To Buy Or To Renovate (2)

Is It Cheaper To Renovate Or Buy New?

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    It's natural to weigh the pros and cons of starting fresh or making changes when you're dissatisfied with some features of your current home. Of course, both choices have advantages and disadvantages, so let's examine them closely.

    The Advantages Of Renovating And Staying Put

    Moving can be an even bigger bother than renovating. The purchase of a new home is tantamount to committing oneself to a full-scale relocation. That action will have repercussions, too. Moving to a new area might be inconvenient since, for one thing, you won't have any familiar landmarks or stores to shop at until you've adjusted.

    When you move, you'll have to leave behind the community you've come to enjoy and the schools your children have attended. Really, that is a major development. A further justification for the upgrade. The house will be tailored to your preferences and requirements. Let's pretend you're tired of cooking in your old, outdated kitchen and would like to replace it.

    You might be able to find a place with a fresh new kitchen, but the cabinets inside might not be to your taste. Homeowners who choose to stay put throughout renovations can dictate the scope of work done. As an added bonus, home improvements may end up being less expensive than a relocation. A real estate broker should be compensated financially when they help you sell your home.

    Then, there are the expenses associated with packing up and moving, as well as the charges associated with closing on the new mortgage. Meanwhile, when you have equity in your house, you can get a home equity line of credit or loan to get the money you need for renovations at a reasonable interest rate. It's possible that if you spend wisely in your current home's renovations, you'll earn a substantial return on your money and be able to sell your house for a higher price. Moreover, if you do enough work on your house, you could be able to use it as a rental property. You may be able to rent out a finished basement, for instance.

    What Are the Expenses Of Renovation?

    Renovations come with a wide range of potential expenses, including but not limited to the following:

    • The cost of construction supplies and labour will rise in proportion to the scope of your remodelling project, so be sure to budget accordingly.
    • Expenses related to employing specialists such as a project leader, designer, architect, and structural engineer, among others, may need to be considered. Here you can learn more about the sorts of experts it might make sense to hire.
    • Inquire with the local council to see if they charge a fee for renovations that require their consent before you begin any major work. The quantity of this fee is typically related to how much money you will be spending on your restoration project as a whole.
    • The cost of rent, if applicable, should be factored in if you plan on relocating elsewhere during the renovation period.
    • Emotional expenses - Relocating during a renovation project can be expensive. Know that you may have to endure a period of time spent residing in what amounts to a construction zone if you intend to stay in your home throughout renovations.

    The Advantages Of Purchasing New

    To Buy Or To Renovate

    However, there are a number of advantages to purchasing a new house over doing renovations. You won't have to deal with the hassle of living near a construction site for a while, for starters. In addition, you won't have to deal with the administrative burdens of a renovation, such as applying for and obtaining necessary permits and researching current building codes. In addition, if the total cost of your refurbishment is high, you may decide that it is more cost-effective to relocate.

    While this would necessitate a fresh mortgage application, current interest rates are low enough that, with good credit, you should be able to get a mortgage at a reasonable rate. Last but not least, relocating allows you to take advantage of new conveniences that might not be available within your current area. It's possible that relocating would benefit your kids, particularly if you can find a place with a top-notch educational system.

    What Are The Costs Of Purchasing A New Home?

    There are a few more up-front expenses that may or may not be familiar to you when purchasing your ideal home, in addition to the purchase price.

    • Stamp duty - The most costly consideration is stamp duty, which must be paid once more with every title transfer.
    • Possible fees associated with refinancing include those associated with renegotiating the conditions of your loan.
    • Lenders may assess an application fee or loan origination charge when a borrower requests a mortgage loan. This requirement is sometimes ignored.
    • Fees for a lawyer or a conveyancer are an inevitable part of buying a home, just as they were when you bought your first house.
    • Most real estate agents will ask for a two percent (2%) commision when selling your home.
    • There will be fees associated with scheduling and paying for a building and pests inspection to guarantee that your new house is free of any major structural flaws.
    • Relocating will need you to spend money, whether it's on professional movers or on the new items you'll want or need once you've settled in.

    Reasons Why Home Renovation Is Better Than Buying New

    You Can Take Advantage Of The Updates.

    A real estate agent's advice on how to improve the resale value of your house may include everything from simple repairs to a complete renovation. Instead of doing renovations right before selling your property in the hopes of increasing your financial return, think about doing them now to enhance your living situation there.

    You Have An Emotional Attachment.

    The lines marking your children's growth in the door doorway and the mental image of them take their first steps from across living room floor make it difficult to imagine selling the home in which you and your family made so many memories.

