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Renovate or Relocate: A Quick Guide for Homeowners

The pros and cons of relocating or staying and renovating your home

Whether it’s best to extend and refurbish your current home or move into a new one depends on several factors. These include your personal preferences, evolving lifestyle, unique circumstances and your family’s long-term goals. To help you decide, our renovation experts have rounded up the main pros and cons to renovate or relocate in the guide below. Our guide gives Melbourne homeowners the essential factors to consider when deciding which option is best.

Why renovate your home?

Renovating can be transformative, offering benefits that go beyond aesthetic upgrades. Here’s why investing in your existing space might be the best decision for you.

Stay in your preferred suburb

If you’re happy living in your current location or perhaps in a sought-after area with high land value, renovating may be the wisest solution. Maybe your kids are happily enrolled in a nearby school, or you enjoy a quick commute to work. Avoid uprooting and starting over—instead, invest in upgrading your property to match your lifestyle.
A bold home renovation by Spacemaker has striking lighting, quirky decor, and vibrant colours throughout the living space.

Preserve emotional and sentimental connections

Memories are what turn a house into a home. Instead of parting with your beloved family dwelling rich in sentimental value, renovate it to suit your needs better. That way, you can keep the emotional attachment you’ve built over time and create new memories in a familiar environment as you move forward.
Dining room in Wheelers Hill home renovation and extension

Personalise your home to your heart’s content

Customising your space is one of the most significant benefits of renovating. Having that dream walk-in closet, spacious kids’ playroom or well-equipped kitchen can simplify your life at home, making it more enjoyable while adding value to your property. 

Renovating is often an ideal opportunity to identify and fix existing issues around the house, such as outdated insulation, old roofing, or wiring. These updates can provide more energy-efficient, economical and sustainable living spaces.

Boost the value of your property

Extending or renovating your home can significantly increase what it’s worth. A master bedroom revamp, a new granny flat, or the addition of an ensuite can boost your property’s overall market value. 

Investing in home renovations is even more lucrative in areas where space is at a premium, yielding higher returns if you plan to rent out or sell your home.

The disadvantages of renovating

Before you start tearing down the walls, it’s essential to also consider the possible downsides of embarking on a home improvement project. The most common ones include:

Councils may impose restrictions on development plans that can limit the options for expanding your home. If your home is heritage listed, you’ll need council permission, and may also have to work with professionals such as builders and architects who have experience with heritage properties. This can increase the project’s expenses and sometimes make it take longer to complete. At Spacemaker Home Extensions, we specialise in renovating and extending heritage homes, and pride ourselves on making this process as smooth as possible. Speak with us about how we can help.

When choosing a building partner that is inexperienced in planning, working with suppliers and the local council, or scheduling tasks your home improvement project could face delays. These can disrupt your project timeline and create a domino effect that impacts other aspects of your renovation. Unexpected problems can slow the progress and extend the project’s timeframe beyond what was initially planned. Selecting a professional builder who is experienced in extensions and renovations will ensure your project is managed well, with delays kept to a minimum.

Overcapitalising occurs when the renovation cost exceeds the amount it adds to your property’s value. While it’s tempting to go all out with premium finishes, first consider whether the cost is justified by how much they’ll add to your home’s sale price and how long you plan to live there. A quality, experienced builder can help you make decisions to avoid overcapitalising, making your renovation project more financially rewarding.

Home renovations can sometimes involve unplanned expenses, so it’s important to factor in a little extra for any surprises that may arise to help keep your project on track. 

At Spacemaker, we give our clients a fixed-price quote for extensions and renovations. Our experienced team undertakes a thorough inspection of your home before contracts are signed. This proven process ensures that unforeseen surprises during construction are kept to a minimum, so you know exactly what to expect.

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Why buy a new home and relocate

Moving into a new home can open up new, exciting opportunities for the future while improving your lifestyle. Here are four compelling reasons to consider relocating.
Spacemaker outdoor area in Hawthorn

Make a fresh start

When it’s time for a complete change of scenery, relocating is sometimes a good option to consider. Moving can allow you to explore new areas or neighbourhoods with facilities that might be a better match for your lifestyle goals.

More control over your space

If the land size of your current property is limited, finding a larger one may be the best option for you. You’ll have the freedom of extra space and can add your own finishing touches to personalise it. Whether you’re looking to gain an alfresco living area, get a double garage or just need more bedrooms, a new home can create the perfect environment for the whole family.

Move in straight away

Moving into a ready-made home that doesn’t need renovations can be an appealing and convenient option if customising your home to suit your family’s needs is not a priority. Moving is sometimes a quicker and more hassle-free solution if you can find a home to purchase that meets all your needs.
Polished concrete floors

Potential for profit

In some situations, if your current home has appreciated in value, selling it could provide you with significant financial gain, especially if you are planning to move to a more affordable area. In this situation, relocating to a new area and buying a similar or smaller property gives you the option of using any profits from your sale to invest, buy a new car or take a luxury holiday. 

Australian outdoor area in Port Melbourne

The cons of relocating

Before you start looking for a new home, be aware that moving house involves more than just finding a new place to live. The financial and logistical processes require careful consideration of various factors, including the following:

Hidden costs

Expenses can quickly add up when you take the agent fees, marketing costs, taxes and the cost of moving your belongings into account. Buyers also need to hire a conveyancer to oversee the legal aspects of the sale. In our experience at Spacemaker, moving costs can reach up to 8% of a home’s value.

Market timing

Deciding when to put your property on the market can be tricky with ever-changing conditions. A seller’s market might appear to be lucrative, but if it’s competitive for sellers, it’ll likely be competitive for buyers, too. This could potentially drive the price of your next home higher than anticipated. So, it’s a balancing act between making a good sale on your current property and finding a reasonably priced new home in the same market.

Pre-sale staging and styling expenses

You might need to invest in staging or styling to make your current property more appealing to potential buyers. This can include hardwood restoration, repainting, gardening, or decluttering, which could set you back a few hundred to several thousand dollars and can also be time-consuming.

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Glossary of important terms

Understanding the terms below can help you make an informed decision about whether to buy a new home or renovate.

Amenity
Sought-after features that enhance a property’s appeal and value, such as spacious closets, a swimming pool, scenic views or quick access to local facilities.

Conveyancing
The legal procedure by which property ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer. 

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) 
CGT is a tax levied on the profit made from the sale of an investment or commercial property, calculated as the difference between the purchase price and the selling price. It does not apply to primary residences.

Equity
The portion of a property’s value owned outright by the homeowner. It is calculated by subtracting the outstanding loan amount from the current market value.

Overcapitalising
Where the cost of renovating a property exceeds the added value of the improvements, resulting in a financial loss when selling.

Rentvesting
Renting a primary residence in a preferred location while owning an investment property in a different, typically more affordable area.

Stamp Duty
A tax imposed by state or territory governments on property purchases.

Consult with award-winning home building experts in Melbourne

Advice from professionals like estate agents, financial advisors, and reputable home builders can all help with your decision to renovate or relocate. The team at Spacemaker has over 50 years of experience building custom homes and extensions in Melbourne. Find out whether a home renovation with Spacemaker is the best option for you, your family and your lifestyle. Contact us through our website or call us on 03 8873 7800 to speak with a home design consultant today.

*All information correct at time of publication. Any information provided here is of a general nature only. Please do your own research and check the applicable rules and regulations directly with your builder and local council. If in doubt, seek independent professional advice.

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