Before and after

Article taken from Our Patch magazine. If you would like to read the magazine in full then please email james@hortonandgarton.co.uk to be sent a physical or digital copy.

Has the renovation bug bitten you? Thanks to property programmes such as Grand Designs and Homes Under the Hammer, it’s an increasingly profitable way to shop for a property. And locally, un-modernised properties are now in far higher demand than the finished article.

I’ve seen a few examples in my 17 years as a local estate agent, with varying results. But no doubt the most spectacular transformation I’ve ever seen is a house I have sold – twice!

The property is in Hammersmith’s Southerton Road. A ‘shell’ actually goes no way to describing the state the property was in – ‘dump’ was probably a more apt description. It was so bad you had to wipe your feet on the way out!

It was clear from the beginning that it was going to take a buyer with some imagination. After all, it was being squatted and was completely dilapidated as a result. It lacked heating and electrics – even the windows had been replaced by breezeblocks.

Viewings began in January which meant a torrid few weeks with freezing visits by torchlight. But thankfully, it paid off and we sold the property to a professional developer for £620,000.

A few months passed and I was very pleased to receive a call to go in and re-value the property. I was unsure of what to expect but excited to see what the new owner had made of it. However, I was not prepared for the transformation I walked into…

Not only had they put the windows back in, but they had transformed the entire interior and exterior of the house. The most impressive addition was a new floor with an excellent west-facing roof terrace and a new kitchenette to enable convenient outdoor entertaining.

After a few weeks of marketing we achieved a sale of £1.225m to a young local couple. Obviously, the vendor achieved a healthy margin, but I can only look back and wonder what the house would have achieved in today’s market. My guess would be significantly more based on our sale of a flat in Southerton Road just last year which attracted no fewer than 70 viewings and 20 offers.

What was really interesting to observe, however, was that the house achieved significantly more interest in its un-modernised state compared to the second time round. With today’s competitive market and the wave of new buyers arriving in W6 and W12, many prospective buyers already have their architect, builder and interior designer ready to go. So, if you decide to take on your own ‘grand design’ project, be prepared for intense competition and be sure you’re ready.

No buyer wants to pay asking price or above, however it is the buyers who can dig deeper and who have extra spending power that are closing the deals and when it comes to an un-modernised property, there’s a good chance it could be money very well spent.