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Digital Subscriptions > Homestyle > September 2016 > Should I buy a fixer-upper?

Should I buy a fixer-upper?

Discover once and for all if you’re ready to take the plunge with Hayley Gilbert’s seven-part guide


Set a budget

✔ Most of us will need a mortgage to fund the project, and there are two main types – fixed rate, where the interest stays the same for a number of years (usually between two and five) or a variable rate where it can change.

✔ A standard mortgage should be fairly straightforward, especially if you can live in the house while the work is being done. You could then take out a loan to pay for the building work and remortgage when the work is complete to pay off the loan.

✔ Another option is a specialist mortgage provider such as Buildstore (, who offers Advance and Arrears Stage Payment mortgages that lend a percentage of the cost of the property with staged payments, which are made either at the start or end of each works. Also, Ecology Building Society ( has mortgages for eco new builds, renovations or refurbishments.

✔ Always remember to factor in at least 10% as a contingency for any unforeseen costs – they will happen!

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About Homestyle

As we wave a fond farewell to summer, this month brings the promise of a fresh start and a clean seasonal slate to inspire a new phase of home styling. We’ve rustled up a whole host of inspiration to spur you on, including how to amp up the texture for cosy, autumn-ready schemes on page 112 and a six-page decorating masterclass starting on page 66, where design guru Emma Fishman shows us how to unleash the potential of our living rooms in her One Sofa: Three Ways series. If all this talk of new beginnings has got you thinking about taking the ultimate housing leap and buying a renovation project, Hayley Gilbert has done all the hard work for you (well, maybe not all...) with her Should I Buy a Fixer-Upper? expert guide on page 72. It’s the ultimate read for anyone who’s teetering on the edge of a purchase and simplifies all the legal bits, plus includes watertight advice from industry professionals. But if you’re more of a turn-key type, we haven’t forgotten you – flip to page 60 for staff writer Abbi’s shopping handbook for furnishing your home from scratch. You’ll also find utterly irresistible décor pick-me-ups in our metallic accessories (p.22), graphic wall art (p.34) and botanical cushions (p.46) bargain buy round-ups, plus four beautiful real homes and three wow-factor room transformations to feast your eyes on. Enjoy.