IFamily imaget’s a scenario that lots of growing families can relate to, the home which was once perfect and had plenty of space is now cramped and crowded and not so comfy anymore. It’s time to make a decision…do you stay and renovate to make more space or do you move to a larger home.

It’s a huge decision as there are pros and cons for each side. It’s important you evaluate your family’s needs and what is the most important to you. Asking questions such as; if you move, will it be in the same area and if not will you need to relocate the kids to another school are essential to help make your decision.

Be clear about where you’re at now, and where you plan to be in five or ten years’ time. Will renovating suit your family’s needs in the future? You don’t want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars renovating in changing your home for it to not suit your family when your children grow up.

With your needs in mind, map out the must-haves of your dream home versus the nice-to-haves. For example, a second bathroom for your teenage girls may be a higher priority than bi-fold doors to the alfresco.

Another important questions to ask is, how old is your current home? Older homes can present issues that you may not have been aware of until you start renovating. Without careful assessment, what you think is a simple renovation project could prove costly and time consuming.

If you’re considering a renovation, it’s important to look beyond the floor-plan and assess all the hidden elements like the wiring, the condition of plaster, and stumps. Consult professionals like building inspectors, builders, electricians, and engineers to find out the state of your home, this will definitely save you money in the long run.

Spending too much money on your renovation, also known as overcapitalising in the real estate world, is where you spend more money on your home than you are likely to recover if you had to sell it tomorrow. Pay attention to prices in your street and the surrounding area. If the costs of your renovation keeps increasing, and you want to sell soon afterwards, then you may need to rethink your strategy.

If you are leaning towards packing up and relocating, then researching the area of the home you want to buy is so important. What are the schools and sporting clubs like? Will you be close to the local amenities and if not is this going to be an issue? If you have family or friends who are living in the new area, they would be great to ask and offer an honest answer.

So far, you’ve considered a lot of questions. Remember, it’s important to speak to the experts, get detailed costing information, always get more than one quote, and get referrals or references from trusted sources.

SOURCE – based on an article from NAB