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Extend or buy a bigger home?

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  • Extend or buy a bigger home?

    Hi all,

    So we need a bigger home and I dont know if we should extend our house or just buy a bigger home. We live in Onehunga, Auckland in a two bedroom house (85sqm) on 630sqm of land.

    We had some concept plans drawn up to increase the size of the house an extra 70sqm to a total of 155sqm. Adding a third and room, second bathroom and living area. Some indicative quotes from a couple of builders are coming in at about $300k to complete the job.

    We keep going around in circles if we should renovate or just buy a bigger house for the same money but probably less land and not the same quality. We plan to move in three years and will extend if we can make some money when we sell.

    Thought i would put it on here to see if anyone had any thoughts to help make a decision.


  • #2
    Well the first thing I think of (now, after having done some development and regretted it) is the amount of stress you will put yourselves under.

    Building a house is up there with losing a loved one or being laid off in terms of stress. And a major extension is similar I would say.

    If it was me, I'd buy new house for sure.

    In terms of selling, and getting best value, a) You can provide your plans to the purchasers and b) Can you legally subdivide there? And provide some value that way?
    Squadly dinky do!


    • #3
      Given the values in Onehunga and the small size of the current home and the decent land size extending certainly makes sense from an added value point of view. Unless you can find what you want elsewhere I would extend. At least you can do exactly what you want and end up with something somewhat customised. Extensions need not be overly disruptive depending of course on whether you are moving kitchens and bathrooms etc.
      Sort of comes down to your own attitude towards the work involved. But unless you can find something else that is for sale and on terms that allow you to get your current home sold then extending is possibly the better option.


      • #4
        Given you have not started the extension process yet, and plan to sell in 3 years, can you make another bedroom or space in some other and less expensive way. Say an attic bedroom, a studio or storage place in the yard, a caravan.

        $300k is a lot to spend and a lot of stress for an uncertain return. And that $300k might well move upwards. Selling and buying another house is also expensive and stressful. Either option, by the time the work or move is done you'll be a year down the track anyway.


        • #5
          Depending where the house is located have you considered building a whole new home round back and rent out the front smaller house? maybe even subdivide on completion.
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          • #6
            I would suggest thinking about your debt and income levels.

            Can you make the payments on an extra $300k of debt? Can you then pay this off quickly over say 10 years? What happens if interest rates go up?

            In my opinion the best way to get ahead financially is to get debt free on personal house. Therefore I would look at the options to keep your debt as low as possible and your interest costs as low as possible. I know no one likes hearing this, but many New Zealanders get into trouble by getting a bigger house, with bigger costs and then struggle each year just to meet the costs. They often actually go backward each year, and need the house to jump up in value to survive.

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            • #7
              I have just recently (2016) changed a two bedroom into a three. It was my own house. It was 110 sqs, so more room than you have available. I did alot of work myself to save the pennies (removed all the old walls, carpet, put up some of the framing) it cost 62k. Why I mention this, is it possible for you to create another room from your current foot print. I own two properties with slightly smaller foot prints (84, 85sq) that are 3 bedroom. Maybe ask a draftsmen to have a look?

              The down side, is living in a reno, time expectations and cost blow outs.

              You mention moving in three years, so I personally would only look at what I could do with minimal cost outlay.



              • #8
                We did something similar to Peter Griffin, turned a double bedroom into 2 smaller bedrooms with built in loft beds. The builder that did most of the work had just come off a new apartment complex (large) and said that what we considered a single room was at least as big as double rooms in the new apartments. This is a 1930s bungalow and rooms were bigger then.

                Some good books around on storage solutions for small spaces, also it is quite common for children, even teenagers, to prefer small bedrooms.


                • #9
                  We did a similar project
                  Changed a 140m2 ,2 bedroom ,1930's bungalow into a 3 bedroom house.
                  Major change was large laundry (with a copper) reduced to a cupboard, kitchen and bathroom increased substantially .


                  • #10
                    I have no experience with such developments but $300k for that extensions seems like a reasonable amount of money and I bet you that the total cost will creep up further.

                    Our only knowledge is adding additional bedrooms within the existing boundaries of the house which I would recommend for you given that your current 2 bedroom is > 80sqm which is ideal for a 3 bedroom.
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                    • #11
                      $300k seems excessive IMO but maybe not for Auckland. I'd been inclined to go ahead IF you intended to stay here longer term. However, even if you do decide to sell you should make money if it is done right.

                      Did a reno on my bach last year, increased from a tiny 2 bedroom (60m2) to 100m@ by adding a lounge (20m2) and 3rd (main) bedroom above it. Came in bang on budget at $100k for 40m2 additional space (including an upstairs and balcony which increased costs). I helped out builders where I could (during my holidays and weekends) so probably saved $10k overall by helping out- and no toilets/plumbing to increase the costs.



                      • #12
                        Over $4000 per m2, are you getting gold plated walls as part of the build. That seems excessive pricing. Most houses are now around 2k m2 so would have thought 150k ish for 70m2 extension. Only one bathroom, no kitchen (which is expensive) and 2 rooms, pretty basic.
                        Plan and invest wisely - You only get one life so make the most of it!