Best Buy


The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled, was convincing buyers to go for a property based on the finish of a newly installed kitchen. Okay: we may have paraphrased that a bit, but the sentiment’s true.

With property prices in Fulham being relatively high – according to Zoopla, the average price for property in Fulham stood at £1,209,927 in October 2019. That’s a rise of 1.51% in the last three months (since July 2019) and rise of 1.06% since 12 months ago. Flats in Fulham sold for an average of £753,166 and terraced houses for £607,414 – it’s understandable that buyer’s expect the very best.

Pristine finishes, new kitchens, bathrooms and extension into the attic, cellar and garden are all very appealing, but they come at a premium price. Buying a home is a stressful experience, so the idea of moving straight into a well finished property is obviously appealing, and many buyers rightfully think they will save money in the long term by not having to carry out costly renovations and decoration.

However, the price added to the cost of a property from a shiny finish could very likely outstrip the costs of doing it yourself. First time buyers are very susceptible to this, their eagerness to get on the ladder sometimes blinkers them to other opportunities.

The reality in Fulham and Parsons Green is that a large majority of the properties in the area are architecturally and structurally very similar. There are outliers of course, but by and large, it’s attractive Victorian terraces spread over two floors (before renovation) with small to medium sized gardens.

Now, although they’re becoming rarer and rarer on the market, properties do appear that are, if not dated, then at the very minimum will need a bit of modernisation. We’re not talking about time machines that would need complete overhauls, re-wiring and all that intense work. We’re talking about properties that are just waiting to have someone add their personality to them.

If the roof is caving in, the walls running with water and squirrels living in the chimney, you should walk away unless you have a very strong stomach for living in a building site. But if the kitchen’s looking a bit dated and the wallpaper in the spacious open plan living and dining room could do with being fired into the sun, then it’s worth strong consideration.

Look past the bad decisions of the current owners and imprint your own good taste on the property and you could make significant savings. If they don’t come in the initial purchase (a good exercise is to compare-and-contrast prices of two similar sized properties, with very different finishes), savings will come down the line if, and when, you come to sell your beautifully finished property. Always remember: paint is one of the cheapest investments on the market.