Should I sell my house or renovate

Should I sell my house or renovate

Renovations, Tips and Advice, Services

Should I stay or should I go – apart from being the title of the well known 1982 song by The Clash – is a common question asked by many homeowners.

Stay and renovate or sell and look for something better? It’s a dilemma that can cause plenty of sleepless nights not to mention arguments and fights. But there is an easy way to come up with the right answer – or at the very least give you 90% of the right answer.

Let me explain how …

Whenever I am asked this question by clients I respond with three questions of my own, the answers to which typically help to make the decision for them.

Question 1: Do you love the position of your current home?

If you’re in love with your current location then obviously staying and renovating makes a lot of sense. However, if you are not completely in love with your present location buying elsewhere might be a better option.

Question 2: What changes does your current home need?

This question is actually more involved and can really only be answered by me after looking at your liveability goals. Sometimes your current home might only need a minor renovation or extension in which case you will not need to sell. But other times it might require anything from a large renovation up to a major rebuild. In cases like this, the answer to question three is vitally important.

Question 3: Are these renovations possible and financially viable?

Firstly we need to look at whether or not the proposed changes to your home are allowable under local building regulations. Assuming they can we now need to consider the cost because even if your renovation looks on the surface like it’s straightforward,  depending on your block and what’s required it might actually be a very big job. Things like access for machinery or the ground on which your home is built can have a big impact on the cost of your project and needs to be considered when weighing up your stay or go options.


So as you can see, these three questions help clarify the decision. If you don’t love your current position or if your home needs an excessive or overly expensive renovation selling and moving is the best option. However, if you love your present location and the size and cost of any required improvements are within your budget then why not stay? It makes a lot more sense.

What if you decide to sell?

If you do decide to sell chances are you will still want to renovate any new property at some stage unless you are building a brand new home from scratch.

In this situation, it pays to get advice on what will be involved in any renovations that may be required to your new home. Our Pre-Purchase Design Consultation is the perfect step to take before making your purchase. As part of this consultation, I meet you at the property you are considering purchasing and give you my feedback on what is needed and the likely costs of any renovations. I explain any potential pitfalls or challenges with the property allowing you to make a truly informed decision before you buy.

So if you’re unsure as to whether you should renovate or sell and buy elsewhere why not give us a call and let us help you explore all your options. Alternatively, if you have decided to sell and purchase elsewhere call us to arrange for a Pre-Purchase Design Consultation to ensure that your new property can achieve your liveability goals within your budget.

Dion Seminara Architect


Hi, I am Dion Seminara, practicing architect and licensed general builder for 20 years as well as an environmental sustainable design (ESD) expert. I graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with honours, QLD in 1989. Registered as an architect in 1991 and registered as a builder in 1992, I am also a fellow member of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). Having received 12 ArCHdes Residential Architecture Awards, LJ Hooker Flood Free Home Design Award and the 2016 AIA Regional Commendation for Public Architecture, my expertise with both residential renovation (to all types of houses, especially Queenslanders, 50s/60s/80s), new contemporary homes and luxury residences has earned me a reputation as one of Brisbane's architectural specialists in lifestyle design architecture, interior design and landscape design.