If you’re planning to renovate a property, two important things to think about are:

  1. How are you going to fund the work?
  2. Will you be protected financially if anything goes wrong?

Assuming you don’t have enough capital to pay for everything yourself or it makes sense to borrow in the short term, you’re probably looking for some mortgage financing. So, the first thing to ask yourself is how extensive is the refurbishment going to be?

If the property is run down but still habitable, you might be looking to do works such as:

  • Roof repairs
  • Rewiring
  • Central heating repairs
  • Damp-proofing

In that case, you should be able to apply for a standard residential mortgage.

Most high-street lenders will offer between 80% and 95% of the property’s value. They may withhold some of the mortgage funds – known as a ‘retention’ – until any essential repairs are completed. If the property has to be re-inspected before the balance of your mortgage loan is released, you’ll have to pay an additional fee.

What if the property isn’t habitable?

In you’re carrying out major renovations, the property might be:

  • Derelict
  • In need of conversion
  • Missing a working kitchen or bathroom

In this case, you may need to investigate applying for a ‘renovation mortgage’, which you probably won’t find on the high street. It’s a specialist product, usually offered by lenders that specialise in self-build financing, so it’s wise to speak to a broker that understands this market and the lenders operating in this space. 

Depending on affordability and the state of the property, you should be able to get an advance of between 66% and 90% of the property’s current value. Further funding may then become available as various stages of the renovation are completed. The lender will insist on these either being confirmed by their own valuer or certified by an architect or surveyor.

After the renovation is completed, you could look at the possibility of refinancing onto a residential or buy to let mortgage. Contact our mortgage partner, Embrace Financial Services, for more information.

Remember to take out renovation insurance

When you’re carrying out a major renovation, it’s worth considering specialist insurance, which is likely to be a ‘site insurance’ policy. This covers you for building site-specific risks, including:

  • Damage to the structure of the existing building
  • Materials, tools and equipment being stolen from the site
  • Contractors or visitors injuring themselves on site

The insurer will need to know exactly what work is planned so they can make sure the policy covers you properly. One key think to know is that they might insist on certain more specialist jobs being carried out by a professional. For example, if you were planning to remove a retaining wall, they probably wouldn’t cover you if you did it yourself.

Price-wise, your premium will probably be 0.5% to 1% of the overall build cost.

If you would like to talk to one of our lettings experts to discuss what tenants are expecting from properties in your area, why not book a free lettings review in one of our branches where we will be able to answer any questions you may have.

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Embrace Financial Services usually charges a fee for mortgage advice. The amount of the fee will depend upon your circumstances and will be discussed and agreed with you at the earliest opportunity. 

Your Move may receive a referral fee from Embrace Financial Services for recommending their services. You are not under any obligation to use their services. Embrace Financial Services is an associated company of Your Move.

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