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The cheaper way to a new home

Mon 19th Jul 2021

Renovating the home instead of moving has never looked so good, with real estate prices soaring this past year. Some buyers are paying well above the asking price to secure a new home, so upgrading yours might be the financially viable choice.


Many people looking to move are doing so to gain extra space, so a home extension may offer a better solution. The only limitations might be the space and your imagination, with an extension able to provide anything from extra bedrooms and living areas, to a bigger laundry, kitchen or even an indoor swimming pool area. Costing between $1500 and $2500 per square metre, the average 80 square metre extension would cost between $120,000 and $200,000, which may be much cheaper than trying to outbid another buyer at auction.


If you're after extra bedrooms or recreational space, consider going up instead of out - particularly if you want to maintain the size of your backyard. reports the cost of adding a second storey to a home sits at between $1800 to $3000 per square metre. So an average 100 square metre addition would cost no more than what homebuyers today are offering above the listed price. It is not necessarily more expensive than extending a single storey.

Safety precautions should be upheld during home renovations.
Safety precautions should be upheld during home renovations.



If you have the space, a granny flat may provide the solution to your living or recreation woes. Whether granny really is moving in, you regularly have interstate visitors, or the kids are older and want to congregate away from their parents, having a separate space that is not under the main roof has many advantages. Canstar reports a granny flat costs between $70,000 and $200,000 to construct, with the price at the higher end if plumbed facilities such as a toilet or kitchen are included.


Sometimes people move to gain luxuries such as an ensuite to the main bedroom, but with a little planning and expert advice, they may not need to move at all. Interior designer Martina Hayes reports an ensuite will cost up to $25,000 to install and take up as little as a 2m by 1m space.

Granny flats are built by homeowners to try and make rental income. Picture: Supplied.
Granny flats are built by homeowners to try and make rental income. Picture: Supplied.


Many homeowners already have the space they crave but are not using it wisely. Bunnings reports converting a garage into a room or an office costs about half that of extending the home, as the main structural elements are already there. However, not all garages are suitable to convert, with minimum height and light requirements needing to be considered, so seek a builder's advice and explore the possibilities.

By Cara Jenkin