Buy new or renovate?


*This post is a collaboration with Cordell Projects*

We’ve all heard horror stories.

Shiny, thick, black hair has been replaced by silver streaks or a little bald patch.

The size 8 jeans that used to fit perfectly are now but a distant memory.

Crystal clear skin has made way for spotty-spot face.

Stress levels are through the roof and you and your husband are bickering as though you’ve been married for 50 years.

We all know what I’m talking about don’t we?

You got it. Renovations.

I’m a location kinda gal – always have been. The first property we bought was on the Gold Coast; a cute little 2 bedroom apartment by the beach. And we renovated it a bit.

We could have bought a house in the ‘burbs for the price we paid but you know what they say about location location location!

Our obsession with location location location started when we lived in Auckland, NZ – in what was our first football adventure away from our hometown of Sydney.

My then Hubby was 21 and I was 22 and as we were classified as the younger ones in the team (those were the days), we were accommodated in a lovely house owned by the club chairman.

When we first rocked up to the abode we would soon call our home, we were startled to discover we lived across the road from a farm of significant proportions.

Roosters cock-a-doodle-doo’d in the morning.

Sheep baaa’d in the afternoon.

Cows moo’d at night.

I truly felt as if I had been transported to the twilight zone… far from the comforts of the concrete jungle I was used to. And if I knew one thing from then on it was that I would always be a city girl and that this little rural area in Auckland was anything but the location location location I so craved.

Our next stop was Holland, where we decided to pay an exorbitant amount of money for a one bedroom dump in the middle of a gorgeous town called Hilversum.

But being right in the centrum (centre) meant it was the best money we ever spent. We hardly drove anywhere – shops, cafe’s, restaurants… they were right at our leather-gloved and freezing fingertips.

And it was then we decided that no matter where we lived in the world – we would be amongst it. No big and beautiful house would ever be worth living in the sticks. For us.


Having said that, I know many people that would sacrifice area for a beautiful house so each to their own and whatever floats your boat is what I say!

So with all that very important information out of the way, I want to disclose that we have been looking for an investment house to buy –  one that would eventually (once all this crazy football stuff is over) be our permanent home to live in.

It actually feels weird even writing the word permanent since this life as a football family is anything but.

But looking for a family home to settle in forever as opposed to now now now is a different thing, isn’t it?

I mean. Space. Bedrooms. Bathrooms. Backyard. Storage.

Location location location admittedly does seem less important when you have two little rugrats and their needs to accommodate.

But what if I don’t want to sacrifice on location? What about if it’s a non-negotiable for me but we just do not have the funds to buy the perfect family home – inclusive of the white wooden kitchen that I see in my dreams – in the area we love?

The bottom line is that beautiful areas with all the amenities and cafe’s and boutique’s are expensive to live in. Fact.

So we’ve decided to buy a dump in the perfect location and either knock it down or renovate. To something we love. Something our taste. Something within our budget.


Sure, I might lose a few hairs in the process and will possibly have to eat plenty of chocolate fudge cake to de-stress during the building process. And perhaps my husband will go completely grey while bickering with his fruitcake wife about why that white wooden kitchen is taking so long but once it’s all over we’ll have the house of our dreams. Right?

Back to budget.

How do we know how much we can spend on the dump before we know how much the house will cost to build?

Cordell Construction Projects can make building, renovating or DIY that much easier for home owners and renovators. They can provide the latest building cost information on building materials, labour and equipment hire because guesstimates when you are talking lots of money aren’t that helpful.

They can also provide flexible delivery options such as printed books and fully functional online estimating solutions. And they have a web-based estimating software saving both the spenders (us) and builders time and money.

We’ve overspent before on a project and it was shock to the system to say the least.


Wish us luck on our dump-hunt. And on our impending renovations which are bound to be stressful but hopefully less so with companies like Cordell that make the process that much easier.

What do you think? Are you someone that prefers to buy new and/or perfect or do you prefer to renovate?


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