Renovate, rebuild or relocate?

Find out what you need to know before you decide to renovate, knockdown and rebuild or buy a new home.

If your home is in desperate need of a makeover, or you need more space, think about your options and how you’ll fund them, especially if you’re already paying off your home loan or have other debts to manage.

Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of renovating, rebuilding or moving completely!

Renovate or knockdown and rebuild

If you like where you live, you could stay put and simply refurbish your home. If you have DIY skills, you could save money on labour, but make sure you get some quotes to check if you’d be better off engaging a professional to help you.

However, if the house is very old, or in poor condition, it might be worth considering whether it‘s more cost-effective to simply knockdown your existing home, and rebuild on the same block of land. It could also improve your resale value and you can choose your style of house, provided your neighbours and council approve.


  • You won’t have to relocate, change schools or uproot the family
  • You can make changes that you want over time, when it suits you, so you may not have to pay for everything upfront
  • Recycled, pre-loved or upgraded household fixtures (bathroom taps, kitchen appliances, lighting), furnishings (curtains, blinds, floorings) and a lick of fresh paint can go a long way towards curbing your spending.


  • Your normal routines will be disrupted
  • You could have to temporarily move or pay for furniture storage
  • If the renovation is extensive, or if you’re building from scratch, it could be a time-consuming and costly exercise. Check costs in advance and keep track of your spending on our budget calculator
  • Make sure you don’t overcapitalise or spend more than you can expect to get back when you sell the property.

Just remember, if you renovate or rebuild, make sure you get your neighbours’ and council approval (which could take months) before you start. Other things to look into include whether there are any restrictions on things like house dimensions, heritage limitations or swimming pool safety requirements.


Deciding to move house is a big decision and it will impact on everything you do - from going grocery shopping to travelling to work, or picking the kids up from school.

Here are some things to consider:


  • You’ll have the opportunity to live in a new area
  • Even though moving house is a big change to your routine, it might be less disruptive compared to renovating or rebuilding
  • The property market goes up and down in cycles, so make sure you do your research before deciding on when and where to buy your next home.


  • Moving house can be time-consuming and stressful if not planned properly. Read our checklist for moving house to get some moving tips
  • If you have to borrow money to finance your move, you’ll need to make sure you can repay the loan, taking into account if interest rates rise over the term of the loan.

Money matters

Regardless of whether you renovate, rebuild or relocate, you’ll need to review your finances with a budget in mind.

If you’re thinking about moving house, read about how much it really costs to buy a property. If you need to get a home loan or increase your existing one, use our home loan calculator to work out how much your repayments could be.

Or, if you’re considering renovating or rebuilding, use our budget calculator to work out how much you could save on interest rates and fees if you finance it yourself.

What else do you need to think about?

Everyone’s circumstances are different, so you might need professional help to guide you through the maze of financial, legal and other considerations, especially if you want to manage your debt.

Think about contacting a mortgage broker, home loan specialist or a financial adviser to help you understand the impact of each option before you decide what path is right for you.

Whatever your goal, we're here to help. To help you identify and set your goals, try our tool designed to allow you to explore your goals.


Budget planner calculator

Use our Budget planner calculator to assess your current financial position and how much you may be able to invest. 

Start budgeting today

Cost of home loan calculator

Our Cost of home loan calculator allows you to determine your loan repayments and the total cost of fees.

Calculate now


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© AMP Life Limited. This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.