Houses have changed in a generation. The twentieth century seems like eons ago. How did we live without a remote garage door, an ensuite and an induction stove top? So much change in so little time and yet driving down the road the houses don’t seem that different. Let’s have a look at the changes in housing and if we should stick it out and renovate or go forth and build.

House design in the past couple of decades has seen us enjoying the renovation of older 1950’s homes to an incredible spread in the outer suburbs of new, big, McMansions. We are now seeing a merge to smaller, sustainable houses and people are investing more in energy efficiency and smart home technology to keep the bills down and programme the heating at the touch of a button.

Up until the 1970’s kitchens were small pokey rooms tucked away at the rear of the house and have evolved to become one of the most important and expensive rooms in the house; sporting lavish countertops, expensive appliances and are now light filled, open plan hubs of the home for the family to congregate. Now that kitchens have become increasingly popular the need for a formal dining room has diminished and they are often converted into studies or playrooms.

Last century we saw indoor toilets as a luxury and if you visit some older houses today in the inner suburbs of Brunswick, Fitzroy and even Kew you might see the remnants of the outdoor dunny. Thank goodness that’s changed. We now have an abundance of bathrooms with new houses seeing an average of two to three glamorous bathrooms; we are living in an age of double vanities, sunken baths, and sleek faucets; our bathrooms have become our luxury in home spa.

It’s easy to see how renovating an old home can eat into the finances, so it’s important to weigh up the pro’s and con’s. To get a more accurate idea as to how much your renovation will cost see an architect or building designer, they can work with you in creating a space that meets you and your family’s circumstances and budget.

Examine your current lifestyle and prioritise your needs; you may require access to public transport, schools, shops and/or medical facilities; make a list of what’s important. If you’ve purchased a home because of its character such as ceiling roses, or old timber floors it may be worth renovating for its period features. Location is always a priority and should be factored into your decision to renovate or relocate.

Weigh up the costs of moving into the dream home against the costs of renovating. Check the investment potential in your area and remember not to over-capitalise. May you be renovating, building or buying it’s always important to liaise with professionals and discuss tactics for the best scenario. Speak with your local real estate agent, local council, builder, mortgage broker and financial planner. With a little planning and attention your future house will become your home.