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The Top 5 Tips for Renovating in the Inner West

You've probably noticed the boom in property prices in Melbourne's Inner West - this increase has created a lack of affordable housing. Families are choosing to renovate their existing homes rather than relocating. This is becoming a trend as people see better value in renovating their existing home rather than selling and purchasing a new home, according to Martin Rankin of Village Real Estate.

Madeform Residence in Seddon

If you have been thinking about moving but struggle to come to terms of leaving the community (like many of our friends & clients), renovating can end up being easier on the hip pocket and might even be a smarter long term investment. Stamp duty and moving costs make it an unattractive prospect. Moving houses is consistently cited in studies as one of life's top stress makers (don't forget: we here at WE Mortgage Solutions can help you figure out if the financial and emotional costs are worth moving, or alternatively help you secure a loan to renovate).

With this renovating trend on the rise, it’s always beneficial to consult an expert. We’ve asked Yarraville based architectural builder Christian Bugeja of Madeform for his insight into renovating projects. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Christian has been delivering magazine quality renovations in the inner west. Here are his top 5 tips:

1. Get Real

First, figure out what is realistic to achieve with your budget. Renovations are never cheap (or if they are they'll cost you in the long run). Sometimes you do need to consider whether there is an option to demolish and start again; sometimes it's actually cheaper doing it that way.

2. Understand your Plan

You may have started the process, obtained plans for renovations, continuously reviewed the same plans for the past 12 months, but have failed to start as the actual process is different to what you imagined.

Don't be afraid to ask your builder and your architect lots of questions and don't ever sign anything unless you fully understand it.

3. Get in Early

Get a builder involved in your renovations early as an extra consultant. You don't even have to commit to them for the build! While a good architect should know approximately what things are going to cost, getting a builder's opinion will give you a lot more confidence of not only cost but design practicalities.

4. Budget Buys

If budget is a concern, there is always a substitute for a more expensive material. The cost is in the extra time it takes to do your research. Check out Western Distributors in Sunshine for tiles and carpets, or the Bathroom Clearance outlet on Moreland Road in Footscray for discounted bathroom and kitchen supplies.

5. Get Moving

Do move out (temporarily). All builders agree on this. Never live at home while you're having anything but the most minor of renovations completed. There will be dust and noise and people and you'll only slow things down. And don't forget to figure any renting costs into your final budget!

Madeform are the experts at bricks and mortar but WE Mortgage Solutions are the experts at money management and mortgages. Book in for a chat with us and we can help you figure out if renovating is the right choice for you.

Madeform Residences in Seddon & Yarraville

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