RENOVATE OR BUY?
Experts weigh up the costs of remaining where you are and updating, or packing up and moving to a new home
IF YOUR property no longer suits your needs, should you take the time and spend the money to turn it into the home you require, or should you sell and buy a new one? The choice is tough and homeowners will need to weigh up several factors when deciding, says Adrian Goslett, regional director and chief executive of Re/max of Southern Africa. The first consideration should be a careful evaluation of what they can afford as both options carry expenses.
He says buying a new property will come with transfer fees, bond cancellation fees and other costs. In addition to the costs of renovating a home, there is also the risk of unforeseen expenses should renovations take longer than expected or unveil previously hidden damage.
Homeowners also need to consider what aspects of their home they are prepared to live with, and which they are not.
“Renovations can only go so far. That said, relocating brings with it tiresome admin tasks, like updating your address with all account holders and the postal office, as well as moving your subscriptions and transferring services such as DSTV.”
The trend, especially in luxury areas, is for homeowners to “stay put and upgrade”, says Seeff Property Group chairman Samuel Seeff. This is due to the high cost of moving, especially the transfer and transaction costs of luxury property.
Homeowners trying to decide between the two options should ask themselves the following questions, advises Jawitz Properties:
Does my property lend itself to alteration?
After renovation, will my home give me what I want at a price equal to or better than what I would pay for a new one?
I sell my home, will I make a profit on the renovation?
Am I prepared to put up with inconvenience and trauma during renovations?
If I don’t renovate, can I find a property that offers what I want, in the area I want, for the amount of money I have available? Following this they should: Determine their new accommodation requirements.
Work out the total extra capital they are prepared to invest, either in their existing home by way of improvements, or in buying a new one.
Call in an architect or builder and tell them what is required. Can it be done and at what cost? Contact an estate agent and determine the market value of your existing property as it is.
Having determined what can be done and at what cost, Jawitz says homeowners should then visit showhouses in the areas they like. This will help them see what they will pay for a new property.
“If renovation gives you what you want at the right price, you might be wise to stay put.
“But, if after renovation you still haven’t got what you want in an area of your choice, even if you have to stretch your resources to buy that ‘dream’ home, go for it.”
Many property owners opt to remain in their homes and renovate to suit changed needs. instead of acquiring a new property.
Moving into a new home might bring new opportunities.