New Home Vs. Renovating the House

As per a survey, the estimated expenditure for home improvement amounted to around R94 billion in the SA. in the year 2018. This includes minor to major home improvements like waterproofing roofs, upgrading heating systems, soundproofing rooms, extending homes, adding patios, lawns or gardens, etc.

Purchasing a new home

The choice between purchasing a new home and renovating the existing house has always been quite tough. Both options have their own difficulty levels and advantages that too cannot be ignored.

Gerber here tries to give you a clear picture of whether renovating the house is good or you should be looking for a new house.

When You Need To Renovate the Existing House Or Buy A New House?

  • Your family size has increased and you need more space or more room.
  • The existing house is out of design, outdated and boring.
  • It has already outlived its life and it now needs lot of repairs regularly adding to expenses and headaches off and on.
  • The life of an existing house is over or it needs big structural repairs.
  • Your job/office location is changed and moving is must.
  • The house you purchased some year ago was a small house as your income was less than, but now you can invest.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Proceeding Towards Relocating or Renovating

01. How Important is the Current House and Location for you?

It might be possible that you are living in the current house and location for a long. Hence, you have a great bonding with the neighbourhood. Again, the job location, schools, etc. are nearby. So, if the house and location you are staying in is so essential to you, renovating would be an ideal answer, particularly when you cannot find a similar house in your current budget.

02. Are you Thinking to Make Changes in the Floor Plan when Renovating?

Changes in the floor plan

If you are going to make changes in the floor plan when renovating, you need to have a big budget. However, if you are renovating a home without making changes in the floor plan, it would reduce the renovation cost less than 50%.

03. What is Your Budget for the New House?

Are you ready with a rough budget either for the new house or even for renovation? If you are having a sufficient budget to spend on localities with affordable houses, you can look towards investing in a new house. However, for the locations with expensive properties, renovation is an ideal option to go with.

04. Will the Value of your House Increase if you Renovate it?

Home Renovation increase Home value

Many times, renovating the house would boost the value of the house in the property market. But sometimes due to the locality and neighbourhood, there would be no changes in the house value, and the amount you spend on renovation would simply drain. So, talk to an expert before looking for renovating your property.

05. Are you Going to Live in the Same House for the Long-Term After Renovation?

Long-term renovation

Renovation of the house should be carried out only if you are thinking to spend a long time in the same house after incurring expenses. Suppose you renovate the house, and are thinking to shift in a year or two, it is advisable to save the amount for the next house rather than renovating the house.

06. Are you Making Structural Changes in Existing House?

If you are making structural changes, it will involve cost and efforts. You should not venture into it without consulting a structural engineer.

07. Is the Existing House too Small?

If the house is too small for your family and their various needs, you have no option but to move or extend.

08. Are you Emotionally Attached to your House?

If you were born in existing house or got married in the existing house and thus you are emotionally attached, conclusively renovation is the only option.

09. Is it Only the Structural Repair or Change of Finishes or Both?

Before you start renovating, make sure to assess whether the renovations consists of “structural changes” or mere change of finishes or both.

New Home or Relocating


When one is not satisfied with design and style of the existing house one is living in, there are two options. They can either look for building a new house or relocate from one house to another. Confused with the terms? Both the terms are much similar to each other, yet come with a difference. The term new home can be used for both, purchasing a new home or purchasing a new plot and building a new home as per your requirement. While the term relocating simply means shifting to a new house that is ready to use.

As there are very few people who think of constructing a new home, in this blog, we shall consider a new home similar to relocating that is shifting to a new home readily constructed.

Let’s go through the pros and cons of shifting or relocating to a new house after selling your old property for a weighing decision.

Pros of Relocating

01. Easy Financing Options:

Pros of Relocating

The paperwork along with the purchase process becomes much easier when you look for relocating to a new house. The entire documentation process like taxes, insurance, searching for a quality lender, title, etc. is handled by the expert agent.

02. A New Beginning – Relocate To A New Destination:

When you relocate to a new destination, you get in touch with a new street, area, city, or even state. You meet new people in your neighbourhood, design your new home differently, settle with a new landscape, and get a fresh start giving you a change in your lifestyle.

