To renovate or not to renovate: that is the question

When you’ve been in your home for a while, there may come a time when it no longer feels quite right. Maybe your family has expanded, maybe you need refuge from your sulky teenagers, or maybe you’re running a business from home. Whatever the case, you may find yourself weighing up the benefits of doing a home renovation – or just moving to a completely new place.

There’s no doubt that renovation can totally transform a home, and often add value – without the not insignificant hassle of moving! But before you jump in, there are a few things worth considering. After all, you don’t want to end up knee-deep in paint swatches and surrounded by loitering tradies, only to realise you’ve made the wrong choice.

So how do you know if renovation is the right move for you? Here are three important boxes you’ll want to tick first.

You’re in a location you love

No matter how beautiful your home may be, if it’s not in the right location for you, you may never be 100% happy there. All the plantation shutters in the world cannot make up for being in the wrong neighbourhood, or right under a flight path! So before you look at your actual home, take a good hard look at where it’s situated. If you’re close to all the things that matter, renovation could be a great investment. But if you desperately need to be closer to transport, or in a different school catchment, you may be better off with a new address.

You can easily add value

While many renovations increase the value of a home, some won’t. It really comes down to the value of the area, and the amount of money and space you have to play with. For example, a simple kitchen update can easily add value to an asset without breaking the bank – but an expensive extension may not be worth it in the long run. The best way to find out is by talking to a real estate expert, or an architect who’s familiar with your area.

Do remember, though, that moving doesn’t come for free either! There’s stamp duty, moving costs and general pain and suffering to consider, so don’t be put off renovating without doing a proper cost assessment!

Your vision is actually realistic

It’s pretty easy to dream up ways of overhauling your home – but remember that what sounds good in theory doesn’t always work in practice, and your home might have limitations you don’t know about. Older homes in particular can present hidden nasties like dodgy wiring, uneven floorboards, and even unidentified termite damage – all of which can quickly blow out your renovation budget. Your proposed improvements will also need to pass muster with the local council, and sometimes the neighbours or strata. So before you get carried away, talk to an architect or licensed builder to discover whether your home is structurally sound enough to handle your proposed works.

Some time spent researching the key issues will go a long way to ensuring you make the choice that is right for you – both today and further down the track.

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