No one can predict with certainty where house prices are going, but a carefully planned and well-executed refurbishment is virtually guaranteed to add significant value to any property.
Whether you hope to live in it, rent it out or sell it on once complete, to maximise gains you’ll need to set a budget, put aside a contingency fund, be realistic about the scale of the project and what you can do yourself and what you can’t, and get detailed quotes from contractors.
All these properties for sale require varying degrees of work, so ask a local estate agent what they’ll be worth when refurbished, then sit down and do the sums.
1. Middlesborough, guide price £5,000+
You don’t have to step inside this mid-terrace house to appreciate that it needs a lot of attention — which is just as well because it’s in such a sorry state that internal viewings aren’t possible.
However, you won’t often find somewhere costing less than a second-hand car, and with hard graft it could be transformed into a contemporary two-bedroom home. It’s being auctioned on 15 December — find out more from Allsop.
2. Leyland, Lancashire, offers over £180,000
Located on a quiet cul-de-sac convenient for schools, shops, Leyland station and access to the M6, this good-sized chalet bungalow has been well maintained but is now crying out for modernisation.
Two of the three bedrooms are on the ground floor along with the bathroom, though it would be relatively easy to rejig the layout and convert the untapped loft space into another bedroom or office. For details, get in touch with Yopa.
3. Penge, London SE20
With an area of nearly 700 square feet, a cellar for storage, high ceilings and a wide bay window in the living room, this period conversion is not only big for a one-bedder but has great bones.
They need fleshing out as the décor is rather drab , but a couple of cans of paint would make a huge difference.
Only 57 years are left on the lease, but this can be extended on completion for an additional cost. Through Foxtons.
4. North Creake, Norfolk, £325,000
A stream flows through the grounds of this traditional brick and flint cottage, in a pretty village three miles from fashionable — and much pricier — Burnham Market, and five miles from the coast.
Comprising a kitchen/family room leading out to the west-facing garden, a sitting room, dining room, ground floor bedroom and bathroom with two further bedrooms on the first floor, it needs a full renovation. Available from Bedfords.
5. Worlingworth, Suffolk, £425,000
Grade II listed, timber-framed Oak Farm is looking for a buyer with the cash and dedication to restore it to its former glory, following extensive fire damage in 2013.
The three-storey farmhouse is believed to date back to the 17th century, and prior to the fire included a sitting room, a dining room, a study, a kitchen/breakfast room with an original bread oven in the pantry, four bedrooms, three bathrooms, several attic rooms and a thatched roof. Contact Fenn Wright.
6. The Defensible Barracks, Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, offers over £500,000
Plenty of time, money and experience will be required to give this Grade II* listed former barracks a new lease of life as a residential development or even a hotel.
Overlooking the town and dockyard with the sea and countryside on either side, the Victorian fort was built for the Royal Marines and housed several highly regarded regiments, with famous residents including Gordon of Khartoum, who became a national hero during the Crimean War and Arthur Lowe, who played Captain Mainwaring in the BBC’s Dad’s Army.
Huge sash windows and impressive stairwells are among the original features, and the Georgian-style square it surrounds would make a lush communal garden. Via Strutt & Parker.
7. Stresa, Italy, €820,000 (£710,181)
This 1950s villa is in an idyllic spot metres from Lake Maggiore and enjoys to-die-for views of the Borromean Islands.
Now looking rather tired, it consists of a living room, dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms and three bathrooms.
There’s also a small two-room apartment in the basement with independent access from the garden, so once made over it could be rented out as holiday accommodation. For sale through Stresa.biz.
8. Stroud, Gloucestershire, £845,000
Now’s your chance to put your own stamp on a Georgian gem, as this handsome Grade II listed house is looking for a new owner — and some love.
Needing mainly cosmetic improvements, it’s spread over four floors and has eight bedrooms, three reception rooms and a host of original features such as sash windows, plasterwork, panelling and fireplaces. Find out more from Hamptons.
9. Chelsea, London SW3, £3m
Upgrading this four-storey townhouse would make sense financially, as refurbishment opportunities in the area are rare, and done-up properties on the same street have sold for well over £4m.
At the moment there are six bedrooms, two bathrooms and a tiny kitchen and study, but after reconfiguring the layout and extending — subject to planning permission being granted — it’ll become a fabulous family home. Contact Savills.
10. Cap d’Antibes, France, €3.5 million (£3,032,953)
Although this dreamy villa could do with a revamp, this probably won’t be high on the new owners’ priority list as the setting, views and balmy climate mean they’ll want to spend all their time outside.
It’s surrounded by greenery so very private, looks out over the blue waters of Mediterranean, and includes five ensuite bedrooms, a large alfresco dining terrace, a Jacuzzi, swimming pool and a beautifully manicured garden. Through Carlton International.