Extend your home or buy a bigger one?

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If you are starting a family, having another child, or raising teenagers, you may be thinking about extending your current home or finding a bigger one to move into.

The main questions to consider for both options is how much can you spend, and how much time and effort you are willing to put in?

Without doubt, both come at a cost and require a lot of effort, especially when it comes to thinking about all the ins and outs of changing your existing home, from consents to builders, or spending all your spare time looking at real estate websites and going to open homes. 

To help you decide whether extending or buying is the best option for you, we are going to go through some important things you should consider.

When expanding an existing house...

Renovating your house can be quite an adventure, sometimes a rewarding one, but also challenging.

The excitement of putting together lovely photos on your Pinterest board can bring out creative ideas.  And what about all those renovation shows on TV? Creating a rumpus room or teenage hangout, adding a bedroom or blowing out some walls to go open plan - there’s huge choice.  The architecture and design could go in any direction and differences in ideas could be contentious!   But there are some real advantages of choosing to extend your home:

1. You will have control over the design

A renovation is an opportunity to start adding spaces your family needs. For example, if there’s a new addition to the family, a baby room could be needed or perhaps another bathroom. You’ll also get to decide whether you want to expand upwards, downwards, or outwards. You have that choice.

2. Renovations or an extension can be cheaper than upscaling to another house

Compared to buying another house, a renovation can be less expensive. Take a look around your house and find ways to utilise free spaces in the most economic way like converting the garage into an indoor playspace.   In comparison buying another house may not solve everything as it’s possible it will still need altering to suit your needs.

3. The new features will add value to your house 

If the expansion is done right, the increased value of your house after the renovation will outweigh its cost and it will likely yield a higher price should you decide to sell. 

4. You won’t need a new address

An expansion allows you to stay within the familiarity of your own neighborhood. You get to stay near your friends and your family will not have to adjust to a new place. Aside from that, the children will be able to enjoy lasting friendships as a result of building their roots in one place.

Now here are some things to consider, should you choose to stay, renovate and extend your house:

1. The construction will be disruptive

Whether you plan on hiring contractors or do the work yourself, an expansion project is bound to become an inconvenience for your family. Usually, constructions last for weeks and you will have to deal with a lot of dust, dirt and disruption.

In addition, you will need consent from your local council and you may also need to check with your neighbours about your plans. 

2. Expanding outwards results in loss of garden space

Building an additional floor should not be a problem, but if you extend your ground floor by a few meters, you may lose outdoor space.  On average, people have less garden room now than in the past, but it’s still nice to have somewhere for your kids to run in or kick a ball around.

3. Your dream house might be over the budget

Choosing quality architects and engineers could be a pain to your wallet and executing your vision might even empty your savings.

If you don’t have enough equity built up from paying off your mortgage, you may have problems financing the renovations.  The best person to turn to in this situation is a mortgage broker who will be able to advise you about your options.

4. Managing a project can be a full time job

Remember that you will have to deal with a lot of people during a project - tradesmen,  contractors and inspectors are just a few.  Then there are all the design decisions you will need to make, sometimes at very short notice.  Time is money so if you can’t be onto it and make quick decisions the overall project is just going to cost more.

When buying a new house…

Looking for a new house is exciting; just imagining your family starting over in a fresh  neighbourhood in a different house is enough to fill you with good vibes. Will you get the bungalow or the two-storey house? Here are reasons why moving to a new home could be better than revamping your old one:

1. It is definitely less taxing

Driving to viewings is much less stressful than discussing renovation designs with architects and your partner!  Thinking of what to add to your house would require more brainwork than looking for a built house that fits your ideal, if indeed you can find one.

2. A brand new start

When buying a house, your family can build a new life and make new memories as you grow in numbers. If you are experiencing difficult neighbours in your current home, it could be time to settle for a different home in a better environment.

What’s more, you might find a house that holds a higher value than the one you currently live in. Trading up would not be a hard decision to make when that happens.

Take note that buying a new house is not without its own challenges. Here are some you should consider:

1. It’s tough to leave your roots

Sentimentality affects people’s choices. Your family might have made good friends in the area and your children may also be attending the local school. Moving to a new place could mean saying goodbye to all of that.

2. The selling and then buying process can be a hassle

Real estate processes can sometimes be traumatic. You might have sworn to yourself before that the tedious process would end once you signed the contract to your home. You may consider renovating if you do not want to go through that again.

3. You might use money you don’t have

As financing is an issue for both options, getting a new house may well be harder on your pocket than paying for renovations on a house that is already yours. Note that aside from the initial deposit and mortgage fees, there will be other costs that need to be paid. Selling your home in order to move is also expensive because of commissions.

4. The repairs will cost money

This happens when your new place is pre-owned; of course, the house will not be perfect. There will be some things that you need to attend to after you move in, no matter how thorough the survey was, and if it’s a brand new home there’s always the spectre of snagging.

Both extending or buying are popular options and will depend on your current financial situation and family needs. These projects should not be borne on your back alone. Look for reliable partners who can help you in this significantly huge life decision.

Whatever you decide to do you will have to talk about the money you need to achieve your goals, and this is where Taurus Home Loans can help.  We aren’t builders but we do know how to help you extend your existing home or help you buy a bigger one.  Why not contact us today!


Posted 11 Jan 2019