The past eighteen months have seen us spending more time at home than ever. For some of us our homes are our castle. For others, this extra time at the pad has just highlighted that we need a change.
You may need an upgrade to accommodate a growing family, or perhaps some changes so that working from home is easier. The big question is … should you move, should you renovate, or should you knock your house down and rebuild brand new?
It’s a tough decision to make as it involves a huge investment of time and money no matter which way you go. We’ve taken a look at some of the pros and cons of each option to try to make that decision a little easier.
PRO: The main question to ask yourself is do you like where you live? If you don’t like your street, your suburb or even your block of land, then moving is your best option because no amount of renovation will fix these pain points. A simple move might land you in a perfect street within the community that you desire.
PRO: The process of buying and selling a house is faster than doing a knock-down rebuild and faster than a lot of renovation options. In the current market, selling is faster than ever!
From start to finish, it will only be a matter of months until you are settling into your new dream home.
CON: Moving house can be stressful. And it isn’t just the financial worry, or the sheer organisation and work required that can be stressful. Boxing up all your belongings, sifting through old memories and choosing what to let go of can take more of an emotional toll on people than they expect.
CON: If you have been living in your house for a long while you might have made connections that will be hard to leave behind. The friendly neighbours, the local barista who knows your order or the helpful postie will be missed until you’ve had a chance to recreate that same sense of community at your next place.
PRO: If you love your street and suburb and it’s only your house that isn’t quite right, renovations might be best for you. An upside to renovations is that you are in complete control of how your finished house will look (subject to council approval of course). You get to create a space that works for your family instead of shoe-horning your life into an existing house-plan.
PRO: A big upside of a renovation vs a knock-down is that renovations aren’t done from scratch. You don’t have to factor in demolition fees, and you will mostly use the existing structure and foundations of your house. Also, you can take it slowly, doing the work in stages so that you don’t have to outlay all the costs at once.
CON: Renovations are almost guaranteed to go over budget. It is so common to have a blow out that it is highly recommended to always build a buffer into your renovation budget to begin with. Research has shown that renovations have a higher cost per square metre than building a new house, so depending on how large your renovations are, they could end up costing a lot more than an entire new house built from scratch.
CON: Unless the renovation is enormous, most people will choose to live at home for the duration of the works. This can mean many months of living amongst building dust, tradies coming and going, and all your belongings displaced around the house. This can put a lot of strain on a person, or a couple, as the time stretches on.
PRO: If you love where you live but the quantity of renovations that you’d need to undertake to turn your house into a dream home is just too large, then a knock-down rebuild might be a better option. Or if you’d planned to do renovations but have discovered major structural or termite damage to your existing house then knocking it down might end up being a less costly option than trying to fix those problems.
PRO: The end result of a rebuild is a brand-new home that no one else has ever lived in – sounds great, right? On top of this, a new home will have less ongoing maintenance as things are less likely to fall apart when they are new, and in the event that they do, it will be covered by a warranty for a number of years.
CON: Building a brand-new home is not a cheap option. You aren’t just paying for the home, there are also other costs to consider. These include but are not limited to; demolition, excavation, landscaping plus rent for 6-12 months while you are building. Like with renovating, a new build will very likely go over budget. However, you are less likely to run into as many unexpected costs as renovations as you aren’t working on an existing structure.
CON: The knock-down rebuild option is probably the most time consuming of all three. From choosing your home at a display village or drawing up plans with a draftsman, to having them approved through council and then all the way to the final product can easily take a full year.
There are plenty of pros and cons for each option and only you can decide what is right for you and your family. Whatever you end up going with, we think you’ll be very happy with the final result.