It’s the age-old question – should we renovate our existing home or sell and build from scratch? As is the case with all major decisions in life, there are pros and cons on both sides and individual circumstances to consider. This article shares the pros and cons for renovating versus building from a general perspective, making it a good place to start if the house you are living in no longer meets your growing family’s needs.
Renovating – the pros
1. Stay in the location you love
If you have the support of family and friends close by, have your kids enrolled at a great school and don’t have far to travel to work etc., the thought of moving to an unfamiliar suburb may be daunting. It may not even make much sense. In this case, extending and renovating your existing house makes more sense than leaving the suburb you love. However, if you find the amount of work required is so significant that it’s hardly worth the cost of renovating, you could always consider knocking down your house and starting from scratch without leaving the area.
2. Choose what stays and what goes
For most people, there are aspects of their house that they love and others they don’t. When you renovate, you get to decide what stays and what goes. For instance, let’s say you live in an older character home and adore the high ceilings, timber floors, original windows and other features you no longer see in modern homes. A good architect or builder will work with you to retain the character and charm you love while modernising other parts of the home. You can also save a lot of money by keeping what you love and only renovating the parts that really need it.
3. Renovating adds capital value to your property
The more sought after your location, the more any upgrades will add to your property’s capital value. However, it is important to be mindful that several factors come into play here, such as how much you spend on your renovations and how the property market is performing when you want to sell.
Renovating – the cons
1. Renovating can be more costly than building
If you are considering major extensions and renovations, it can actually work out more expensive than starting from scratch. It’s important to do the math before knocking down any walls.
2. The cost of renting or interference during construction
Some people forget to factor in the cost to move and rent in their renovation budget. And, if they decide to stay, don’t consider the fact that their home will be a construction site that may cause significant disruption to their day-to-day lives.
3. Structural compliance
This con applies if you are renovating or knocking down and building new on your existing land. It is essential to identify whether there are any structural compliances that may affect the building process. Your builder will be able to identify any issues before you start and walk you through your options.
Building – the pros
1. Design the dream home for your family
Starting from scratch enables you to personalise everything to suit your needs and wants.
2. Everything will be brand new
When everything in the home is brand new, you will have peace of mind knowing nothing is likely to need any maintenance for years to come.
3. Choose the land you want
If you currently live on a steep or sloping block, you may find it is more cost effective to sell and buy a level lot that will be easier to build on.
Building – the cons
1. Where will you live while you build?
Most people need to sell their existing home to finance the construction of their new home. So, you need to factor in the cost of selling and moving as well as the cost of renting in the interim.
2. Stamp duty
Buying a new block of land incurs stamp duty. This won’t apply if you choose to knock down your existing home and build on your own land.
3. Time, stress and budget blowouts
Finding the right block and the right builder and design of house takes time. Building can also be a stressful process that can incur budget blowouts if the builder strikes any unforeseen challenges.
In summary, if your current home only needs a few upgrades, or extensions, then it makes sense to renovate. If you live in a location you love, but the house needs to be replaced, then it might be more convenient to knock it down and build from scratch. Alternatively, if your current block is too small, steep or can’t be built on, then buying a new block of land and building may be the best solution. As mentioned, everyone’s circumstances are unique, so take the information in this article as being of a general nature only.