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Questions To Ask Before Buying A Problem Property With Kids

by Author: Jade Lloyd

Moving house with kids is stressful even when your property is ready and raring to go. When you throw a problem property or so-called ‘fixer-upper’ into that mix, you create even more potential problems that, unaddressed, can prevent kids from settling into this new space altogether.

Of course, that’s not to say that fixer-uppers should be entirely off the cards for families, many of whom are finding that problem properties like these are the ideal way to achieve an affordable dream home at last. However, care must be taken to avoid the detriments that could prevent those benefits from being felt. Specifically, families considering a purchase like this could benefit from asking these questions before committing to a move they’ll inevitably regret.

1) Can your budget comfortably create the property you need?

Understanding our budgets with regards to home purchases is the main reason why so many of us turn to professional mortgage brokers to talk us through the home buying process. Unfortunately, fewer of us consider that, especially with problem properties, costs are almost guaranteed to escalate a fair bit past that asking price. For single buyers, this isn’t so much of a problem as there’s more time to play with in terms of saving back up, etc., but the need to keep your family in comfort drastically reduces that timeline. As such, it’s essential to not only ensure that you can comfortably cover upfront property prices, but also that you’re able to immediately address the renovations necessary to turn that space into a home your kids can truly settle into. 

2) Could you stay elsewhere while work is completed?

While there are ways to safely renovate with kids, the general hazards and disruptions of an extreme property overhaul are probably best kept at a distance. As such, it’s also worth considering whether you would be able to stay elsewhere while work is completed. For a flawless experience, it’s especially worth toying with whether you could afford to rent elsewhere, or at least move in with family or friends until the most disruptive of works have been completed. This is the only way to ensure that issues like exposed building areas or even heating/water shortages don’t ever creep into your kid’s lives. 

3) Is everyone on board with the idea?

Making sure that everyone is on board with potential disruptions is also key to a smooth and happy experience. As such, it’s imperative to sit down as a family and discuss the realities of what a renovation would entail, and even potential relocations within that. In some cases, you may find that the promise of a room they’ve designed themselves is enough to placate most kids, but if a child seems particularly unhappy about the issues inherent in a move like this, then it might be worth reconsidering your options.

There’s no easy answer as to whether a renovation is the right move for your family or not, but these questions can certainly get you closer to making up your mind either way. 


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