Ex­perts weigh up the costs of re­main­ing where you are and up­dat­ing, or pack­ing up and mov­ing to a new home

Saturday Star - - HOME - By Bonny Fourie

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.

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