7 tips to help choose between selling or renovating
Assessing the benefits of an extensive home renovation against selling your property is always a worthwhile exercise.
Selling your home is rarely an easy decision. It will often hold family memories, and that makes it tough to leave. It’s also likely to be your most significant financial asset, and you want to be confident you can maximize its value.
The process of selling isn’t cheap with commissions, legal fees and taxes. But the alternatives are to tolerate your home in its current condition or to talk to an architect or builder about giving your home a makeover.
That’s not cheap, either. Costs can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, and there’s never a guarantee the work will finish on time and budget. If you think selling is stressful, you should try a large-scale renovation!
So, which way should you jump?
There are many advantages to selling. A new home will feel like a fresh start, and you should be able to find a property that’s genuinely superior and enhances your lifestyle.
Renovating, by contrast, can dislocate your life for months on end. No matter how hard builders might try to reduce the impact, they bring chaos. This pain can be worth it if you love your location, the local amenities such as schools are excellent, and you have friends in the neighbourhood.
As experienced local real estate agents, we work with many homeowners who are stuck on the fence between selling and renovating. Our advice is always based primarily on their personal circumstances and aspirations. Market conditions are less influential in these situations. We’d love to help if you’re trying to solve this puzzle and step you through the options.
In the meantime, here are a few tips to help you think through your situation.
- Structural issues – There’s a solution to pretty much every problem, but a continually leaking roof, creaking joists, or a tired kitchen from the 80s, can get to you after a while. These are usually a sign that the structural elements of your home are deteriorating and you need to act.
- Money’s in the bank – You can afford to decide whether you want to pour your hard-earned cash into your existing home, or climb the property ladder and find a superior property.
- You intend to stick around – You can always find a new home in the neighbourhood. However, if you favour a renovation, be aware that upgrades offer the best payback when you sell within a year or so of the work being completed. Your new kitchen doesn’t stay new forever.
- Big squeeze – Your current home is getting too small. You’ve got the option of building an extension, but that means you’ll have to battle the planning process as well as the stress of selecting an architect and builders. A new home might be a more straightforward option here.
- Living in the 70s – Many owners who take the upgrade path want to modernize their home. They’re fed up with the rabbit-warren design of small, disconnected rooms and yearn for open-plan living, plus a new kitchen and bathroom. Making such fundamental changes are expensive, and it is worth checking out the prices of more modern homes nearby before going ahead with a renovation.
- No flow – Older homes were not designed for the modern lifestyles we enjoy. Today, you want a home that is simple to navigate and where all the rooms make sense in terms of function, position and size. And you may now need a home office!
- Dead space – Poor design can result in some rooms being ignored, either because of their size or their position relative to the main living areas. Real estate is not cheap, so this is very wasteful. If fixing the problem is difficult, finding a new, better-designed property will pay off for you financially in the medium to long-term.