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Remodel or Move?

Remodel or Move: How do I know what to do!?

Most families experience this pivotal question at some point in their lives – do I remodel my current home or do I move to a new home?  Often, the first time families experience this is when little ones arrive; suddenly, their home does not feel big enough.  Then, once the children are grown up and off to college, their house feels to big.

Whatever your lifestyle change is, how do you know whether to move or to remodel?  We’ll give you some key factors to consider when addressing this important (and expensive!) decision.

 

Feasibility of Remodel

The first thing to ask yourself when thinking about remodeling or moving is: is a remodel/addition even possible?  If you live in a house with a small lot, you may not be able to add on a large addition to accommodate a growing family.  A quick phone call to your local governing authority will give you details about the “buildability” of your property.  There are often restrictions on how close your home can come to the edge of your property.  Your dream addition may not be possible of it does not align with the various zoning laws and codes in your area.

But keep in mind that sometimes moving around walls and changing the layout of your current home can be enough to accommodate a family’s needs.  If your home is separated into many separate spaces, combining rooms may give you the extra space you were looking for or the open concept space you had always dreamed of.

 

“Must Have” List

If you are hoping to transform your suburban bungalow into a seaside oasis that simply isn’t possible with a remodel. There may be certain things on your wish list that just cannot be fixed with a remodel – like the example mentioned above.  Some important things about your home that cannot be changed are the home’s location, the neighborhood you live in, your school district, accessibility to highways, etc.  And if any of these is what you want changed the most, it looks like a move should be in your future.

 

Current Home Value

Another important factor in determining whether to remodel or move is thinking about the current value of your home. Is your home already the biggest, nicest, and most expensive home on the block?  If so, it’s likely you will not get a good return on your investment if you decide to remodel or add an addition.  If your home is the smallest home in your neighborhood than it’s likely it has a lower value than your neighbors’ homes.  In this instance, remodeling or adding on could greatly increase the value of your home when you decide to sell in the future.

 

Availability and Pricing of Inventory

It may not be the best idea to move if home prices are at their peak or if there are not many homes on the market.  You should have a good understanding of what is available in your area that fits all of your “must haves.”  If it is too expensive to buy a new home with all of your “must haves” then maybe a remodel would be a more economical decision.  There is also no point taking on the expense of moving if your future home does not have all of the “must haves” on your list, so you should constantly check the inventory in your area to see if the type of home you are looking for exists and fits your budget.

 

Cost

The cost of a remodel is expensive.  So is the cost of buying a new house and moving.  Depending on the type of remodel, it’s likely that you would get all or most of your investment back upon selling your home.  But when you are buying a new home there is a huge up-front investment (closing costs, cost of moving, other fees) that you will never get back.

 

While this list is by no means comprehensive it is a starting point that can help you evaluate whether you should move or remodel.  Good luck

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