Phone: 0408 671 524

As the owners of a 1932 Californian Bungalow this question has messed with our minds over the past few years. When we bought we assumed that we would… knock down the back, do it up, make it all awesome and we would do that for a couple of hundred grand. We were wrong and we were probably blinded by the Renovation shows and Reality TV that made it look easy and fun. It isn’t easy and it’s not fun. It’s not cheap either.

Making the decision to knock down and requires many thoughtful considerations (and generally agreement between partners) including:


1. Do we like the area?

You establish friendships in the area and your children do as well. You know the best café’s and you feel at home, so you would rather not move too far if you can avoid it. If you’re close to help and support then that is a consideration too. Someone smart said it takes a community to raise a child.


2. How long are we staying for?

If you plan on staying a while then renovation costs (or stamp duty if you move) can be amortised over several years. If you don’t want to stay long then you need to consider whether any expenditure will be recouped upon sale. If not, keep your cash in your pocket and let the next owners do what they want to the place.


3. What is our budget?

The old budget consideration – if you have the means then you have more options. Simple as that. Best to chat with a Broker to assess your borrowing capacity.


4. Where will the kids go to school and how will they get there?

You are going to ferrying kids around (unless Driverless cars have arrived en masse) to and from school and to their various extracurricular commitments as well so it’s wise to consider this. Look carefully into your public transport options, including buses and trams and these may influence whether you stay or find somewhere else.


5. How much space do we need?

The kids might be ok sharing a bedroom now and we might think it’s cute that the kids like to hang around us a lot, but it might not be that way forever. The number of bedrooms and the location of the man cave will be critical considerations (let alone the home office!)


6. Am I up for the challenge?

Don’t under-estimate the time, effort and cost involved. Add 10% to everything as a general rule and you might get close.


From a lending perspective, the type of loan will depend on the decisions that you make.  You may require a Construction Loan if you are doing extensive renovations or building a new home, or you may be able to fund minor home improvements (say under $100k) by increasing your existing loan. The best thing to do is have a chat with an experienced Mortgage Broker and work through the options.

What are we going to do with our old Bungalow? We still haven’t figured it out but we like the area, the neighbors and our friends more than the house itself so we’ll probably knock it down and start again. Wish us luck.

Douglas Piening is a Mortgage and Finance Broker with Piening Financial Solutions and is passionate about providing advice you can trust. Whether it’s buying a home, refinancing a loan, investing, building or renovating, Doug brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to assist with your lending needs.

You can contact Doug at or (m) 0408 671 524.

Want to hear what clients have said about working with Doug? Take a look at these reviews from LinkedIn and Facebook.

This information is of a general nature only and does not constitute professional advice. You should always seek professional advice in relation to your particular circumstances.