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Should you move to a new home or renovate the one you've got?

So your current home just doesn’t cut it anymore. Maybe you need more space, or maybe you’re just a little more flush than you were when you bought your first home—and want somewhere a little bit nicer.

Well, moving is not your only option. You could renovate.

As usual there are good things, bad things and costs to think about before you decide which way to go.

Moving

Moving can be the simpler option because:

  • If you find the right home there’s nothing else to do but arrange finance and move in.
  • You don’t have to live in dust and building mess or move somewhere else during the renovations.
  • You’ll know exactly what your financial commitments will be no surprises, no budget blowouts.

But moving also means you have to:

  • Deal with the stresses that come with moving and settling into a new house and a new community.
  • Find the time and energy needed for house hunting.
  • Cope with the difficulties and disappointments of finding the right place at the right price.

The costs of moving include:

  • Stamp duty.
  • Refinance costs.
  • Agent’s fees.
  • Legal fees and conveyancing costs.
  • Building and pest inspection reports.
  • Removalists costs and all the other extras that come with buying a home such as utilities, and inspections.

For a rundown on all the possible costs involved with buying a new home take a look at the Buyers Guide: Extra Costs.

Renovating

Renovating can be very satisfying, particularly if you love the area you live in, because:

  • If you can’t find a dream home in your price range, you can turn your current home into one.
  • You don’t have to move neighbourhoods, find new schools and deal with all the other resettling hassles.
  • You don’t have to go house hunting.

But renovating is stressful and will take a lot of time and energy—especially if you manage the project yourself:

  • You’ll have to deal with unreliable tradespeople, council regulations, legal issues, budget blowouts and day–to–day decision-making.
  • Renovations tend to take longer and cost more than expected.
  • You might have to move during the renovations and if you don’t, you’ll probably have to live in a construction zone and lose full use of certain parts of your home.

The costs of renovating include:

  • Builder and contractor costs.
  • Materials.
  • Permits and council fees.
  • Design fees.
  • Rent—if you have to move out.

Renovations don’t have to be huge. You might be able to make your current home look and work the way you want just by knocking down a wall, adding storage space and laying floorboards. So some of the costs like rent and council fees might not apply.

Continue to information about planning and funding your renovations.




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