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Renovate or move

When you’ve owned your property for several years, you may find that your home no longer suits your tastes or circumstances.

Costs to consider

When you've owned your property for several years, you may find that your home no longer suits your tastes or circumstances.

This leads you to ask the question: do you renovate, or do you move?

Whatever your decision, it's important to note that there are significant costs associated with both options. To help you understand exactly how much money you may need to fork out, we have unpacked the costs associated with renovating and moving.


When broken down by stages or tasks, you will realise there are number of different expenses involved in renovating a home, including:

  • Building inspection: The first cost you may face is hiring a building inspector to check the state of your property and assess if any repairs must be made before renovating.
  • Renovation specialists: The next expense you will face includes the hiring of professionals, such as design consultants, structural engineers, builders, tradesmen and architects.
  • Materials: You will also need to factor in the costs of materials. It is worth noting that the ease of access to your property may have a direct impact on the amount of money you have to spend on tradespeople and materials.
  • General renovation costs: The costs of the actual renovation will also need to be taken into consideration, including electrical rewiring, plumbing, painting, and any construction work. You may be able to save money by doing some things yourself, but you may need to hire a qualified professional such as a plumber or electrician.
  • Lenders Mortgage Insurance: If you are refinancing your home to cover the costs of the renovation and need to borrow more than 80% of the value of your property, you may need to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance.
  • Miscellaneous expenses: Other miscellaneous costs involved with renovations are council fees, levies, permits, taxes and GST.


Similar to renovating, moving into a new home also comes with a range of expenses, including:

  • Real estate fees: Before you can buy a home and move into it, you may be forced to sell your current property. If that's the case, then you'll be expected to pay a specific amount of money to your chosen real estate agent. Agents typically charge a commission rate, which ranges between 1% and 3%, on the sale price of the property. You may also have to cover the costs of marketing your home – a signboard, newspaper and/or online advertising, and professional photography.
  • Repairs: Depending on the condition of your property, you may need spend money on repairs or improvements before listing the home for sale. In addition, you may wish to hire an interior stylist to make your home look beautiful and prepare it for sale.
  • Removalist: If you choose to sell your current home, you'll eventually have to clear your belongings out of the premise. To help with this process, you may decide to hire a removalist, which can cost up to $500 a day.
  • Pest and building inspections: Of course, moving costs aren't the only expenses you will face when you decide to relocate into a different premise. Before buying a new home, you will need to conduct pest and building inspections to ensure your new property has no structural damage. Depending on which company you use, pest and building inspections can cost you as much as $500.
  • Stamp duty: When you buy a property, you may need to pay stamp duty on the purchase. The amount you will need to pay will differ depending on where you buy and how much you spend. Your mortgage broker can tell you exactly how much your stamp duty fee will be.
  • Legal costs: When buying a home, you'll have to enlist the help of a solicitor or conveyancer. These legal fees can set you back anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000 – depending on the company you use.
  • Loan application fees: When you buy property, you may need to take out a mortgage to finance the purchase. If this is the case, you may be required to pay a loan establishment fee. This fee will vary depending on the lender you choose.
  • Title insurance and Registration: During the settlement period, you'll be required to pay for title insurance to protect you from any claims made against the title of your property. In addition, you'll be required to pay to register your title with the state government.
  • Lenders Mortgage Insurance: Depending on how much you're borrowing, you may be required to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance. This insurance protects your lender (not you) in the event that you default on your loan.

How can Mortgage Choice help?

Your mortgage broker can talk you through all of the expenses associated with moving house and/or renovating your home.

While it is ultimately your decision whether to renovate or move, it's always a good idea to have a good grasp of the costs associated with both options before making your final decision.

At the end of the day, it's important that you make the right life and financial choice for your future.

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Posted in: Renovating

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