    There are some things you just can't let go of, at least not right this second. If you're having second thoughts about selling your property, maybe it's time to give it a makeover instead. Whether it's because you and your home shared a difficult experience and emerged stronger for it or because you genuinely adore it, you have developed strong feelings for it. There's more to it than money.

    You Have The Capital To Renovate.

    You won't have to worry about rising interest rates or larger monthly payments if you don't need to take out a loan to pay for your improvements since you have enough money saved up. A home improvement that doesn't require taking on any new debt is especially appealing to retirees who have accumulated significant funds.

    In a survey with 10,000 participants, 75% said they would rather invest in house improvements than save for a down payment, and this preference grows stronger with age, perhaps because older homeowners have more invested in their homes and much more money available. Over the age of 55, 87% of people and 91% of retirees choose to invest in renovations rather than purchase.

    You're Making The Property More Secure.

    Whether you just moved into your fixer-upper or have been there for decades, you may want to update some of the older systems to make sure your house is safe and healthy for you and your family. It's a good idea to have experts examine for things like faulty electrical wiring, outdated heating systems, and damp spots that could lead to the growth of mould. People should prioritise maintenance and repairs before spending money on cosmetic renovations.

    You Save Money On Moving.

    It can be costly to relocate because of the time and money needed for repairs, advertising, the expense of shutting, and the cost of the actual move itself. If you use full-service movers, the price of a local move can easily exceed $10,000, and the cost of renting a moving van alone can exceed $1,000. It may not be worthwhile to relocate if you are only anticipating a small nett profit from the sale of your home.

    Renovations Increase Equity.

    With a mortgage and a short time in the house, equity may be low. Because of this, selling your home wouldn't bring in very much money. As an alternative, you can increase your home's worth through planned renovations. Some of the most important upgrades that can be made to a home that can increase its resale value are a new roof, an en suite addition, and a kitchen remodel. But don't go crazy trying to perfect everything. For instance, the value of a home is not increased by installing a swimming pool inside a neighbourhood where none of the other homes have one.

    You Have The Option To Personalise Your Living Situation.

    Although it may not always be possible to construct a brand-new, tailor-made dwelling, it may be possible to make changes to your current house so that it better suits your requirements and way of life. If you spend a lot of time with your family in the kitchen, having an open layout between the two rooms would be ideal.

    Or, unless you're retired, you might make changes to your home that will make it easier for you to continue living there as you get older. DIY projects are an option for those looking to cut costs by avoiding the expense of labour. But think carefully about your abilities before attempting a DIY bathroom renovation. Involving a professional to fix a botched DIY endeavour might increase the scope and cost of the project.

    Should I Move Or Renovate? What Are The Associated Costs?

    To Buy Or To Renovate (3)

    The intangibles have been discussed; now let's compare the actual costs of remodelling to those of moving. We'll take into account not just the cost, but also the timeframe and the potential for profit.


    It's true that the lower your overall construction cost per square foot, the more square footage you'll be able to build. That's why it's always best to build new rather than remodel. More importantly, the funding for the two kinds of initiatives is distinct. Only a select few homeowners have sufficient equity in their homes to finance costly upgrades. As a result, they'll have to take for a modern building loan at rates that are much higher than their initial mortgage.


    It might be difficult to keep track of time during a makeover. Putting your stuff into storage is a need more often than not. After that, you'll have to find somewhere else to stay until the repairs are done. As much packing and unpacking will be required as if you were actually moving. The renovation's end date is likewise out of your hands. The reliability of contractors cannot be ensured. In addition, problems could be hiding in the shadows of your walls, ceiling, or foundation. The costs and timeliness of your project will both increase if unexpected issues arise.

    ROI (Return On Investment)

    It's important to calculate how much of your renovation costs you can recoup in the event you decide to sell your home after completion. The home's purchase price and your renovation costs will need to be considered. A home that has been updated is simple to reinvest in. What this signifies is that the home's worth has increased significantly due to your efforts. It would be foolish to buy a $500,000 house in a $300,000 neighbourhood. Down the road, you'll have a hard time selling it. This is typically not a concern for a brand-new homeowner. New developments typically have residences in the same price range.

