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FT Buyer - Looking at a House to Refurb and Eventually Extend & Divide into Two Semi's - Where to Start?!?

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Hi everyone, 


I've been a bit quiet on the forum recently as I thought buying a property was a long way off and I've been focusing on work. However, the other night I came across a property while browsing RM, which needs a hell of a lot of work, but seems like it could be the perfect one for me and my partner to get ourselves onto the property ladder (albeit a bit sooner than we'd expected), to make a nice home for ourselves and to gain some equity. 


I've attached the current plans and what I'd one day, perhaps next year with a bit more saving like to do to it below. In essence, I'd remove the old single storey extension to the rear, replace it with a 2 storey extension and split the house into two properties, by adding a dividing wall down the middle, a new double porch/2 new entrances to the front and new staircases. Downstairs would consistent of a porch, living room and kitchen/dinner, upstairs, 2 bed rooms, a bathroom and cupboard. I could add an additional driveway to the front and divide the garden in two also.


The house is on for 140k, I believe we could refurb, split and extend it for 60-70k (with a lot of our own graft and favours called in), and be left with two properties worth around 130k each. We'd either sell one and keep the other, or remortgage both and rent one or eventually both out.


However, not only do I have no clue about how you'd go about splitting a home into two or evaluating such a project, but we're also first time buyers. We have 30k as a deposit in our LISA's and about 25k in cash. I have a good income, around 40k pa, but my partner is about to leave her current job to spend a year retraining as a teacher. However, on the plus side, I'm a plasterer by trade, have friends in other trades and know a few good builders for guidance.


I recon I could get a mortgage in both our names based on just my own income and with our decent 20-25%% deposit. I recon planning would be okay to gain, as the property isn't overlooked/overlooking anyone else and there's an existing structure already in place. Also, we'd be happy to spend a year gaining the relevant permissions while we saved, researched and evaluated our options anyway. Worse case scenario, we'd just refurb and make it into a 3 bed house.


Any advice on where to start, what we need to do, whether this is a good idea or too soon would be amazing. We're kind of jumping in at the deep end with this.


My thoughts were to do lots of research on the area/property prices there, book a viewing, speak to the council about their planning rules, find out about building regs, seek the advice of a builder I know who does a lot of extensions, revisit the property with a builder to check the place and then make an offer. In the meantime, to have seeked a mortgage in principle through a broker for my unusual situation of being a CIS subcontractor.


Have I missed anything? Do you have any other thoughts what so ever? Any problems you can forsee? Do you think it's a good idea for a FTB or too much too soon?


Thanks a lot,




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Not sure that you will even see this as all my comments are awaiting moderation.

And I may seem a little cynical, but if you find a gem of a property you would be wise to not post identifying details on this forum. I am sure that all the lovely people on here are honourable and would not seek to scupper your deal but you never know.

It took me less than 15 seconds to find this property, would you really want to give your hard earned research away for free to anyone?

I can see that the average prices in this area look like you are getting a detached house for the price of a semi. All good. But, have you considered what the square footage of your newly formed semis will be compared to other semis in the area?

If they are going to be considerably smaller then you might need to downgrade your final value expectations.

I know this doesn't answer many of your questions, others will no doubt chip in.

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