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What to do when your family gets bigger

Buy, build or renovate

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What to do when your family gets bigger Image

As your family grows, so does the need for extra bedrooms, bathrooms and amenities. Suddenly you’re thinking about things like proximity to local schools, the size of the backyard and the ability to fit the obligatory SUV in the garage.

But before you jump in the deep end, there are three obvious options to weigh up: to buy, build or renovate.

House Perv, Newcastle homes | HUNTERhunter

Buying

In most cases the speediest option, offering you and the fam a fresh start without having to go through the frustrations of building or renovating. It does mean a lot of Saturday mornings spent at open houses, trying to find the perfect home to meet your growing list of ‘must-haves’. But it does offer a fresh canvas, a fresh start and a new abode to meet your needs.

Just be aware of the not so obvious costs of buying including stamp duty, lenders mortgage insurance, legals and pest and building inspections. Do your research and ensure that you are prepared for the full cost of buying and make sure you have a nest egg for any unforeseen costs along the way.

House Perv, Newcastle homes | HUNTERhunter 

 

House Perv, Newcastle homes | HUNTERhunterBuilding

Takes patience, patience and more patience! If you have time up your sleeve to get plans prepared, approved and then set about building, then this option will prove challenging, yet oh so rewarding. You’ll get to pick all of the fixtures, fittings and finishes yourself, just like an episode of Grand Designs, the result will be a home designed to suit your style and family’s needs.

The down-sides to building are that you’ll probably have to forego period features, and maybe location in order to get your brand new dream house.

House Perv, Newcastle homes | HUNTERhunter

Renovating

The beauty of renovating is that it can be done piecemeal, as and when you can afford it and if you’re handy a lot of it can be done yourself. A lot depends on your patience (just like building) and whether or not you can live in a half renovated home for an extended period of time, especially with little ones around.

House Perv, Newcastle homes | HUNTERhunter

On the other end of the renovating scale is to go the whole hog and do a massive renovation or extension, that can sometimes rival building a whole new home. The pros are much like building in that you get to pick all of the fixtures, finishes and fittings, to suit your taste and style and integrate them into the existing period features of your home. It also means being able to stay in a neighbourhood that you love and not have to change schools, or neighbours.

House Perv, Newcastle homes | HUNTERhunter

Renovating is full of unknowns; the condition of your existing of home which may look fine may not be the case once the old plaster and gyprock is torn down. It also comes with many limitations of what may or may not be possible based on your existing home’s utilities, structural integrity, heritage limitations and local council requirements.

House Perv, Newcastle homes | HUNTERhunter

To pragmatically weigh up all of the different options available, start with a spreadsheet and work out the numbers for buying, building and renovating. As a starting point, have a chat to a couple of builders, make an appointment with your bank’s lending expert and consult your local council to see what is or isn’t possible. It’s going to be a compromise between money, time and agony, whichever option you choose, but the pay-off will be well worth it!

Good luck!

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