Your next home or renovating
If you’re at the point where your home no longer meets your needs, whether your house is bursting at the seams or in need of some love, we can help you understand your options to create your perfect space. The choice to buy or renovate can be complex. Starting with understanding what you need vs what you can afford should help clarify your options.
Buying your next home
Consider your needs vs your wants
Understand the reasons why you need to move and the features you’re looking for in your next home. Whether it’s more space, a different layout or a new location, be clear on what is a must have vs. a nice to have in your new property.
Selling before you buy
Selling before you buy means you could avoid having to cover two mortgages at once. If your current mortgage is with us you could even keep the same loan for your next place, which means you won’t need to pay an establishment fee for a new loan.
Buying before you sell
If you've found a new home, and haven't sold the old one, we may be able to help you manage your two mortgages until you sell your existing property. A bridging home loan lets you finance the purchase of a new home while your current property is on the market.
Keeping your first home as an investment
Another option you could consider is turning your existing home into a rental property. If you have equity available in your home, depending on your circumstances, you may be able to use this towards the deposit on your new home.
Although it might be tempting to dive in head first, putting in the planning and preparation before starting a renovation could really pay dividends in the long run. Once you know what you want to do, there are a number of options for financing your renovation.
Planning your renovation
Know what you want to do
This might seem obvious, but the bedrock of a successful renovation is knowing from the outset exactly what it is you want to achieve. The easiest way is to go from room to room and make a list of anything you’d like to change.
When you’ve got a list of what you want to achieve you’ll be in a good position to start prioritising. If you think there’s more on the list than what you can comfortably afford, this is a good opportunity to start knocking off some things from the bottom of the list. In other cases you may be able to compromise (cutting back on going for high-end fittings, for example).
Get quotes and prices
It’s a good idea to get at least three quotes for every aspect of your renovation – that means everything from pricing builders and plumbers to getting different costs for kitchen cabinets. These quotes are integral for working out your budget.
Get the paperwork and approvals in order
Depending on what your renovation encompasses, you may need to get council approval. You should also consider body corporate approval (if you’re in a unit) and any heritage restrictions.
Financing your renovation
Save up and pay for it in cash
Set a goal and you could use a high interest savings account to help accumulate enough to cover the work you want to do.
Redraw from your loan account or use funds in your offset account
If you’ve been making additional repayments on your home loan, you may be able to redraw some of the funds to cover your renovation. Alternatively, if you have money in your offset account, you may choose to fund the renovation that way. If you redraw, your loan balance will increase (as you’ve take out some of the additional payments you made) and if you take money from your offset, your interest payments will increase (as you’re not offsetting as much interest). Be sure to factor these things in to your budget.
Use the equity available to you and increase your home loan
If your home has increased in value or you’ve paid down your loan, you may have equity available that you could use to fund your renovation. To access that equity to pay for renovations you would need to apply for a home loan increase. If you’re a Westpac customer you could use Westpac Wonder to look at the available equity you may have.
Review your current home loan and consider refinancing.
Whether you refinance with your existing financial institution or move to a new one, when you’re planning a renovation it’s a good idea to review your current home loan. In doing so you may be able to access features such as redraw and offset. Different home loans will offer varying features (such a redraw and offset) and interest rates, making some loans more suitable for you, particularly if you’re planning to renovate and require more flexibility. Find out more
Residential Construction Loans
This loan is designed specifically for those building a new home or renovating an existing property. Importantly, funds are only released as each stage of construction is completed. This saves you money, as you only pay interest on the progress payments made until the loan is fully drawn.
A personal loan may be an option for financing renovations but they do generally attract higher interest rates than a home loan. Find out more
Things you should know
- 6 month Home Loan Approval in Principle
A Home Loan Approval in Principle tells you the amount Westpac could lend you based on your current financial situation. This helps set your home buying budget, which means you can house hunt with confidence. It’s important to know this is only the first stage of the home loan approval process and it’s not yet an agreement to give you a home loan. The next stage of the home loan approval process happens once you find the property you want to buy. At this stage we do an assessment based on your property of choice and your current financial situation.
A Home Loan Approval in Principle Certificate is valid for 6 months. If you don’t find a property after 3 months you will need to contact us to confirm your financial situation hasn’t changed, for the certificate to remain valid.
- RP Data Property Report
While the RP Data property reports are offered to Westpac customers with the permission of RP Data Pty Ltd ABN 67 087 759 171, Westpac accepts no responsibility for their accuracy or completeness. We recommend you seek independent advice before making a decision based on this information.
To access Westpac Wonder you must be a Westpac online banking customer. Credit criteria, fees and charges apply.
This information does not take your personal objectives, circumstances or needs into account. Consider its appropriateness to these factors before acting on it.