just buy the first place you see. In the current market you can afford to take your time and do your homework.

6 Live with it

Once you’ve bought the property, move in and live in it before you make final renovation decisions.

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