03. Chance to Modernize Your House:

Modernize Your House

When you relocate to a new destination, you get in touch with a new street, area, city, or even state. You meet new people in your neighbourhood, design your new home differently, settle with a new landscape, and get a fresh start giving you a change in your lifestyle.

04. Zero Immediate Maintenance Expenses:

While purchasing a new house you are sure to check on the property and the construction. This eliminates the chances of paying for maintenance expenses immediately after shifting to the new house like investing in new appliances, air-conditioning, plumbing, etc. Hence, you are free from any kind of financial troubles in terms of maintenance costs.

05. Energy Efficient Homes:

Energy Efficient Homes

The old homes aren’t integrated with green appliances. While the new or modern houses are well-equipped with solar panels, heat and sound proof materials like glass that are much helpful in reducing your electricity bills to a great extent.

Apart from all these, investing in a new house helps in getting a new house with additional space and new designs in terms of layouts. Everything in the new house is as per your needs and taste as you are provided with a clean slate to design your house in your way to upgrade it.

Cons of Relocating

01. Interim Budget:

If you want to shift to a newly purchased house, and you rely on proceeds of the sales of existing house to finance your new house, you need to have some additional or  interim budget, so that you can shift to a new house, even when the existing house is not sold, or, you sell the house, and shift to a rented house for time being and keep the search on for a new house. This would be too tiring from “moving” point of view.

02. Adds to your Costs:

Before relocating to a new house, you need to sell your house which means getting involved with a real estate agent. This adds to your costs as you pay for their fees, documentation process, mortgage costs, stamp duty costs, and much more. Similarly, as you purchase a new house, you need to pay for all these again, which makes the process expensive, complicated, and long.

03. Hectic Shifting:


Moving from one place to another can surely be a hectic process. Moving from the old house to a new house includes packing, throwing away unwanted stuff, shifting without damaging the fragile goods, upgrading the assets, etc. which adds to your stress levels.

Hence, relocating to a new house would surely add something new to your life, and if you are ready for the additional costs and shifting you can go for it.

Renovating the House

Renovating the house

As per a survey carried out in the SA., nearly 25% of the homeowners invested approximately R100 000 to R250 000 for renovation projects and home improvement in 2018. Renovation allows you to design new spaces, create a budgeted home structure, and upgrade your house technically. Renovating the house is an option widely carried out when you are living in the same location for the long term and are not ready to leave either the house or the locality.

Through renovation, you can easily update the house with modern structure and appliances without spending a good portion of your savings. For getting more ideas about renovating the house, let’s go through the pros and cons of renovating a house.

Pros of Renovation

01. Cuts Down Heavy Costs:

Compared to purchasing a new house, the cost of remodelling the house is much less. This is because you basically retain the core. Renovating doesn’t mean disturbing the entire house as you are going to work on limited areas that need changes that are affordable. Again, there are possible ways of saving a good amount on the truly beneficial renovation.

02. Personalized House:

Renovation means making changes in the existing house that makes you and your family comfortable as per your current family needs and lifestyle, and allow you to enjoy the emotional attachment. With the help of remodelling the house, you can easily fulfil the personal desires and expectations in a budget-friendly way compared to purchasing a new house. So, give your house a personalized touch to your house by making minor to major changes for a homely feel.

03. DIY Options:

Want to design your house with-in a limited budget? The DIY renovating options are surely going to help you in fulfilling your projects. Some of the easy DIY options include repainting doors, painting the walls, fixing the cabinets, updating the tiles of the bathroom, panelling the doors, hanging decors, and sprucing the old floorings. All this helps in improving the house for a high standard look.

04. Boosts the Value of your House:

Surprised? But this is a fact. Renovating the house increases the value of your house much more than the amount you spend on making the changes particularly when you do it at a minimum cost. For this, you can take the help of a home improvement specialist. Some ways you can make changes in the home and add to its value include garage and loft conversions, adding energy-efficient appliances, adding a bathroom, kitchen upgrades, garden landscaping, etc.

Hence, renovating while living in the house is a good option to make the house additionally comfortable with required improvements.

Cons of Renovation

01. Bad idea for Major Refurbishments:

Renovation means working on limited parameters of the house. If the entire house needs an over-do, remodelling is a wrong decision. Changing every room of the house during renovation is surely going to increase your cost. Thus, go for renovation only if the renovation involves a limited area of the house.

