There's no doubt that property, when standing empty, can quickly deteriorate and become downright tatty.
Here at UKinsuranceNET we can help you with the specialised empty property insurance that might be necessary for continuity of cover when your property has stood unoccupied for more than a specified period of time.
However, we might also be able to assist with some practical tips on renovating empty properties without spending an absolute fortune:
- attend to the basic structure of the property first. This is old advice but very valid because it is more important that your property is fully insulated and protected from the weather than it is for you to have some nice new paint on the living room walls etc. Slightly tatty décor may not have a big impact on the value of your property but the elements getting in may very well do so - and that will cost you a lot more to rectify the longer it goes on for;
- if your internal plasterwork is in even half-decent condition, think about preparing the walls well and using paint instead of wallpaper. Wallpaper can be expensive and hanging it isn't a skill that everyone possesses;
- think about shopping for things such as fabrics and soft furnishings on the internet. Even allowing for shipping charges, it is typically much cheaper than buying from stores on the high street. In fact, it is sometimes cheaper to buy items from the USA, including delivery, than it is from the big-name stores in the local shopping centres;
- you might want to think carefully before buying furniture new. If you visit local public auctions, you will typically find excellent quality used furniture being sold off at a fraction of its new price;
- consider using your friends and family network for building and decorating - assuming they have the expertise! True, you can only call in favours so often but you may save a fortune over tradespeople if you offer to one day return the favour to your friends and family members, by providing your own labour for something they are doing;
- even if the basic structure of the property is sound, make a point of painting external window frames and guttering as soon as possible. Psychologically, you'll feel a lot better coming home to a property that looks nice from the outside than one which looks wrecked, even if it's tidy inside. This is about getting a fast feel-good return on a small amount of spend;
- look at the bulk discount and loyalty cards at your local DIY warehouse. There is a fair chance that you are going to be buying a lot of things like paint brushes, paint, screws, wood and so on. Getting a percentage off all of your purchases because you are buying in one spot might make a big difference to final amount you'll pay overall.
Finally, remember to talk to your local authority about possible grants.
They're not widely available these days but there may be help with things such as renovating seriously dilapidated properties or converting commercial into residential.
Check out also the government's various tax allowances for the installation of green initiatives around the home such as insulation etc. They might be attractive.