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We’ve Outgrown Our Home – Should We Renovate or Sell?



Does your home seem to be bulging at the seams? Perhaps you have a new addition to the family on the way, need to accommodate an elderly relative or have decided to work from home and need a private office space that separates you from the family. If so, it’s time to make the decision to sell and upsize or renovate and extend. 

Start off by getting a valuation on your home. A valuation will tell you how much your property is worth on the current real estate market. With this figure in mind, you can better decide if it is really worth selling. It is also worth giving your home loan a health check. By reviewing your current mortgage situation, you may find now is a good time to refinance your existing loan or even borrow against it to do the much needed renovations. Speak to your lender or a mortgage broker, such as Mortgage Choice, about the options available to you.

If you decide to sell, make sure you take into account the additional costs involved such as moving costs, stamp duty, your real estate agent’s commission and solicitor’s fees.  Also, research the current market conditions and find out whether or not you are likely to get a good return on your property investment.

If you are thinking of renovating, call a builder to give you a quote on the work you require and bear in mind the cost of materials and labour as well as preparation of building plans and council fees. The costs just never ends.

Be wary of over-capitalising when renovating or you may not get the returns if you sell down the track. It’s also important to consider the inconvenience of your home turning into a building site. Will you need to rent elsewhere for the duration of the building work? You will also need to be sure you have the time and energy to supervise builders and contractors or engage an architect to oversee the whole process.

If you have a large block of land, another option is to add a small second dwelling. Changes to Australian government regulations in the past two years have made this option very easy, as in many instances you do not have to go through a local council approval process. As a result of these changes, there are many companies now selling affordable backyard studios and cabins that can be ordered, delivered and constructed in a matter of days.

Ultimately, there is no clear cut answer on whether to sell or renovate when you have outgrown your property.  However, with the right advice from a builder, a real estate agent, your bank and your mortgage broker, you can best decide what the right path is for you.

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