The Clash famously sang;

Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go, there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know
Should I stay or should I go?

and although a quick Google search will reveal that the real meaning behind the famous words written and sung by Mick Jones, relates to the turbulent relationship he shared at that time with American songstress Ellen Foley, one could easily be forgiven for confusing Mr Jones's cry for help, with that of many of us when we discover the home we currently live in, is no longer suitable for our current requirements? Deciding what to do can be tricky. Do you stay and renovate the home you have in order to make it more suitable for your future needs and tastes, or do you simply sell up, and find a more suitable home to move straight into? Renovating can be a very stressful time, and it can often have a much larger cost than just that of the bricks and mortar themselves. So let's take a quick look at the path of renovating, as opposed to that of buying, to see if we can find the path that best suits you.

The first thing you have to establish before committing to renovate, is whether the basis of staying is strong enough to warrant what's to come. What are the reasons for wanting to stay? Is it because your property has a large backyard, that is perfectly suited to your future lifestyle, and that will be hard to replace if you move? Or is it because you have great neighbours, and a fantastic street based community? Whatever the reason, find it, and see if it is truly strong enough to hold up to the cost and rigours of renovating.

The second thing is to work out whether you are willing to devote the time required to complete a large renovation? Organising a large scale renovation is a lot of work, and even with the most organised of owners and builders, companies and tradesmen can still find a way to make what should be a simple one week job, stretch out over four. They don't do it on purpose, but they have other clients to attend to as well, and they themselves are often on the end of having to wait for materials to be produced, before they can attend your home to perform the work. So large renovations can sometimes stretch out across multiple years, which during that time, you find yourself living with the stress, the mess and the dust, along with a whole worlds worth of inconvenience. Are you prepared for this?

Next you will have to establish, whether after having spent the money to renovate, will you actually end up with the 'perfect home' that you have been desiring? We all know, or have heard the stories as to how hard renovating the family home can be. Ask any builder, they will tell you that no renovation ever runs under budget. This is not me having a shot at builders, that last statement was actually a shot at renovators. When renovating, the temptation to add to the original idea, once the builders are there, is just far too tempting. So inevitably, costs blow out due to upgraded selections, along with additional projects that get thought of, and seen, once the old has been removed. The double trouble with this approach can not only see you spend more money, but it can also lead you to having an 'Over Capitalised' property, as the cost involved in the search for the perfect house, has surpassed that of similar properties, that are selling in the area for less.

Will the renovations you have in mind blend in with what is already there, and suit the style of your home? We have all seen a renovation, where what has been done in order to upgrade the home, simply doesn't match the remainder of the house. The result nine times out of ten is disastrous. So are you willing to compromise, or even sacrifice your 'perfect dream' in order to maintain consistency and style, and will that compromise provide you with the result you are after?

Lastly, do you know and trust a builder who can undertake the renovation for you? Alternatively, do you have known and trustworthy contacts in all of the required trades? Concreters, Brickies, Plasterers, Tilers, Electricians, Plumbers, Carpenters, Gyprockers, Window Manufacturers, Insulation Experts, Painters, Pavers, Landscapers the list goes on. If not, having to find, interview, and then co-ordinate them all, in order to get a project completed on time and cost effectively, can be like herding cats, whilst watching the money and your valuable time disappear.

So without going further into the negatives associated with renovating, do the potential issues I have mentioned above outweigh that of selling and buying something new? If so, then renovating may not be for you. If, however, you feel the cost, and inconvenience, will ultimately produce for you a product that suits you best, then renovating may be the way to go.

For me, and I am fully aware I am a real estate agent, the path of buying a more suitable and already established home is far more appealing, if it is possible to do so. What I mean by that last statement is, if you are not a 'die hard renovator’, I believe before heading down the renovation path, best practice would be to spend some time trying to find a suitable readymade home. The cost of upgrading, selling and buying, will most likely be less, or equal to the cost of a large renovation, and will bring you far less headaches, issues and time restraints. Being able to move in, and move on, with your life has a lot to be said for it in this day and age. Time is precious....

So in summary, I think clever Mick Jones ultimately answers his own question when he states "If I go, there will be trouble, and if I stay it will be double" if he simply replaces the 'and' with a 'but'. Yes, buying and selling can be costly, but performing a large scale renovation, in order to possibly end up with a product that still doesn't please or suit, can be doubly so.

And why do I feel as though I can make comment on this scenario? Because it is coming directly from a certain Licensed Real Estate Agent, who has been living through a major renovation over the past 2 years!!!

Until Next Time

Yours in Real Estate

Andrew Amos 
Licensed Real Estate Agent
0417 999 837    
andrew@prestigepropertyperth.com.au