Move or improve?

At some stage in your life you will be faced with the decision to either uproot your life and move house or stay put and renovate. Perhaps you've outgrown your current house or maybe you’d like to run a business from home – whatever the reason, deciding whether to renovate or move house is a big decision – a decision that only you can make with you and your family’s particular lifestyle needs, and the costs involved. 

Move or improve – only you can decide – but remember to consider all aspects before making a decision.

Decided to move? Why you should build new

There are lots of reasons why you would decide to build a new home, rather than buy an established home.

  • Build to suit you. When you build new, you can design your home specifically to meet your requirements, and suit your family and lifestyle.
  • Energy efficiency. New homes must meet a 6-star energy efficiency rating, which may reduce your energy consumption and lower your cost of living.
  • Pay less stamp duty. When you build new, you only pay stamp duty on the cost of the land, not on the cost of the build. Whereas, when you buy established, stamp duty is payable on the whole amount. (Note: If you buy a house and land package from a developer or builder, you will have to pay stamp duty on the whole amount.)
  • Less maintenance. New homes require less ongoing maintenance than older, established homes.
  • Six year warranty. You have the peace of mind that your home is covered by the home warranty insurance scheme for six years and six months, covering structural defects.

If your preference is to move and build a new home, make sure that the area you choose to move to has the same amenities and conveniences that you want and need. You also need to consider that newer estates generally have smaller lot sizes than some older, more established areas.

Once you make your decision, you are ready to move to the next step in the building process – choosing land.

Decided to improve?

Here are some good reasons why you might choose to renovate:

  • Save money on selling and moving costs. If you decide to stay in your home and renovate, you will save money on stamp duty, conveyancing/legal fees, real estate agent’s commission and advertising/marketing fees, and removalist fees.
  • Improve value of your home. Renovating your house should add more value, as long as you are careful not to overcapitalise.
  • Location, location, location. Renovating is ideal if you like your house and the area you live is close to work, school, family and friends, transport and shops.
  • No need to find a block of land. If you decide to build, you will have to first find a block of land, which may be in a newer, less establish suburb. Choosing to renovate means you won’t have to hunt for land and it will save you money on the cost of the land too.
  • Six year warranty. You also have the peace of mind that your renovations are covered by the home warranty insurance scheme for six years and six months, covering structural defects.

If you decide to improve your home with a renovation, always engage a qualified building designer or architect. A good designer will work with you to ensure your renovation or addition is functional and blends in with your existing property.

Find qualified building designers, builders and trade contractors on the Find a Master Builder search.