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In order to make any money on your property, it is important to plan a budget but also ensure that you stick to it. Shop around and get an idea of prices if you are unsure, but try and be realistic when allocating a budget to each job. This will make sure your plan is much more viable and closely follows your budget for development. It’s also a good idea to add a contingency to your budget for any last minute problems or changes that need to be made, particularly due to planning constraints.

Be as detailed as you can be with your costings. You will need to consider planning, fees, design and structural alterations as well as the build itself or new kitchens or bathrooms and décor. You will also need to decide whether you are going to purchase furniture or hire furniture so you can ‘stage’ the property for sale afterwards. Therefore this will need to be included in your budget.

Have a good look at the survey once it is completed, and consider any recommendations that have been given as these may need to be accounted for. Consult your planner or builder, if you have one at this point, and check how these changes may affect the existing plan and budget for development.

Get advice from estate agents or prospective buyers regarding what people are looking for when making a purchase. It is important to get a good balance and not spend excessive amounts of your budget on unnecessary or extravagant additions to your property that will neither add value nor be appreciated by a potential buyer.

However don’t be afraid to spend money on ensuring the property is structural sound. This is something that cannot be cut, and will be picked up on the buyer’s survey if it isn’t completed properly anyway. Also consider investing in an architect or professional designer if only to gain valuable advice on getting the most out of the space within your property.

You can save money on kitchens and bathrooms, by shopping around and remember it doesn’t have to be your ideal designer kitchen, however don’t be tempted to scrimp on the worktop. Whatever the kitchen units tend to be, a good granite worktop for example can transform the look of a kitchen and help sell the property. So if you can save money on units, doors and so on, then invest in good worktops.

When it comes to appliances you can get very good quality at affordable prices. Avoid adding built in fancy appliances such as coffee machines or dispensers unless you are looking to live in the property yourself, as this may not be cost effective and you could end up out of pocket.

Think about your flooring carefully. A neutral carpet tends to be warm and inviting but can be difficult to maintain as opposed to a good wood flooring, so think about the rooms that require flooring and what may be best suited. For kitchens and bathrooms it isn’t necessary to purchase high end material as you can get more affordable ceramic or porcelain tiles that look just as good. Ultimately take your time over your purchases and remember to stick to your budget!

by Cormac Henderson

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