    The New Residence Advantage

    As was previously established, per-square-foot costs decrease as building size increases. A lower cost per sq foot of construction is guaranteed because it is quite improbable that you will be able to add more space to that of an existing home than you will have in the new house. Added benefits of brand-new building include the following:

    • As a result, you obtain your desired outcome. There are some features of your current home that, even with a lavish makeover, you simply cannot alter.
    • You can confidently tear down that wall without worrying about any undiscovered wiring, plumbing, asbestos, or building codes.
    • The house is completely ready for occupancy. Come on in.
    • You now have more say over the past and future. There's probably no need for temporary or long-term housing or storage.
    • Moving is more affordable now. It's common for construction loans for home improvements to have interest rates 20% to 25% higher than those of conventional mortgages.
    • Your entire brand-new house, not simply the wing you're adding on, will be equipped with cutting-edge conveniences. Better insulation and reduced energy costs are the result.

    Is It Better To Remodel Or Purchase A New House?

    It's up to you to decide if it's better to renovate or relocate. All that matters are your financial and time constraints, as well as your comfort level with uncertainty. Most people may get into a new house considerably more quickly and at a lower cost by purchasing a newly constructed one rather than undergoing a makeover.

    When Should I Sell And When Should I Buy?

    Consider your long-term financial goals while deciding whether to modify an existing home or purchase a new one. If you only want to make a few little improvements, it may be more cost-effective simply renovate your current home rather than buy a new one. In some cases, staying put and updating your current home might be more cost-effective than purchasing a new one, and this is especially true if you already reside in the ideal location and plan to stay there permanently.

    Moreover, if property values are rising in your neighbourhood, investing in a renovation project now could yield a return in the form of a higher value in the future. You can sell it as a rental property if you end up having to relocate. When doing renovations, though, it's important to keep an eye on the budget to avoid overinvesting.

    When Should I Renovate And Stay Put?

    However, if you just want to make a few little changes, it can be cheaper to renovate your current house instead of buying a new one. Additionally, if you already reside in your ideal location and plan to remain there for the foreseeable future, it may be more cost-effective to stay put and make some adjustments to your existing property rather than purchasing a new one. The value of real estate in your neighbourhood may be increasing, making it more advantageous to engage in renovations now rather than later. When doing renovations, though, it's important to keep an eye on the budget to avoid overinvesting.

    Avoid Overcapitalising!

    The renovation cardinal rule is this. In the event when the value of the renovated property rises by less than the amount spent on the renovations, overcapitalisation has occurred. If your home was worth $800,000 before renovations, and then spend $150,000 improving it, but the resale value is only $100,000, you've lost $50,000.

    How Can I Prevent Overcapitalisation?

    Get A Professional Appraisal Of Your Property

    In order to determine how much money you should put into home improvements, you need get an estimate of your property's value from a real estate agent. Find someone who is well-versed in the local real estate market to advise you on which upgrades are worth the money and which are unnecessary.

    Examine The Value Of Neighboring Properties

    To assess if it is worthwhile to make repairs to your home in order to increase its value, you should research the average selling prices of other property in your street and in your suburb, focusing on houses with comparable qualities to yours. The best way to keep from over-capitalizing on renovations is to set a rough budget beforehand.

    Have A Specific Budget

    When deciding which project will be the most cost-effective, it's important to have hard numbers rather than estimates, and this is especially true when it comes to home improvements. While the average is often a safe bet, it's easy to get carried away when working with estimates.


    When you are unhappy with certain aspects of your existing dwelling, it is only normal that you would like to make some modifications or perhaps move to a new place altogether. If a homeowner decides to stay in their home during renovations, they will have more say in what changes are made. It's possible that investing in certain home upgrades may be cheaper than packing up and moving. You can get a good return on the money you put into improving your current property by increasing its market value. A home equity loan or line of credit might provide you with the funds you need for home improvements if you already have equity in your property.

    Buying a new home has several benefits over remodelling an older one. If your credit is good, you may qualify for a mortgage with a manageable interest rate. Changing your location can provide you access to modern comforts that aren't always readily available where you now live. Considering a sale of your home but having second thoughts? Spruce it up! Seventy-five percent said they'd prefer put money towards home enhancements than a down payment.

    Homeowners over 65 have greater resources at their disposal and a larger equity stake in their properties. If you still owe money on your mortgage and haven't lived in the house very long, your equity could be modest. Instead, you can boost your home's value with well-thought-out upgrades. A new roof and an attached bathroom are two of the most vital renovations. But don't drive yourself insane trying to achieve perfection.

    It's better to start from scratch than to renovate an old house. Few homeowners have built up enough equity to pay for expensive renovations out of pocket. If you plan on selling your property when the renovations are finished, you should figure out how much money you can get back.

