Renovating older buildings can be a good business model; buy them cheap, renovate, and then sell at a profit. You may also want to buy a cheaper house or building, renovate it and live in it. Whatever your reasons for buying and renovating a building, there are a few things you should think about before starting the process. Below are a few of them.
Ensure You Love the Building First
Buying a building is an expensive investment and you do not want to feel like you wasted money a few months or years down the line. This is why it is so important to ensure that you love the building before you buy it. If you fall in love with a building from seeing its pictures, visit it and spend an hour or two inside it. Most real estate agents will not mind and it will help you make an informed decision.
Do You Like the Location?
You might find an amazing building with one caveat: the location. The building may be away from social amenities or other properties and this could leave you isolated if you don’t have a car. Buildings in neighborhoods that are undergoing a metamorphosis are also worth considering as these buildings are usually cheaper but will have a high return on value in the future.
Consider Your Budget
Before starting the renovations, ensure you can afford them. There likely will be additional and hidden costs that you may not have thought about before the contractor gets to work. The best way to know if there are any areas that may give you problems is to check with the original architect. Since they are no longer beholden to the building’s previous owner, they will tell you about any problem areas that may be present.
For Very Old Buildings
For very old buildings, it is a good idea to get the building inspected by a certified inspector to see if there are any problems with the paint. Many older buildings were painted using lead-based paint. You want someone who has ZOTApro training to inspect and work on the building because they are the only people who are certified in working on buildings where lead paint may need to be scraped off the walls.
Check If the Building Has Been Renovated Before
Buildings that have already been renovated before can present some unique challenges. For example, the previous owner may have added a partition whose weight the support columns were not designed to carry. Looking at previous blueprints will reveal areas where additional work has been done and will leave you and the contractor you choose better informed on what to expect.
Choose What Can Be Saved and Get Rid of the Rest
Some materials withstand time better than others. For example, bricks, stones, and steel will outlast wood. Wood is susceptible to water damage and insects and if you have it in the building, it would be better to get rid of it.
Everything you leave in should be intact and give the building the structural integrity it needs to stand the test of time.
Buying and renovating an older building can be a great decision only if you fully understand what you are getting yourself into. You do not want to buy a building and later regret it.