Move or Remodel? Decisions, Decisions

Does any of this sound familiar?

“Having only one bathroom is JUST. NOT. WORKING.”

“This kitchen doesn’t have enough storage space! Or counter space!”

“It would be so nice for the kids to have someplace to do their homework…and put their toys away.”

“Why do we even have a formal dining room when our guests always want to be in the kitchen?”

Move or Remodel?

Maybe your current home no longer meets your needs. It’s too small, or too big, or too old, or just the wrong layout, and you feel you need a change. So unless you’re going to just grit your teeth and hang in there, you have two options:  you can move or you can remodel your home.

There are so many factors to consider. At the moment, interest rates are low. So it might be a good time to get a mortgage …or a home equity line of credit to remodel. Decisions, decisions. We would like to offer you some things to think about so you can make the right choice for you and your family.

  • You don’t like the area/neighborhood in which you live
  • The area no longer has the services you want/need
  • Your home is much too large for you and you don’t expect you will ever need the extra space (for visiting family, for use as an office, hobby or exercise area, etc.)
  • You need to relocate for work, to be closer to family or special services, or some other reason
  • There are community or homeowner association restrictions that prevent you from making the changes you would like to your current home
  • The neighborhood is going downhill and is not likely to get better
  • You can’t afford to live in the home or the area and need to downsize and/or rent instead of own

Choose to remodel your home when…

  • You like your neighborhood
  • The cost of living is more affordable than other locations where you would move
  • You and your family are connected to the community (house of worship, schools, doctors, family, friends, organizations, etc.)
  • Your home can be remodeled to meet your new needs and done so cost effectively
  • You have enough property so you can put on an addition that will give you the extra living space that you need
  • Remodeling your home would allow you to stay in your home comfortably after retirement.
  • The cost of buying a new home and selling your current one (including real estate commissions, closing costs, and moving costs) is more than the cost of home remodeling
  • You think moving is too much of a hassle
  • There is a likelihood that you would need to fix up, customize or remodel a new home you move into anyway
  • The market is such that you won’t get a good price for your current home or your home might be on the market for a long time before being sold

While your out-of-pocket costs for a move will depend on the sale price of your home, how far you move, the amount of household items you move, etc. between real estate broker and legal fees, moving costs, etc. a move could easily add $30,000-$60,000 or more to the price tag of the moving option, in addition to the cost of the new home. These hidden costs often are overlooked when someone compares the price of a new home with the cost of remodeling.

In addition to the hidden costs, there is a lot of uncertainty in any move. Will your new neighbors be friendly? (Or will they make you wish you never moved?) Will your kids be able to adjust to a new school and teachers, making new friends, and dealing with the loss of old friends?

The decision to move or remodel can be a hard one to make. We hope that we’ve helped you consider some of the factors you might not have thought about!