• How long do you want to live in your property?
  • Is it a short term or a long term home investment?
  • Is it just money you’re investing or is it more?

For many reasons it’s better to stay for as long as possible and adapt your home to suit the needs of your life at different stages.


TIP: Having a long term strategic plan for your property optimises your chances of staying there rather than move when you up-size, downsize and retire, all of which incur a significant cost!


Plan ahead:

Most people buying a property will have an idea how they want to adapt it to suit their needs, usually for the short term. If they want to start a family they might think about the medium term, say ten years in the future. This might include a second bathroom or another bedroom but, beyond that…what then?

One reason to stay is stamp duty. In NSW it will be with us for the foreseeable future. Given Sydney property prices, it represents a significant cost. Wouldn’t it be better to put that money into your home rather than another state tax?

There is another aspect which could be considered a cost and that’s the social effect. Some areas might be looked upon as semi-transient: people buy in and stay for a few years before moving on. This can erode a sense of community, a quality sought after and which, in turn increases property value.

Adapting your property:

Adapting your property in the short term with medium and long-term uses allowed for during initial planning makes alterations for future stages in life clearer and easier. You can increase living area as your needs and earning capacity grow. Another aspect not usually considered during early planning is liveability in later years. As we age mobility and safety become concerns that usually require alterations. At a stage when income tends to be lower, planning inherent in the layout pays off. Simple things like wider corridors and stairs, allowing for grab rails and ramps (if required) so they don’t look like afterthoughts, all make big differences and provide for long term liveability and social sustainability.

Hebden Architects are leaders in Adaptable Architecture for long term living. Contact Andrew Hebden on (02) 9799 5252 or via the website.

Thanks for reading,
Andrew Hebden