You purchased your home some time ago. Time has passed and your family has grown. So has the amount of stuff you own.

Does this sound familiar?

What was once vast space and minimalist design now feels cramped and lacking in storage options. Your spacious study has become the kid’s music room . . and you now find yourself working from the kitchen bench.

It’s time to ask yourself: renovate and extend your property or relocate and start over?

Perhaps your neighbourhood has changed or your current property doesn’t have the space for extensions. The factors that contribute to this conundrum are rarely simple.

What’s the strategic approach to resolving this challenge? Well, there are a few key factors to consider.

Should I stay or should I go?

Do you love the area you’re based in? Is it still a good fit for you, your family and your lifestyle?

What do you think of the neighbours, the size of your property, the local schools and surrounding community? Have you found yourself thinking of other areas or nearby suburbs that offer a better fit?

Could the school or work commute be a bit easier? How far are you from your favourite restaurant, cinema or shopping centre? How does a walk around the neighbourhood make you feel?

The strategy of renovating

If you’re thinking of renovating or expanding, can you get the required work approvals? Will renovations on your current home cause you to overcapitalise?

Have you seriously considered your home as a product in a competitive market? Will your renovation plans deliver a great product?

I’ve seen many house extensions that resulted in wasted voids, for example sacrificing available room space to a new staircase or building a new room that’s too small or awkward to be used effectively. These outcomes are often the result of building setbacks that present unnecessary compromises. Ultimately, they become shortcomings that affect the value of your property when it’s time to sell.

Costs to consider                           

The obvious downside of selling is the associated costs, such as agents fees, marketing, refinancing, legal fees and then once you’ve completed the process and are ready to purchase a new home . . there’s stamp duty.

Another cost consideration is the increasing expense of renovations. Overhauling or updating your existing home could require many months of living in a construction zone, with all the associated building dust and loss of privacy as contractors work in and around your personal space. Renovations that involve kitchen and bathroom work might even mean the search for temporary accommodation, which obviously adds to the overall project cost.

Making the right decision

The most efficient way to approach the challenge is to consult an experienced real estate agent that can provide a realistic valuation of your current home – as it is now and as it would present post-renovation. If you’re serious about renovating, take the time and finances to invest in professional design and architectural plans that will enable builders to quote accurately for the proposed work. Take the time to assess how this important investment will benefit you and your lifestyle.

Once you have all pieces of the puzzle, it’s much easier to make a solid decision.

Deciding whether to renovate or relocate is a significant decision that will come down to you and your family’s growth, existing needs and the costs involved.

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