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FTB DIY disasters can cost twice as much as stamp duty

Date online: 18/08/2016

are paying twice as much fixing DIY mistakes than on stamp duty as they snap up cheaper properties that need renovating and end up doing the work themselves.

With continually soaring house prices, over a fifth of first time buyers who are eager to get on the property ladder are turning to lower priced properties that need ‘doing up’ and cutting costs by carrying out the work themselves, spending £4,600 in the process. However on top of the initial cost of the work, more than a quarter (27%) of new homeowners have had to fork out extra cash for a professional contractor to fix their mistakes – costing an average £2,358.

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) the average price paid by a first time buyer stands at £180,677 having risen 8.6% in the past year, with a typical new homeowner paying £1,114 on stamp duty – half as much as they are paying fixing DIY disasters.

Separate research among members of electrical contracting industry body NICEIC has shown a summer spike in callouts to fix DIY mistakes, with nearly a fifth (17%) of contractors reporting an increase in requests during this time of year.

First time buyers are also shunning relaxing summer breaks and taking nearly a week’s holiday allowance (4.8 days) to carry out DIY and home renovation work.

Annie Plaskett, Towergate spokesperson said: “Given the cost to get on the housing ladder, it’s not surprising first time buyers are looking for cheaper properties which require work. It also means they are looking to save costs on employing contractors choosing to do it themselves or use family and friends. However, as our research shows, undertaking ambitious projects with little to no formal training can leave new homeowners seriously out of pocket.  To make matters worse, often accidents and mistakes aren’t covered by standard home insurance policies, making it more important to speak with your insurer before putting hammer to nail.”

Tony Cable, NICEIC spokesperson commented: “Have-a-go heroes tempted to undertake the work themselves should think twice and seek professional advice, as it could end in disaster.  Most DIY jobs are not as simple as they may seem and mistakes with electrical wiring, for example, could be fatal. Not using properly qualified trades people is not only dangerous, it’s a false economy and could end up costing the homeowner thousands of pounds and a lot of hassle to put right.”

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