As interest rates continue to decline, a growing number of Australian homeowners are 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 LoanPersonal 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.

Calculators Repayment calculator Personal Loans

Check your insurance

A good renovation will usually add considerable value to your property, so you should check your home buildings insurance cover before commencing any renovations. Once renovations are completed be sure to update your building sums insured to ensure they are adequate.

Home and Contents Insurance

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.

Credit Union SA Ltd ABN 36 087 651 232, AFSL/Australian Credit Licence Number 241066 arranges this insurance as agent for the insurer Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL No 234708. We do not provide any advice based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Policy terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Before making a decision, please consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement available from creditunionsa.com.au/terms-and-conditions. If you purchase this insurance, we will receive a commission that is a percentage of the premium. Ask us for more details before we provide you with services.

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