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Should you sell your home or upgrade it instead?

By Andrew Bell

The location of your home is one of a few aspects you can't change about it. That's why this factor should play a major role in the difficult decision to renovate your current home or to sell it all together and start over elsewhere. After all, both options will come at a considerable cost, siphoning your time as well as money away from other projects. Selling and upgrading also each come with natural limitations, among them your budget and the costs of services where you live. Renovation possibilities will also be limited by the construction of your house as well as your lot size. Relocation opportunities will be constrained by proximity to work, school and loved ones: At least one of these considerations will likely be important to you. So how to make the call? Here are a few ways to think about your situation.

Get professional help
Many key metrics should factor into your decision to sell or renovate. Among them is the value of your current home as well as the average prices of similar properties nearby. This data is essential to obtain regardless of which option you select — so it's worth investing time and perhaps even money to get the info.

After gaining the valuation information, it's important to consider if a renovation makes sense relative to the median of nearby properties. This will prevent over-capitalization or renovations that price the house beyond its resale value. After all, the location won't change, nor will the neighbouring houses or amenities. The streetscape and local infrastructure are beyond your control, too.

Good bones?
If you're seriously considering renovations, it behoves you to first consult with an expert. You'll ideally need to find the original blueprints of your home, meet with a builder and think hard about what kind of roadblocks you may be working around: Electrical, structural and plumbing problems might crop up en route to your dream design. Unforeseen problems are something of an inevitability with most home renovations; considering what lurks below will help decide on a budget for these issues.

Talking to builders will also help you understand how possible the renovations you want to do really are. Can your house physically support the add-ons or rearrangements you have in mind? You'll also want to gain a sense of how marketable these renovations are longer term. Perhaps there's a quirky choice you'd like to make. If this is your forever home, you might go ahead regardless, but if you plan to sell at any time in the future you will need to think through how the marketplace will respond to your changes. Will they truly add value?

Mechanics of moving
Both moving and renovations will likely require you to engage with financial and government professionals. If you're updating your house, you'll have to consider council regulations and approval of your building plans. Moving? You'll be paying conveyancing costs and agent fees, as well as council fees.

But moving can also come with the extra time, effort and energy costs of cancelling memberships, finding new schools, locating all the service providers you need including hair salons, dentists and doctors. Unlike a remodeling project, moving is a complete life overhaul, down to finding a new favourite bakery or coffee shop.

Growing family
Maybe your home is already bursting at the seams with no plans for new additional family members. Perhaps you're expecting a baby. Maybe you've recently become a care giver for an ageing relative. Either way, it's ideal to have a handle on what your family situation looks like for the next 5-10 years. Will you need to be near certain schools? Are you hoping to decrease the commute to work so you can spend more time at home? These are essential data points.

If you are considering the sale of your property in the near future, it's important to know what to expect and set yourself up for success. At Ray White Surfers Paradise, we can help maximise your return on investment. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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