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Need to upsize?

By Tim Marsh

There comes a time in the life of every family when the question is asked – should we renovate or upsize? The home you had when your first child was born may not be big enough to comfortably live with a bigger family. So the hard task of deciding what to do pops up.

The upsize vs renovate debate is generally centred on two key things – your budget, and your appetite for routine disruption. For some people, they might have the budget to spend on either upsizing or renovating, but no desire to disrupt their home life for an extended period. Whereas others might love the challenge and creativity involved with a renovation.

Your budget, and more specifically your overall financial situation needs to be reviewed when you’re making the decision to upsize. Your mortgage broker can advise you on the amount of equity you have in your current home.  So talking to a mortgage broker before you make any hard and fast decisions is smart.

Things to consider

Buying a new home

Do your research and make sure you have a realistic idea of how much you’re likely to make from the sale of your existing home.

Speak to a mortgage broker before you make any big decisions.

Revisit your budget. If you’re going to increase the size of your loan to buy a bigger home then make sure you have worked out where the money is coming from and factor in possible rate rises.

Don’t forget to take into account costs like stamp duty, agent fees and moving, and if it’s a bigger home, your running costs like electricity, gas and rates might be higher.

Do your suburb research. School zoning might be different and life might be more expensive (or cheaper) in some areas.


Talk to your mortgage broker about freeing up the equity in your home. You may have access to more than you think.

Get a quote from at least three builders or, if you’re doing the majority of the work yourself, cost out every single part of the renovation so there are no surprises.

Keep your eyes out for good renovations in your area and contact the builder.

Check your local council’s regulations regarding home renovations. You’ll probably be required to consult with your local area, so have a chat with your neighbours and get them on side.

Factor in the cost involved for sketches, technical drawings and plans to be drawn up.

There’s a real chance of going over budget so factor in a contingency. Do the maths on whether the whole cost (including contingency) stacks up against buying a new home.

Renovations are incredibly disruptive, especially for children’s routines. Make sure you are well organised and if you can offload any extra furniture while the reno’s are taking place to create extra space.

Article first appeared on, and is courtesy of,

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