Renovating is exciting but before you start knocking down walls, it pays to do some investigating.

Home owners decide to renovate either because their house is in desperate need of an overhaul, because they want more space or because they want to prepare their property for sale.

Renovating is a big undertaking, particularly if there is a lot of work to be done and can often mean additional costs, particularly if you need to move out and rent while the work is being done.

The people who renovate successfully spend as much, if not more time examining their options as they do making the actual changes. This is important as you don’t want to over-capitalise, i.e. spend so much that your house is worth more than anyone would be willing to pay for it.

At the outset, particularly if you are renovating to sell, consider doing some background research into your area. If it is family friendly with lots of local schools, perhaps an extra bedroom is a good idea. An urban location might be boosted in value with the inclusion of a contemporary courtyard and the integration of indoor / outdoor living.

If you are planning a renovation, magazines and websites are a great place to start. You can find inspiration for style, designs and even fittings from sites such as Pinterest and Houzz.com.au and bookmark your choices as you go so that you can keep track.

When you fall in love with something online, track down local stockists and make a note of the price so that you can work to a budget. This kind of ‘big picture’ thinking can take place over months or even years while you decide what will be best for your home. Sites such as www.renovateforprofit.com.au can also give you ideas as well as practical tips for the things that you will be able to save money on by doing it yourself.

When you have gathered your ‘vision’ for your renovation from magazines and websites, talk to an architect or building designer about what is possible for your property. They should be able to give you an idea of what is possible as well as a ballpark cost. What is also important is checking out your local council website and finding out if your changes will require approval or a permit before you get started.

In terms of finding a decent builder, online sites such as hipages.com.au can help you to connect with someone who is available in your area. Getting quotes from two or three different operators will give you an idea of the average cost of your renovations.

Once you have an idea of the costs in mind, you need to figure out what you can actually afford! A licensed broker will be able to talk to you about accessing equity, which is the difference between the amount of money you owe on your home and what it is worth. A broker will give you advice on how you can leverage the value of your property to give it a new lease of life with a renovation.

LJ Hooker Home Loans can help you assess your renovation, give you expert local knowledge on market trends in your area and assist with your finance.

Parents retreat or rumpus room – don’t let the children drive you mad a minute longer, call LJ Hooker Home Loans and let them help you find the right renovation solution!