02. Too Difficult to Renovate while Staying in the House:

Renovating the house

Renovating the house means the house would be in a mess for days, weeks, or even months. This includes stressful cleaning and moving the furniture to different rooms daily which can be hectic and tiring. As against it, if you end up staying in a rental house or even a hotel, it would increase your expenses.

03. Financing Problems:

Renovating the house means huge expenses, and for dealing with the expenditure, you are sure to look for different financing options like family loans, homeowner loans, vendor loans, or payment to contractor loan. If you are thinking to pay from your savings, it could make the situation additionally difficult.

04. Future Life:

If the proposed renovation is neither increasing the value of the house nor increasing its future life, the amount invested would be a waste.

Renovating the house is a time-consuming process that might also involve complicated paperwork. So, think before you plan for renovating and consider the maintenance too.

Comparing New Home and Renovation

The decision of whether to renovate the existing house or for a new house depends on various factors that differ individually from person to person and the situation they are going through. Here are some points to consider:

  • Investing in a new house makes it easy to determine the floor plan and the layout while renovation might limit the changes, as you want
  • If you are thinking to renovate the house internally the changes in the weather wouldn’t delay your projects
  • For new construction, the weather can be a possible hurdle and might need additional weather-proofing
  • Renovating the house might add other unexpected costs apart from the main budget like plumbing, electrical system, etc. Shifting to a new house eliminates all such sudden maintenance costs
  • If the renovation costs are more than 60% of the cost of replacement of a similar house and also you are not assured of its future life, renovation is not a good idea. This is the rule of thumb..
Renovating or purchasing a new home

Hence, the decision to either renovating or purchasing a new house depends on the budget, requirements, and current situation of the house.

How About Considering Partial Deconstruction?

Are you still looking for a way out other than renovating and getting a new house? Give partial deconstruction a second thought. Partial deconstruction is an ideal choice for people who are looking to give their house a new structure or design but not having the budget for a new house. In this process, a part of the building with less value is demolished and rebuilt with a new design and structure while other areas of the house are only renovated as per your needs. Good idea! Isn’t it?

Things to Consider Before Renovating the House

When planning to renovate the house, there are still some things you need to consider before making any final decision. Here is the list you shouldn’t ignore:

01. Age & Future Life of The Existing House:

Is this the first time your building would go for a renovation? What is the age of your building now and what would be its future life after renovation? Are you holding all the past records or details of renovations? Learning about the history of the building or house is much essential before starting with renovating the house. If the building is still strong enough including the foundation, the renovation would be fruitful, however, if the base is not capable of handling the repairs and changes, all your renovation costs are surely going to be a waste after sometime.

02. Repairs and Maintenance Cost Of The Existing House:

Ready with the renovating cost for your existing house? But is that the final amount to be spent? Definitely not! Once you start with the process of renovation, various other repairs and maintenance costs would keep on getting added to your final bill like plumbing work, electrical repairs, sewage system repairs, etc. which can be both minor and major. So, before you start with the renovation, work on every corner and structure of the house to count on the repairs and maintenance cost of the house.

03. Whether The Current House Is “Out of Design”:

In most of the cases, the houses are of old designs and lack modern lifestyle, amenities and technological requirements like the latest electrical systems, energy-efficient appliances, floor plans, etc. If this is the same situation for your house, renovating the house is surely a bad option as the cost of renovation would be much more. So, if your house is totally out of design, rather than renovating the house, looking for a new house is a good option, or you can look for partial deconstruction and upgrade the interiors. If the design is outdated, there would not be any value addition, even after renovation and won’t increase market value.

Apart from all these, one also needs to work on the various requirements of the family such as parking needs, family size, functional requirements, and much more before planning the renovation.


To summarize the content, we have already discussed various aspects, pros, and cons related to both renovating the existing house and looking for a new house. Yet, the final choice depends on the personal choices of the homeowner, the structure, age and future life of the house, budget, and much more.

If you are emotionally attached to the house, love your neighbourhood, hate the hectic process of a new house, and don’t have the patience of dealing with packing and unpacking, renovation is the best suitable option to go with.

But if you are looking to give your life a new change, want to upgrade your lifestyle, and are having sufficient funds for a new house, you can surely proceed towards it.

Hope through this blog, you can make a justified move towards either renovating your house or relocating to a new house.