select
|

Seven questions to guide your ‘move or improve’ decision

With the real estate market currently being more friendly to homebuyers than to sellers, many owners are thinking about altering or adding on to their existing properties rather than trying to sell and move to a different home.
 
However, says Rob Allan, owners of the RealNet franchise in Randburg, this is really not an easy choice, and homeowners should weigh up the answers to the following seven questions before making a final decision to stay put or relocate:
 
*Is a move the only option? It could be that you have a problem that only a move will fix – like horrible neighbours, the need to live within a certain school catchment area, or the fact that you can’t afford your current home and need to downscale. “And in such cases the best course of action is to appoint a reputable and experienced agent, set a market-related asking price and sell as soon as possible”.
 
*Do you really love your existing home? If you have a strong emotional connection to your home and the area or community you live in, a renovation or addition is probably your best choice. At the very least, says Allan, you should consult a good residential architect to see what options there are for upgrading or extending and avoiding a move.
 
*Do you need more space or more rooms? Many homeowners base their decision to sell on the need for an additional room or two. But it is possible that by just altering the interior layout of your home, you can make more efficient use of the existing space and create that extra bedroom or TV room or home office that you need. “Once again you will need to consult an architect, but if you can reconfigure your floorplan, it will usually be much less disruptive and less expensive to go ahead with the alteration rather than move”.
 
*Would you be over-capitalising? There is a risk that by making a major addition or alteration to your existing home you would be "over-improving" in relation to the rest of the homes in your area.
 
"If you live in an area of smaller homes favoured by first-time buyers, for example, an expensive renovation or upgrade does not make sense, because it is very unlikely that you will ever be able to sell your home at a high enough price to recoup the cost of your improvements. This is especially true in the current phase of the market, when home values are only rising very slowly,” notes Allan.
 
*How long will it take to earn back the transaction costs if you move? The bond registration costs, transfer duty and legal fees you will incur if you decide to buy a new home and move can add up to a hefty sum.
 
“Consequently, you need to be sure you will live there long enough for the value of the property to rise sufficiently to cover these costs. This time period will vary depending on the price of the property and the performance of the market overall, but is usually between five and seven years – meaning that if you sell again before that, you could end up losing money by moving.”
 
*Can you stick to a budget? Budgeting accurately is essential if you do decide to renovate – but to ensure that you don’t overspend, you need to know exactly what work needs to be done and what it will cost – and that you can resist the temptation to change your mind or the specifications as the project proceeds, says Allan.
 
“Otherwise you might as well put your budget towards the purchase of a bigger home.” 
 
*Can you stand the process? In the excitement of planning their home improvements, many owners overlook the fact that it is probably going to be a messy, noisy, inconvenient business that will take much longer than they anticipated and really test their patience and good humour. If you don’t feel that you can live with that, you will probably be better off moving to a new home.


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 21 Nov 2017
      The buying process is over, and the moving truck has delivered your household goods to your new property. Now it’s time to unpack and turn your new house into a home.
    • 21 Nov 2017
      When an offer to purchase a property is signed by both buyer and seller, this constitutes a binding agreement or “Deed of Sale” between the two parties. However, in most cases the “standard contract” might not be enough to cover all the specifics pertaining to the sale. The agreement may require some additions or alterations to clauses, which needs an expert hand in the drafting of such
    • 21 Nov 2017
      As more and more South Africans look to invest in property abroad, Spain is offering them one of the best deals in global real estate.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Since 2012, sectional title complexes have been leading the South African property market, not only in terms of price growth, but sales volumes as well. Remaining relatively strong, even in the face of 2017’s political and economic turmoil, experts say this market segment could offer valuable insight into South Africans’ property purchase priorities.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Regardless of whether you are purchasing your first start-up home, downsizing or moving in with roommates, finding ways to maximise small spaces can be a big advantage, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Property valued at approximately R1 billion is on High Street Auctions’ sales floor during the month of November, including the much-anticipated sale of the Tshwane Mayoral Residence and the land occupied by one of South Africa’s oldest operating gold mines.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      It’s been a tumultuous year on many fronts, with socio-political uncertainty setting the tone for much of South Africa’s economic activity yet despite this and seemingly counter-intuitively, the residential property market has held up well.
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK