Renovate a house Our guide to transforming your current home
Today’s low interest rates are seeing a growing number of Australian homeowners unlocking their inner builder, with many planning to renovate their property.
Whether it’s an extension, a modern facelift for an ageing bathroom or kitchen, or the addition of a garage, swimming pool or outdoor living room, these are changes that not only enhance the enjoyment of a home, but can add serious market value if done well.
Renovation is a big decision and there are some important things to consider.
Firstly, is renovation the best option?
Renovations can be seriously stressful, so it pays to look at all the options before you start, including whether it makes more sense to relocate. Some important questions to consider include:
will the renovations add more value to your property than the cost to complete?
are you happy to stay in your current neighbourhood?
will the renovations last the distance, or will your needs change again?
how old is your house and what condition is it in – could you find any nasty surprises once you start renovating?
are you prepared for the potential stress and disruption?
Conversely, renovating your existing home will save you the stress, time and expense of finding and purchasing a new home. For many people, staying put also means staying close to friends and a renovation may be the right way to go for you.
Design and planning
There are many things you need to consider when planning your renovation and you should consider our hints and tips to help you avoid common mistakes.
Establish a realistic budget
Chances are you’re going to need some additional finance to finish the job, so if you have a good level of equity in your home you might want to consider extending your existing home loan to cover the renovation costs.
Generally speaking, it makes sense to finance long-term costs like buying or renovating a house over a longer loan term and construction loans are purpose built to allow you to draw down funds only when you need to pay builders.
Having said that though, the longer the loan term, the more you’ll pay in interest over the life of the loan. So if you’re confident of being able to repay the debt in a short time, you could also look at taking out a personal loan or line of credit. Personal loans generally don’t cost as much to set up as home loans either, although you should carefully balance the set-up costs with the interest rate, as a lower interest rate will generally come out in front over the long term.
Ultimately, the decision may depend on how much you can afford to repay.
Check your insurance
A good renovation will usually add considerable value to your property, so you should ensure your insurance is up to date and sufficient to cover the increased value.
This is general advice only and doesn’t take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Conditions, fees and lending criteria apply and are available on request.