As our homes get older, what we need from our living space can change. Our families can grow, or shrink as kids leave the nest, and sometimes we just want different things as our lives evolve. As anyone who watches home improvement shows knows, there’s a lot we can do to upgrade the spaces we live in. However, throwing money into an old home isn’t always a sound investment, and can create a lot of financial and emotional stress for homeowners. If you are trying to decide between renovating or trading in your home, here are five things to consider:
Will a renovation truly fix what you don’t like about your home?
If your home looks tired then a new coat of paint and a few cosmetic upgrades might be enough for you to fall back in love with it. Tackling layout issues or adding an extra bathroom might not be possible or worthwhile when you work out what it would cost to fix them. If you’re sick of the long commute or the size of your lot, then there’s not much you can do to improve that unless you move!
Be realistic about costs
Be sure to cost each job out properly, taking into account the materials needed and the
associated labour costs of the qualified tradespeople you’ll need to undertake each job. Be aware that renos have a nasty habit of costing more than they were supposed to (and for that reason banks often suggest adding 15- 20% on to any estimates before borrowing money to do upgrades). And, in the past few years the cost of materials has been so unstable that it is hard to even get reliable quotes on what a renovation might cost.
How long will you stay in your home?
If your current home isn’t going to be your forever home, sinking cash into it isn’t a great idea. While your home may end up looking more modern, there’s nothing that you can do to change the age or actual construction standard of the home – two factors that buyers, lenders, and insurers look at carefully.
Be realistic with your expectations
Some renovations just won’t work in older mini homes. You might be forced to compromise and not achieve your desired outcome. Mini homes have evolved considerably in the past decade. Newer homes are energy efficient and already come with many upgrades, and because it is so quick and easy to replace your existing mini home with a new one, the process can be done in a matter of days with minimal stress.
Renovations are disruptive
Unless you plan to live elsewhere when your home is being renovated, you need to consider the mess, noise, and chaos that you’ll be living in for the weeks or months that those renovations will take. This can be hugely stressful for everyone in the family, and make a huge impact on your quality of life.
Thinking about upgrading to a new, energy-efficient mini home? Reach out to our home consultant Viola to help you find the perfect mini home, and walk you through the financing process.