Should I Renovate Or Move?

December 6th, 2019 - by Brad Gillespie

Deciding whether you should renovate or move house is no easy feat.

Discover what you should consider in your final decision so that you can answer the question - should I stay or should I go? Shows like Love It Or List It make it look simple, but there is a lot to weight up.

Things to consider when renovating

Love your location? Then don’t leave it!

If you’ve outgrown your place or it's time for a style change, but you feel settled in your current location, renovating may be the way to go. Modern renovations are typically aimed at making the most out of your square footage, which is particularly important around Sydney’s inner city. This means that if you love your location, by renovating you don’t have to let it go.

Don’t overcapitalise

Some renovations can add serious value to your existing home, like going up or out and adding bedrooms, bathrooms, parking, or additional living space. This can make the most out of your property, particularly if you’re considering on cashing in on a move in future years. Ask your local real estate agent about what buyers are looking for before you start a reno to avoid overcapitalising.

Forgo the moving fees

Apart from the need to pack up and move all your belongings, moving also comes with other associated changeover costs. Stamp duty, selling fees and agent fees need to be considered when it comes to weighing up your final decision between renovating and moving. By renovating, you’ll be able to avoid additional costs that you could be reinvesting into your existing property.

Upfront investment for long-term gains

Whilst renovating may be less expensive generally than moving, the time it takes to plan and complete renovations on your home should be factored in when weighing up your options. Research shows that generally kitchens cost $16,883 on average, while bathrooms cost $12,460, floors cost $9738, a new deck costs $12,392 and an outdoor revamp costs $11,446. Remember these are averages - and the real price in a blue chip area like the inner city can be far higher.
Whilst you’re setting yourself up for long term benefits through renovating, these will likely not be realised in the short term, so it's important to make sure you can set aside adequate funds for your renovations.

Prepare for some disruptions

Speaking of upfront investments - your time and money may not be the only things at stake. Depending on the extent of the renovations you need to undertake, you may need to temporarily relocate. Once you know the extent of the renovations, you can prepare for any relocations, including those which might impact any household pets.

The big clean out

Moving typically calls for big clean outs that can often be overwhelming. When renovating, you’ll be afforded you the opportunity to conduct some “focused” Spring cleaning activities in the areas you’re targeting for renovations.
These bite-sized clean outs are much more manageable for families and working couples who may not be able to dedicate weeks to big clean outs. Renovations also provide the opportunity to reorganise and realign your household items - you may even be inspired to follow the laws of Feng Shui to bring some extra Zen to your new space.

Things to consider when moving

Does your property still suit your needs?

Moving homes is a great time to reassess what you need from your property. If you want to reduce your maintenance time and costs, feel more secure or have access to amenities in close proximity, downsizing into a smaller property, such as an apartment in a modern complex, may be the best option.

This is not only often a smart financial move, but also is a great way to refocus your changing needs and hone in on what you need from your property.

Likewise, you may have outgrown your existing space and be looking to upsize to a bigger property. It’s not always possible to increase space by renovating (particularly with units and homes with a smaller footprint or planning restrictions) so sometimes moving will be the best answer.

Avoid suffering renovation discomforts

One of the benefits of moving as opposed to renovating is that once you’ve got all your things in place, you’ll be able to dust off your hands and relax in your new, not-under-construction home.

Despite having creative control, quite often renovations can uncover underlying issues or encounter unexpected problems that throw out their initial timelines (particularly with older properties). With moving, if you get a building and pest inspection you’re virtually guaranteed that what you see is what you get, and despite the initial effort in moving, you can be settled relatively quickly.

Market conditions can have an impact

You can make the most of any real estate market by selling and buying at the right time. Depending on where you’re looking to relocate to and the relative prices of the area, you could come away with a decent profit even considering additional moving expenses.

In a booming market it’s a good time to downsize. It’s also a very good idea to buy first, rather than sell first to avoid the market rising before you can make your next move. A flatter market can be a good time to upsize, as it’s a smaller step up to a bigger property.

When supply is low, it may be a good opportunity to sell your property and engage your real estate partners to investigate off-market opportunities.

As we’ve witnessed over the past few years, the real estate market frequently fluctuates, meaning that if you’re planning on moving you will be subject to the market’s movements at the time. That’s why it’s so important to tap into expert knowledge on timing the market when you’re considering moving homes.

If you’re thinking of buying, selling or renovating in the Inner City contact my team for advice today.