Home & Garden What to buy? Bigger house or renovate smaller house?

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LennyHayes77

Club Legend
Aug 24, 2017
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So current situation is me and my partner are currently renting but the owners have stated they want to sell. We have the lease until January so currently house hunting.

We were offered the house we are in now by the owners for 420k. Not a bad deal, suburb is pretty good, maybe a little further north-east of the cbd we ideally want to be but not hugely important for me. Buying it would be convenient, as we wouldn't have to move etc but it's only a 3x1 (although on a 600m² block) and we essentially want at least a 3x2 or 4x2.

The houses we are looking at with the extra bathroom are starting at low 500k (smaller blocks) up to 600k (which is really pushing the limit on what we can afford)

So my question is would we be better off buying a bigger house at the top of our price range and save the hassle of renovating/extensions. Or buying our current rental for almost 100k cheaper and adding an extra bathroom (space isn't an issue). Saves us moving now but adds in extra stress doing major renos.
 

Caesar

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Mar 3, 2005
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I mean there are a lot of possible factors to consider, but if the only thing you really care about is having an extra bathroom - well, you can usually add that for a hell of a lot less than $100K

If it was me I would probably at least look at the difference in land values - i.e. is the extra $100K you're paying simply for a bigger house, or is it also in a more desirable area where the land is worth more?

If you're paying for more/better land then it's easier to justify as an investment because land appreciates. Physical buildings depreciate in value so you kind of want to minimise your spend there where possible.
 

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LennyHayes77

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Aug 24, 2017
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Yeah my preffered option is to buy the rental but it's a hard sell to the Mrs!

Does anyone have any experience/price guides on how much an added bathroom would likely cost? It would need the house to be extended as there isn't enough room to just force one into the existing space.
 

Shell

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Jul 2, 2005
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Yeah my preffered option is to buy the rental but it's a hard sell to the Mrs!

Does anyone have any experience/price guides on how much an added bathroom would likely cost? It would need the house to be extended as there isn't enough room to just force one into the existing space.
Not even a tiny shower/toilet/basin combo?


*idk sorry no idea.
 

LennyHayes77

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Not even a tiny shower/toilet/basin combo?


*idk sorry no idea.
Not really, no. The house is designed with the bathroom in the centre and access from all 3 rooms basically. The Plan would be to brick off the door to that bathroom in the main room, and extend that room enough to have space for an extra bathroom.
The extra space I was talking about earlier is outside, plenty of space to extend in any direction really.
 

Scotland

TheBrownDog
May 5, 2006
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Speaking from experience it's not that hard to add a bathroom provided it's got easy access to water, power and drainage.

I have a kitchen, bathroom and laundry all along one wall of the house. You can see where the copper water pipes go in, PVC pipes come out etc. If I wanted to add another bathroom along that wall it wouldn't be that hard, but if I wanted to do it on the opposite side of the house it's a different proposition. I'm lucky in that there is a cavity floor so there's probably just enough height to plumb the drainage from a shower, toilet etc. to the existing sewage line. If it's a house built on a slab then you can't do that. There's a good reason people often extend with a second storey and then have one bathroom on top of the other.
 

Kram

I'll brik u
May 2, 2007
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Don't think running new copper for H/C water over to a new location would be that difficult for the plumber, access to drainage would be the main issue.

edit - what city is the OP able to buy a basic house for $420k?
 

Melvin

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Aug 1, 2012
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How big are you mate? I'd recommend going for something with ceilings at least 60cm above your head. Or more if you are considering putting in some ceiling fans.
 

Herne Hill Hammer

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Jun 22, 2008
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Yeah my preffered option is to buy the rental but it's a hard sell to the Mrs!

Does anyone have any experience/price guides on how much an added bathroom would likely cost? It would need the house to be extended as there isn't enough room to just force one into the existing space.
Have you got kids? Do you need that ensuite / 2nd bathroom right now at this very minute?
 

LennyHayes77

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Aug 24, 2017
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Speaking from experience it's not that hard to add a bathroom provided it's got easy access to water, power and drainage.

I have a kitchen, bathroom and laundry all along one wall of the house. You can see where the copper water pipes go in, PVC pipes come out etc. If I wanted to add another bathroom along that wall it wouldn't be that hard, but if I wanted to do it on the opposite side of the house it's a different proposition. I'm lucky in that there is a cavity floor so there's probably just enough height to plumb the drainage from a shower, toilet etc. to the existing sewage line. If it's a house built on a slab then you can't do that. There's a good reason people often extend with a second storey and then have one bathroom on top of the other.
Yeah the new bathroom would go in a room right behind the other bathroom so pipes etc should be a huge issue. It's the extending of the actual house that is the big issue!
Don't think running new copper for H/C water over to a new location would be that difficult for the plumber, access to drainage would be the main issue.

edit - what city is the OP able to buy a basic house for $420k?
Perth
Have you got kids? Do you need that ensuite / 2nd bathroom right now at this very minute?
No kids yet but we are probably only a year or 2 away at looking at having 1 or 2 so a second bathroom is future proofing the house.
 

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Hoops

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 30, 2004
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I'm extending with a new lounge and laundry about 50 square metres and have quotes in the low 200ks. Just ridiculous the price for tradies at the moment and ScoMos builders grant is not helping as demand has pushed prices even higher.
 

Flash of power

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Aug 19, 2013
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Location, location, location, the only three rules that really matter in real estate. If you are the worst house in the best street in a good suburb renovate. If you are in the best house in the worst street in the worst suburb - get the hell out and buy somewhere else.
 

Jack Richards

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Apr 10, 2015
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I would buy a new one for the all the hassle mate. No hidden surprises and not trying to squeeze or add on rooms to the existing floor plan.

Also you could probably get better house and land packages in estates and have the security knowing everything is new.
 

Gralin

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Apr 8, 2010
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It really depends on a few things
How willing you are to live in a place during a reno
how much work the place would need for you to be happy with it
how much more a ready made place is
whether either of them are where you want to live
 

Gralin

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Also whether the house you are in makes sense to reno, floor plan etc
compare the time and effort of the work to the purchase of another place

for us it didn't make sense to reno, the floorplan wasn't great and the reno would have involved gutting the interior, we would have needed to move out for the work to be done, when you added the cost of that onto the reno's for us buying a better place was the easy choice
 

Shell

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Jul 2, 2005
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It really depends on a few things
How willing you are to live in a place during a reno
how much work the place would need for you to be happy with it
how much more a ready made place is
whether either of them are where you want to live
Good point first point.

Ive lived thru new carpet and a new kitchen and both of those were annoying enough
 

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