Six tips for buying a house to renovate

Follow these tips for renovation success.

1. Location

Nicolas Jarvisto and his wife discovered one of the key buy-to-renovate rules when they bought their first home, an 1915 Queenslander, in Bulimba, Brisbane.

“It was a ‘worst house in a good street’ scenario with an oversized land lot for the area,” says Jarvisto. “Our goal was to bring the property ‘this side of the 21st century’. The newspaper from under the bathroom and kitchen vinyl was from September 1958 and I don’t think the property had been touched since.”

The couple took holiday leave and with the help of their family began work on completely renovating the property including repainting the kitchen and bathroom, polishing the floors, resheeting, splitting the laundry, retiling and adding new air con and blinds.

Less than three weeks later it was finished and ready to move into. It cost less than $30,000.

Tory Bevan, who runs The Property Consultancy and does buy and renovate projects in Sydney, says the old adage of buying the worst house in the street is a good rule to follow. “It is about location and choosing something that you can work with

5. Think about how to add value.

Even if you are not planning on renovating to sell, it is still important to think ahead about long-term resale value.

Contact the appraisers at for your value questions.

Bevan says that one of the most important things to look for is the opportunity to add significant value to a property. In a recent project she was working on, she was able to turn a two-bedroom and one-bathroom apartment into a three-bedroom and three-bathroom property, by buying and utilizing the attic space.

Having a northern aspect is obviously very important says Bevan as is off-street parking especially in Sydney.

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