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To buy or to renovate? That is the question.

When it comes to owning a property, it’s not just about four walls and a roof. It’s about creating a home that reflects who you are and what you value. It’s about finding the right balance between the practical and the personal.

Buying a new property is exciting. It offers the opportunity to move into a brand new space, with the latest design and features. But, renovating an existing property has its own charm. It allows you to infuse your own personality into the space and make it truly your own.

The decision to buy or renovate ultimately comes down to understanding your needs and values, and what will bring you the most satisfaction. After all, this decision is not just about a property, it’s about creating a home and a life that you love.

With all of that in mind, here are our top five things to consider when trying to answer this question for yourself.

1. Cost

One of the big things to think about when deciding whether to buy or renovate a place is the cost. It’s important to weigh up the cost of buying a new place, compared to the cost of fixing up the place you’ve got.

When figuring out the cost of buying a new place, there are a couple of things to consider. First is the amount you’ll need to save for a deposit on your new home, once you’ve considered any equity you have in your current one. Then you’ll need to think about the costs involved in selling property – from cleanup and repairs, to property styling and advertising, to your agent’s commission – and those involved in buying your next home (learn more about those here).

As for renovating, the cost will vary depending on what work needs to be done, the materials and labour you choose, and even the location of your property. You’ll need to get detailed estimates from builders, trades and potentially architects to figure out what the materials and labour might cost. And don’t forget permits and the time you’ll need to invest in keeping on top of things!

It’s important to weigh the costs and benefits of both options, compare them and consider your budget and financial priorities. It’s good to have a clear idea of the costs before making a decision, so that you can make an informed choice that fits your needs and preferences.

2. Location

When deciding between renovating and buying a place, the location is another big factor to think about. Start by considering whether your current location is still a good fit for you and your family. Then do some research into whether there are other locations that might suit you better, and if any areas you’re considering are likely to meet your current and future needs.

Here are a few things to consider as you decide:

  • Proximity: Think about how close you are to infrastructure and amenities like schools, work, public transportation, shopping, and parks.
  • Stability: Consider how safe the neighborhood is, if there are any future development plans that could change it, and whether the area is prone to natural disasters like fires or floods that could affect its value in the long term.
  • Value: Think about how much the property is worth, and if it’s likely to go up or down in the future based on where it’s located and the infrastructure it’s connected to.
  • Restrictions: Your zoning and council restrictions may mean there are limitations on the kind of renovations you can do – especially if you’re in an historical district.

3. Time

It might be easy to overlook, but timing is definitely an important factor to consider when choosing between whether to renovate or buy. After all, it takes time to find and buy a new property, and to renovate an existing one.

Finding a new place can take a while. You have to search for a place you like, make an offer, negotiate the price, get a mortgage and go through the closing process. Depending on the market, this can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. And don’t forget that you then have to sell your place, which may have a big impact on your finance options and stress levels.

Fixing up a place can also take a while. Depending on what needs to be done, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to finish a renovation. You also have to get permits, find and hire contractors, and keep an eye on all the work throughout the process.

It’s important to keep in mind how much time you have and how quickly you need to move into the place when deciding between buying or renovating. If time is of the essence, buying a new place might be more efficient than renovating.

4. Preference

It’s important to think about your personal preferences when deciding between buying or renovating a place. Renovating allows you to customise the place to your liking, but buying a new place allows you to move in right away and enjoy your new home without the hassle.

If you like the idea of fixing up a place and making it your own, then renovating might be the way to go. Choosing this path will also give you more control over the look and feel of your home, especially if you have a specific style in mind. It’s also a good way to make sure you’re getting the functionality and features you want – after all, you’re in control.

On the other hand, if choosing handle types, paint textures and counter heights makes you want to lie down, buying a new place might be the best choice. With a place that’s ready to go, you can move in right away and start enjoying your new home without the effort of renovating.

5. Potential

Finally, it’s important to consider the future potential of your current home, and any home you’re considering buying. This is especially important if you’re considering buying or renovating for investment purposes.

If you’re thinking about renovating, consider the cost of renovation and the potential value it brings to your property. A well-planned and executed renovation can increase the property’s value, providing a good return on investment (ROI). When it comes to buying a new property, look for properties that have potential for appreciation and can generate good rental income.

It’s also important to consider market conditions as an important factor in the potential of either renovating or buying new. If the property market is hot, renovation may not be as profitable as buying a new property. However if the market is slow, renovation might yield a better ROI.

At the end of the day, it’s your call

Ultimately, the decision of whether to buy or renovate will depend on your circumstances and priorities. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option, and to consider the long-term implications before making a decision. It might even be a good idea to seek professional advice from a real estate agent, a financial advisor or a property valuer to help you make an informed decision.