Renovate or Start from Scratch?

The new year is finally here, and with it often comes the need for change and growth. If you are feeling as if your home no longer suits your needs, you’ll be faced with three main choices. Renovate, start from scratch and build, or move houses. If you decide to move, you may find you need to renovate parts of the new property, so in reality the question is: “Should I renovate or start from scratch?”

Our Real Estate agents and Property Management team are asked this question almost every week. It’s a tricky one as there is no easy answer and lots to take into consideration. Are you a current homeowner looking to improve your current living situation, or are you a future homeowner, wanting to know the most affordable way to secure the home of your dreams?

Current Homeowner

If you are wanting to improve the liveability of your current home but can’t decide whether to renovate room by room or to knock it all down and start afresh, read on.

First, you’ll need to review your financial situation and evaluate your budget. Both approaches (renovating or building) will accrue significant costs and you’ll to ensure you have the money at hand to suit your decision.

Next, think about your lifestyle, both now and in the future. If you have young children, will you need more space as they grow, and if so, will that affect how many rooms you will need? If your children are teenagers, are you thinking you’d like to downsize a little, but refresh the bathrooms and kitchen?

It is not always cheaper to build new than to renovate and not all homes can be demolished, especially those with historical listings (often located in older, more established and exclusive suburbs). Character zoning can heavily restrict your ability to demolish, so be sure to do a little research on the home and then make the appropriate application to council.

Leaning towards renovating? Don’t forget to consider the standard of construction and how that may influence the cost of the renovation – it may be cheaper in the first place, but if you are planning on living in the home for 15-20 years, you’ll want workmanship and materials that will stand the test of time.

Future Homeowners

If you don’t yet own a home, there are a few points of difference between renovating and building.

First, your desired location will be one of the biggest influences on whether you renovate or start from scratch. If you want to live close to Perth city, you’re more likely to be looking at renovating an established home, mostly due to the shortage of land only blocks close to the city. However, think carefully about you whether you can live in a home that is undergoing renovations, or can afford to wait until the renovations are complete before moving in.

If you don’t mind moving a little further out or have a big enough budget to build wherever you like, then start by getting some professional advice. This will help establish some ideas around creating a new home that’s within your budget, and that matches your lifestyle needs, both current and future.


With a predicted property shortage in Perth, there has never been a better time to buy an investment property. Renovating an existing property can give a fast turnaround on investment, with a refreshed bathroom or kitchen adding rental value to your property in a fairly expedient manner.

If you have more time on your hands, building a new home as an investment is another great option. The outer suburbs have some fantastic blocks available, perfect as rental properties in the future. And here at ACTON, our experienced Property Management team can help you manage your property in a stress free manner.


Before deciding whether to renovate or start from scratch there are a few steps to take:

  • Define your budget – realistically
  • Decide where you want to live – then choose a slightly cheaper second location
  • Decide on your desired interior design – this can affect the cost of building and renovating
  • List your needs – your ‘absolutes’ and your ‘can do without’s
  • Ask yourself if you are comfortable living in the home during a renovation or whether accommodation needs to be added to your budget
  • Write out your long-term lifestyle needs
  • If the home is to be an investment property, decide whether you will manage it, or whether you’ll need professional help

What should you do – Renovate or Start from Scratch?

The honest answer is, it’s a personal choice. Start by looking around at our current available properties for some inspiration, and take it from there. The house of your dreams may be out there already, just waiting for you to find it.

Why choose ACTON Real Estate?

ACTON is a dominant player in the buying and selling of many elite properties in Perth’s most sought after suburbs and locations. Our offices are strategically located around the elite Swan River suburbs and up and down our wonderful coastline, from Mandurah to Mindarie. We are proud of our highly personalised service and in-depth market knowledge. The ACTON 2021 Group is comprised of young, highly experienced individuals directly involved in the monitoring and progression of our exciting ACTON Group into the next decade – and we are ready to help guide you towards achieving your property dreams.

If you’d like to talk to someone more about your options, contact us today.