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Author: Jye Smith

Is renovating or buying the right option for you?

Your current place just isn’t doing the job for you any more, so all of a sudden you’ve got a decision to make. You can stay put and try a reno – keeping and improving on the good and ditching the bad, or you can hit the open market to hopefully find some new digs that tick all your boxes.

Just be sure to keep these few important points in mind when you’re weighing up your options.

Home turf

The location of your current place will play a large part in your decision. If you and your family love your suburb, it will be harder to uproot them all and make them start again in a new part of town, making a reno the more attractive option. However, if you’re part of a young family and your suburb is hardly what you’d call ‘Stepford’, you may be more inclined to look for greener pastures to raise your flock.

Bricks and mortar

A big advantage to being in this position is that you already know what state your current home is in. Just by organising a quick building inspection, you can get a complete picture of how your home would look to prospective buyers, and let you know whether you need to conduct any extensive repairs, or just get on with renovating, should you decide to stay.


From your knowledge of your current suburb, you should have some idea what your property’s potential for growth is. Knowing this should give you an idea of exactly how much you’d be wise to spend on a renovation so that you’d see a return on your investment if you sell up in the years to come.

These days it can be easy to assume that a quick renovation can help owners reap thousands more when it comes to a sale, but this isn’t always the case.

Horror stories

We’ve all heard from that friend about how far their reno came in over budget. Don’t let this immediately scare you into thinking that fixing up your current place is a money trap waiting to happen.

It’s important to remember that as long as you are 100% clear with your builder about exactly what you want, and receive as accurate a quote as possible, there’s no reason to expect the worst. As long as you’re prepared to budget for leeway of 10-15% (because the unexpected will happen) then a reno can be the right option for you.

Do your research

Apart from the above factors, when you boil each option down, you have to know you’re going to be faced with the following:


  • Stamp duty
  • Refinance costs
  • Agent fees
  • Legal fees/conveyancing
  • Inspection reports
  • Moving costs

Be sure to check out our guide to buying property here. 


  • Labour for builder/contractors
  • Permits/council fees
  • Design fees
  • Inspection costs
  • Repayments for any finance you may need

Be sure to take a quick look over our Greater Guide to Renovating here.

At The Greater, we’ve been helping our customers achieve their property dreams for over 70 years, so we like to think we’re the experts. To see how we can help, and to start a conversation with a Greater lender today, why not make a Home Loan Enquiry online here.

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