• Renovate or relocate?

    Renovate or relocate?

    The first home you buy will rarely be your last. As your lifestyle evolves, kids and pets may be added to the mix, your income may grow and your ageing parents or in-laws may even join the fray. As circumstances change, you may need to consider renovating your current home or buying a new one which poses the million dollar question; which should it be? Here are some of the main things to ask yourself when weighing up your options.

    Is a renovation possible?

    Before you even look at costs, take a realistic look at what you currently have and what you actually want or need from your home. Write a list of must-haves and determine whether your existing home can be altered to suit your requirements. For example, you may want a swimming pool, but if you have nowhere to put it, it may be time to move on.

    It’s also important to do your research and investigate whether council will likely approve the changes you are proposing to your home. A good architect, draftsperson or local council representative will be able to give you some sound advice.

    Am I the renovating type?

    Renovating your home is a messy, time-consuming and often all-consuming process. Are you prepared to live through the day-to-day reality of a renovation? It may mean months and months of dirt, dust and tradesmen in your home, endless hours sourcing fixtures and fittings plus the added stress of making countless decisions concerning every detail of the project. Then there’s the added cost and inconvenience if you have to move out for a period of time. Some people love the idea of customising their own home via a renovation, for others the process can seem daunting.

    Does your location still suit you?

    What drew you to the neighbourhood initially might now be holding you back. For example, a young couple might love the idea of an inner-city terrace close to bars and restaurants, but once kids come along, the convenience of city living is no longer essential and a quieter neighbourhood next to parks and schools might be more desirable. Take a fresh look at your local area and ask yourself if the amenities will still suit your lifestyle going forward.

    What are the comparative costs involved?

    Whilst it’s difficult to compare apples with apples, it’s worth doing your sums on what each option will cost in order to achieve your goals. If an extra bedroom and a double garage are on your list of must-haves, price up what it would cost to add these to your existing home and what value it will likely add post-renovation. Next do some research on comparable homes in your area with these added features.

    Bear in mind that there are always hidden costs involved no matter what road you go down. Renovations are notorious for going over budget, so it’s prudent to add a 10% contingency to the bottom line. Don’t forget to factor in preliminary costs including an architect or draftsperson’s fee, land survey, engineer’s report, plus council lodgement fees and levies. When it comes to selling up and buying a new home you’ll need to include the cost of stamp duty, conveyancing fees, real estate commissions, marketing costs and removalist fees.

    For advice on financing a renovation to your home or upgrading to a new home, feel free to contact your local RAMS Home Loan specialist or call 13 RAMS, that’s 13 7267.

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    About the author

    • Raymond

      Raymond A Ram is the RAMbassador for RAMS Financial Group. Raymond works with the RAMS team to bring simple, helpful and expert information on home loans and savings accounts to life with his down to earth and cheeky personality. He enjoys seeing everyday Australians turn their dreams of saving for a goal or getting into a home a reality. 

      Growing up in Goulburn, NSW, Raymond was brought up with good old-fashioned Aussie values of hard work and a fair go. It soon became apparent that Raymond wasn't content for the conventional path of grazing, producing the very best wool, and finding a nice sheep to settle down with. So it wasn't long before his passion for performing and his talent as a likeable larrikin shone through - landing him a few roles such as 'RAMlet'. He was even tipped to play RAM-bo at one point but chose to become star of the small screen instead as RAMbassador for RAMS. He now finds this role so much more rewarding.

      Contact your local RAMS Home Loan Centre about your home loan options.

      Raymond A Ram
     

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  • Disclaimer:

    The information here is of a general nature only and is not intended to constitute financial or tax advice. You should consult your professional adviser, accountant or taxation expert for advice specific to your personal circumstances.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of RAMS Financial Group Pty Ltd ABN 30 105 207 538 (RAMS),  Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 (Westpac) or their related bodies corporate. This article is strictly for information purposes only and neither RAMS, Westpac nor any of their related bodies corporate make any representation as to the accuracy or completeness of the information in this article or endorse the views expressed in it.