    Content Summary

    1. When you're unhappy with parts of your current home, you might consider if it's better to start over or make some adjustments.
    2. Buying a new house is akin to making a long-term commitment to moving.
    3. That much more reason to go through with the update.
    4. All of your needs and wants will be taken into account while we construct the house.
    5. Let's imagine your weary of using the same old kitchen and would like to upgrade to something more modern.
    6. A property may have a brand new kitchen, but the cabinets may not be to your liking.
    7. If a homeowner decides to stay in their home during renovations, they will have more say in what changes are made.
    8. It's possible that making certain changes to your current residence will cost less than starting over somewhere else.
    9. When a real estate agent helps you sell your house, they should be paid a commision.
    10. Not to mention, there are costs related to the new mortgage's closing as well as the time and money spent packing and moving.
    11. Meanwhile, if your home has appreciated in value, you may qualify for a home equity loan or line of credit at a competitive interest rate to fund your repairs.
    12. In addition, with appropriate renovations, your home may even be rentable.
    13. Before starting any big modifications, check with the local council to determine if they require a fee.
    14. If you need to find temporary housing elsewhere while the renovations are underway, make sure to include the cost of rent in your budget.
    15. Relocating during a renovation project can be emotionally draining and expensive.
    16. If you choose to stay in your house throughout renovations, you should be prepared to spend some time living in what amounts to a construction zone.
    17. However, buying a new home has certain benefits over renovating an old one.
    18. Additionally, if the overall cost of your renovation is significant, you may decide that moving is more cost-effective.
    19. In addition to the acquisition price, there are a few more up-front costs that may or may not be recognisable to you when investing in your dream home.
    20. To renegotiate the terms of your loan may incur additional fees, which should be considered before committing to a refinancing.
    21. You will need to spend money on your relocation, whether it be on hiring movers or buying new furniture and appliances once you've established in.
    22. A real estate agent's suggestions for increasing your home's market value could range from minor fixes to a total overhaul.
    23. If you are on the fence about selling your home, you may want to consider updating it instead.
    24. If you and your house went through a tough time together and came out stronger, or if you just really like living there, you probably have some pretty intense feelings for it.
    25. If you have enough money saved to pay for the renovations out of pocket, you won't have to take out a loan and will be protected from the effects of increasing interest rates and increased monthly payments.
    26. Seventy-five percent of respondents to a study of 10,000 indicated they'd rather spend money on home improvements than save for a down payment, and this choice increases with age, possibly because more money is accessible to older homeowners.
    27. Eighty-seven percent of those over the age of 55, including 91 percent of retirees, choose to put their money into improvements instead of buying a new home.
    28. You may want to upgrade some of the older systems in your fixer-upper, whether you just moved in or have lived there for decades, to ensure the safety and health of you and your family.
    29. Prioritizing maintenance and repairs over aesthetic improvements is a wise financial decision.
    30. Moving can be pricey because of the effort and resources needed for maintenance, promotion, closure, and packing and transporting.
    31. If you still owe money on your mortgage and haven't lived in the house very long, your equity could be modest.
    32. Consequently, you wouldn't make much money off of the sale of your home.
    33. Instead, you can boost your home's value with well-thought-out upgrades.
    34. A new roof, an en suite extension, and a kitchen remodel are three of the best ways to boost your home's resale value.
    35. If you're trying to save money, DIY projects are a good way to go because they let you avoid paying for labour.
    36. However, before deciding to remodel your bathroom on your own, it's important to honestly assess your skills.
    37. Hiring a professional to fix a do-it-yourself job gone wrong can add time and money to the process.
    38. We will consider not just how much it will cost but also how long it will take and how much money it could make.
    39. It's usually preferable to start fresh with a new construction project rather than a renovation.
    40. The completion time of the renovation is also beyond your control.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Renovate

    Repairs and updates to kitchens, bathrooms, or mechanical equipment are costlier home renovations. A kitchen renovation averages $25,000, but a bathroom is $10,000. Basements usually cost around $20,000. Other factors like permits and labour, site preparation, and materials influence the price.

    After all, the idea behind the renovation is that much of the existing structure can be retained, while with new construction, everything has to be built. In theory, this is true. Renovation projects cost less compared to new construction.

    In the last 18 months, rising inflation, rising fuel costs, and global supply chain issues have had a major impact on the cost of building materials & labour costs. Commonly used construction materials (like dimensional lumber, cement, and paint) have seen a 15% to 25% price increase since the summer of 2021.

    Overall, building new gives you more control over the project – you can easily tailor it to your needs and goals. However, new construction could be more costly and take longer than renovating a moderately new building.

    Old houses can be bought for less. If you're looking for a true fixer-upper, you'll likely pay less than you would for a new home. And if you do the renovations yourself, you can save thousands of dollars in the long run, and you'll end up with a great investment.

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