Many of our our clients have bought neglected empty houses in the hope of turning them into attractive houses to let out or use as a home. With more than 800,000 empty houses in the UK there is no shortage of property to consider.

Some of the main points are:

• Find out what permissions you will need for your unoccupied property; how long this will take and how much it will cost. If it is in a conservation area or is listed you might not be able to change it in the way you planned. If you intend to convert a commercial building permission will be needed for the change of use.

• Budget carefully, stick to your budget and remember to allow for unexpected contingencies. Do not allow the contingency fund to be used for anything other than genuinely unavoidable items that you did not anticipate.

• Choose architects, engineers and builders who have the right experience and come recommended by people you trust. The cheapest quote may not end up saving you money if the builder adds on lots of extras you had not expected.

• The right choice of materials can save you money not just on the build but for the future in terms of heating bills.

Make sure your empty property insurance is up to date and provides good value for money. Check out