Moving or Renovating: Which is Right for Me?

It’s a big question that many homeowners end up asking at one time or another. The house needs work—a lot of work, in fact. There are so many things you would like to upgrade or improve, and just thinking about the energy and cash involved makes your head spin. You begin to wonder if remodeling is worth it, or whether you’d be happier trading up and moving into a new home.

Obviously there is no easy answer to this question. The best you can do is think logically about the problem and break it down to the best of your ability. Each family has different needs and goals as they decide between remodeling and moving, and each family will come to different conclusions depending on the nature of the situation.

That being said, there are some basic questions to consider, and including them in your decision making process can add valuable perspective.

A new set of problems

One consideration is that moving to a new home will not necessarily eliminate the question of remodeling. Most people undertake at least minor renovation efforts when they move to a different home, unless the home was custom built according to their plans.

Increasing market value before you sell

Statistics show that most of your investment dollars—provided your projects are expertly planned and executed—are recovered with interest in terms of your home’s resale value. Some homeowners who are on the fence about moving to a new house will choose to renovate their existing house first, then decide whether to sell. Improvements in function and aesthetics may convince you that this is the right place to be; or if you do choose to sell, you may be able to command a higher value and will often draw more interest due to your home’s updated features. However, if you’re serious about getting your investment back, it’s smart to consult a real estate pro and/or home remodeling company for their perspective on how well a given renovation will perform on the market.

A fluctuating market

The price of homes is still down nationally, and many homeowners are living with a market value that is far below what they’d like it to be. The decision to sell and take a financial hit might make sense if challenges like space and location cannot be adequately addressed by home renovation efforts. In many cases, remodeling is a way to make immediate lifestyle changes while preserving and building the home’s original value. Most homeowners, if they knew the market would improve drastically within a few years, would turn their efforts toward remodeling their existing space. The challenge is that no one knows exactly what the housing market is going to do.

The right decision for you?

Things like location, friends, neighbors, schools, and proximity to the workplace are all determining factors in this decision. Costs, market values and trends, and the stresses of moving versus remodeling are also things to consider. By asking the right questions now, and by contacting home renovation professionals to help you cost out your remodeling plans, you’ll gain a clearer perspective on which path is right for you and your family.

Thanks for reading. We welcome your thoughts and questions!