Welcome to the second week of our Create Renovations blog! In my time as a builder I’ve answered a huge range of customer queries, but there’s one question that always seems to pop up: “What’s my best option - to sell or renovate?”
Of course, the answer depends on each person’s circumstances, so I can’t offer a one-size-fits-all response. But there are certain questions which may guide you through the decision making process. With these in mind, you’ll be able to draw up a list of basic pros and cons about whether to sell or renovate, before you seek expert advice. Read on!
How do you feel about your location?
This is something that won’t change when you renovate, so think long and hard about your location. Is it convenient for your family in terms of school and work commutes? Does it meet your public transport needs? Don’t just think about the present, consider your future plans and what your family will be doing in 5 or even 10 years. It might be a good idea to speak to your local council, and find out if there are any major changes planned for the area in the future.
And convenience aside, do you like the neighbourhood? Is it safe? Do you like the community, the amenities, the local schools, the parks or the area in general? If you love it, this could be a good reason for renovating rather than selling. You might find that the price of buying a house in another good neighbourhood significantly exceeds your budget, as location is such a huge factor on the market.
What's your best choice financially?
This is the most complex question you need to ask yourself, and it involves a number of considerations.
Moving house can involve several costs - refinancing fees, legal fees, your real estate agent’s commission and advertising fees, physical moving expenses, and of course the actual deposit on your new property. If you’re upgrading it could be an expensive endeavour all up. However, you also stand to make a profit if the market’s good and you’re moving somewhere cheaper. So you’ll need to calculate all of these sums and weigh up what you expect to make or lose.
Calculating the cost of renovating is more straight-forward, but you need to remember that renovations sometimes ‘blow-out’ in terms of both time and finances. They may take longer and cost more than you originally plan. It’s worth leaving a buffer for unexpected costs when you plan your budget. It’s also important to hire professionals who are dedicated to working within your budget and delivering results on time - at Create Renovations we pride ourselves on both.
Does your home have sentimental value?
If you’ve lived in your house for a long time it could have a great deal of emotional significance for you. This is not a factor to be dismissed or taken lightly. Can you fathom the thought of some other family living in your house? Keep in mind there’s always the possibility your home will face the wrecking ball once in someone else’s ownership, so you need to prepare yourself for the worst before you let go.
More importantly still, do you want your children to grow up in the same place you did? Many people opt for renovating because they want to keep their home for future generations. So if you want to make your home part of your ongoing legacy, this could be a powerful reason to stay and renovate instead of selling.
Does your home have good bones?
Not every house is a great candidate for full renovations. If the foundations are weak or your house has significant defects, you might want to consider selling instead. This is an evaluation best left to the professionals, so talk to us if you have any concerns about your foundations and your suitability as a candidate for home renovations.
Do you have the patience for renovations?
Depending on the scale of your home renovations, you may find yourself living in a bit of a construction zone. Some people find this hard, especially if they have children. On the other hand, some careful planning and scheduling with your contractors can make this process less painful. Some families even enjoy the renovation process. If you love making decisions and unleashing your creativity, you could be in for a lot of fun.
Do you want a truly customised home?
Any home you simply purchase on the market has not been built with you and your family in mind. Many people choose to renovate because they want a house that truly fulfills their individual needs. When you renovate, you have the power to customise every aspect of your home, with your own future in mind. From spaces and skylights right down to decor and doorknobs, the possibilities and creative decisions are endless. The recent rise in trends like customised kitchen storage have proven that more and more people want unique homes that reflect their own personality and lifestyle. If this sounds like you, renovating is probably your best option.
Will your renovation plans be approved by the local council laws?
A final (and practical) consideration which is often overlooked. If you’re planning home renovations, recladding, refurbishments or house extensions you may require building consent. Applications can take some time so factor this into your preparation process.