Should you renovate or move?


Renovating or staying where you are can be a difficult decision at the best of times. But in a market like the one we’re in now, where prices are rising rapidly, making the right decision can be even more difficult and stressful. With that in mind, here’s our guide to when it makes sense to renovate and when you’re better off moving on.

When renovating makes sense

1. When you love your location

With enough money, you can change almost anything about a property - except, that is, where it’s situated. So, it goes without saying that location should be the very first factor you consider.

If you love where your home is located, if it’s close to everything you do or if it has views or an aspect you simply can’t match, it’s often a good sign that you should be staying put. That said, just because you love your location, it doesn’t mean you won’t love others too. There are a lot of great spots here on Sydney’s lower north shore: whether that means proximity to Mosman village or access to the ferry, from beachside to harbour views.

It pays to keep an open mind and look at other homes to see what else is out there.

2. When it can give you exactly what you want

One of the real benefits of renovating is that it gives you the opportunity to get your home exactly the way you want it. Would you like every bedroom to have its own ensuite? Another living area? A parents’ retreat? Or even a massive cellar? Renovating also lets you rejig the layout to get it just the way you want. That can be a real advantage over buying somewhere else and having your home set up the way someone else has chosen.

3. When you can really add value

By renovating you may be able to increase your home’s value by more than what you spend - especially if you make it more appealing to buyers. But there’s also the risk you could overcapitalise and sink more money into your home than you’ll ever recoup.

That’s why it always pays to get an appraisal before you renovate your home, as well as a forecast for what it’s likely to be worth if you carry out your renovation plans.

4. When it won’t disrupt your life too much

The sacrifice involved in a renovation isn’t just financial. While in the long term you may get the home you want, in the short term you’ll either have to move out or be prepared to live on a building site - sometimes for six months to over a year. Some people are fine with this, others aren’t.

And, if you do need to move out, you should also factor the cost of renting other accommodation for a period into your renovation budget.

5. When it makes financial sense

Selling and moving house comes with changeover costs such as stamp duty, removalists fees, legal costs and agent’s fees. That means sometimes it’s much cheaper to renovate and get what you want, even when you do have to factor in rent and building costs. Always do a comparison before you make a decision.


When moving makes sense

1. When you find a better home or location

Even if you love your home, there could be something better out there - more land, a better location or a more stylish home. If there is, it probably makes sense to pack up and move on. After all, even though there are few bargains to be had in today’s hot property market, you’ll almost certainly get a very good result for your own home when you sell.

2. When you can’t get what you want from your current home

Sometimes, no matter how much you spend on a renovation, you won’t be able to get what you want from your current home. It could be that you don’t have enough land or the aspect may be wrong, or you may be faced with height restrictions, or it could be that you can’t change the layout enough to make it work. If that’s the case, moving could solve your problems.

3. When it makes financial sense

When you run the numbers, you could find that it’s simply more cost-effective to move on. After all, renovating doesn’t come cheap. Often, you’ll save money by biting the bullet and relocating, even with stamp duty and other costs.

4. When it’s easier

The good thing about selling and buying elsewhere is that your new home will usually be ready to move into right away. You won’t have to wait to be comfortable and you won’t have to endure builder’s dust, cold showers and the constant noise of power tools.

How to make an informed decision on buying vs renovating

The only way you can really decide whether the best course of action is to renovate or move on is when you’re armed with all the data. That means knowing what your home is worth now, what a renovation is likely to cost and, also, what your home is likely to be worth once it’s renovated. It also means knowing what an upgrade/changeover is likely to cost and what you could purchase in the current market.

We’re happy to help out by appraising your home in its current state and giving you an accurate picture of what it will be worth if you renovate. We can also give you an inside view of where the market is at right now, tell you what buyers are looking for, and show you what your money can buy.

Want more?

If you’d like to know more about the current market or receive an appraisal of your home please feel free to get in touch on 0401 161 696.