A few years and a couple of kids later, the sprawling expanse that was once your luxurious abode might now be cramping your style.
Tired of living on top of one another, is it time to up sticks or cash out your Bunnings shares in favour of a complete home makeover?
Walshs mortgage broker Darole Evans says there are pros and cons of both – each option unsurprisingly coming down to how much cash you have to splash.
“When looking at renovating or buying elsewhere, the first questions we ask are ‘do you like where you live, do you like the house, and what are you trying to change?’
“From there we’d do a full assessment, looking at how much you can borrow and how much you have in equity,” he says.
Space permitting, Darole says sometimes it’s best to stay put, using equity from your home to make it bigger and better.
“In Queensland at the moment a lot of properties have gone up in value so there’s a lot of equity in houses,” he says.
“If, for example, you purchased your house for $1.5m and it’s now valued at $2.5m, sure you could sell for $2.5m and look for something worth $2.7m – but if you did $1m in renovations – that’s a pretty cool house.
“If you like where you live, you like the property and you’ve got the space to do something, providing your service ability is there, it may well be in your best interests to renovate the house you’re in rather than buy somewhere else and still not have the perfect house.”
The finer print…
With two sides to every coin, the cons of a total do-over may be many.
“Even though you don’t have to pay stamp duty on a new house, you do have to find a builder who’s prepared to give you a fixed price quote if it’s over $250,000,” Darole says.
“Then there’s the pain of the reno itself – it’s not like The Block where it’s over in 12 weeks, so are you going to rent somewhere else or are you going to live through it?”
He says you also need to have spare cash in the coffers for any unexpected costs: “whenever you renovate, you don’t know what’s under the ground”.
If a lack of land or a loathe of location is the problem, Darole says moving may be the only option.
“With that comes the question of what comes first, or are you going to carry both debts?
“So are you going to sell and then look for somewhere, or are you going to look for somewhere on the condition you can sell your house?
“That’s very dependent on the market – in the last two years we had a market where you could sell your house in a week, and it was actually harder to find a house to buy, but in normal markets it could take up to 90 days to sell your house.”
The downside to selling…
To state the obvious, to buy a new house you’ll have to sell your existing place, paying hefty agent fees to do so.
Then comes stamp duty and other associated moving costs.
“One of the hardest things you’ll ever do with a house is sell it and buy elsewhere, and then move, that’s just a fact.”
Whether you’re looking to move or makeover, Darole says it pays to speak with the all-in-one experts at Walshs to determine your goals and achieve your objectives.
“Your best bet is to find a place like Walshs where you can talk to an accountant, financial planner and broker who can piece together the best option for you, both now and into the future.”