Renovation Planning Guide Part Three: The Pros and Cons of Renovating

April 2, 2021

This is our final post in this particular series. In this blog, we are focusing on the highs and lows, so you know what you're getting yourself into. This information does refer to some facts from the previous two posts, so get back and read our Renovation planning guide and the types of renovations to get up to speed on how all these ties together.

So, why renovate?

The biggest benefit of renovating is the value it can add to your home or investment property, which can turn into a powerful return if you are planning to put your property on the market once renovations are complete. For those renovating to stay on, you’ll be looking to add comfort and improve your living space, which in many cases, can add value as well as get you closer to your dream home, especially if that involves extension work.

Before you jump in, there are some important things to keep in mind. In our previous blogs on renovations, we covered budgets and plans, as well as, what type of renovations are out there, which are important steps to cover. We’re completing this now by covering what ups and downs you can expect. Going in with your eyes open can really help make it a project that is worthwhile while reducing some of the potential headaches.

The Upside of Renovations: The Pros

1. Add value to your home

In most cases, improving a home through renovation adds value.

Even a low budget change or upgrade can add incredible value and increase the volume of interest a house has on the market.

Your modern and updated property will be a unique option on the market and it will set you apart from other homes built in the same era on your block that has not undergone renovation work. Your home will be more appealing online, which is where the most interest is won, and you’ll have a bigger number of interested parties, creating competition, and moving your property to sell faster.

2. It can be scaled to fit

Unlike buying a property, renovations can be altered to fit your exact requirements, needs, personality and budget. The flexibility is amazing and you have full control over what the end result will be. You can even scale it up or down as you go, depending on what your situation is and how long you are willing to carry work out for.

3. Provides personal satisfaction

It’s a real confidence boost to design and oversee your own project. You will earn as you go as well, which gives you a real sense of pride and satisfaction. This goes double for those willing to roll up their sleeves and help with the work. Being part of the project and building with your own two hands can be invigorating, inspiring, and a much better workout than watching Netflix.

You can choose your hours to work around your paid employment and turn your home into an energising hobby you can enjoy for years to come.

4. Fewer admin fees

Buying land or an existing home has a lot of administration costs, that’s because there is a lot of paperwork to do to change the title and make the property officially yours. That’s why you’ll also need to hire an experienced conveyancer to help steer you through it all. While the First Home Buyers Grants can do a lot to ease these expenses, there are still a lot of costs with loans and lenders and that interest creeping in.

Renovations are significantly cheaper than buying a new property, and you don’t have the stress of finding a home, selling and moving. That’s not to say you can’t find assistance.

Just like the subsidies to assist with duty tax, many states offer assistance to help boost the building industry. Be sure to research what grants are available in your state to see if you are eligible.

5. Not a roller coaster of emotion

The biggest influencing factor that comes into play when buying a home is overloaded emotions.

Emotions for renovations are far more manageable as there are significantly fewer unknowns and far fewer risks and restrictions.

Overall, the gain of renovations is bigger than the time, money, and mess it takes to complete them, meaning you get a rewarding emotional experience from start to finish. It really helps to have your budget, do your research and apply for your council permits well before you start. Making sure you are ticking all the boxes can help reduce any stress and put you in the control seat.

The drawbacks to renovating: The Cons

1. Blown budgets

This is usually the case for older homes. If you have purchased a run-down property to renovate or you want to update an inherited home, there are a few more risks than with lived in-homes and relatively more modern homes.

When you do your research you will have most costs accounted for and itemised on your builder’s quote.

When walls or plaster is removed on run-down or older properties it can reveal water damage, building faults, pest damage and asbestos. These are expensive and imperative to repair.

2. Council permits

In just about every case, your work will require a permit. This starts with a development application or assessment that needs to be signed off by your local council. You may also need to consult with a town planner. Expect red tape and no amount of urgency. If you lodge your application well ahead of your work date i.e three months, you won’t have many troubles, it’s just the waiting and admin. If your work is extensive enough, the council will have a public notification alerting neighbours and giving them time to lodge an objection. It’s a great idea to talk to the neighbours surrounding your property to let them know of your intentions and ask if there is anything you can take into account, like they work nights.

If you lodge with enough lead time you can even wait for the sign off before committing to your labour-hire and material orders.

You will also need to submit a lot of property details so expect the forms to take some time to complete and require some digging to make good on the property stats.

If you are going to be working with an architect, which is recommended for extensions, structural changes and adding storeys, then it is best to have them onboard before you submit to your council so you can add in anything they recommend or feel will help your paperwork move through the system more smoothly.

Most councils have forms and information available online, making it easier to get started. Make sure you double-check any obligations you may have to report to the State Council in addition to  your local government council.

3. Hard labour

While it is a cost-effective way to add to your home, it’s hard work and, depending on how much you do yourself, you’ll likely see a donation of blood, sweat and tears for your trouble.

There can be delays or miscommunications with labour-hire, material design and delivery as well as completion times. Even the weather can throw in some trouble, at the worst possible point in the build. None of this is predictable and the only real way to see fixes is with hindsight. The best way to cope is to expect some challenges, it’s a safe bet because chances are they will come your way. Just be ready to roll with the punches.

A flexible way of thinking will help reduce stress and make any changes you need with a level head.

Who is Peta Stewart?

Award-winning conveyancer. Entrepreneur. Business mentor. Women’s cycling advocate. These are just some of the ways Peta Stewart is introduced. What ties them together is a steely determination to help people achieve their life goals and have fun in the process.

In 2004, Peta became the first licensed conveyancer in the Albury Wodonga greater region. Five years later, she launched her own business and started shaking up the industry with a good dose of personality, integrity and humanity.

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