You love your house, but you’re starting to think it no longer provides what you need or want in a home. Maybe your family has grown or you’re working from home and could use a few more rooms. Should you stay and renovate the home you love? Or should you list it and move to a house that better fits your needs? Renovating or relocating requires careful thought and investment of time and money. Before you decide, make sure you:
- – Crunch the numbers. What makes financial sense for you?
- – Ask yourself what you’d miss about your current home or neighborhood
- – Evaluate your long-term goals
- – Ask if the timing is right
You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of each option to determine which solution is right for you.
- – If you love your home and neighborhood, renovating what you already have may be the best choice. Whether you’re starting a DIY project in your kitchen, finishing the basement, or adding a master suite, renovating is an opportunity to create a customized solution that fits your needs and tastes.
- – Remodeling typically boosts a home’s value if you choose the right project. Whether you’re a homeowner or an investor using a 1031 exchange, an extra bedroom or bathroom you add now could pay dividends later when you eventually sell.
- – Choosing to renovate rather than move could ultimately save money when you consider the cost of closing fees, real estate agent commission, and moving expenses associated with buying a new home.
- – Even straightforward remodeling projects are a disruption to daily life. Remodeling can take anywhere from a few weeks to six months or longer, depending on the scope of the project, so you’ll need all your patience while living in a construction zone.
- – Surprise costs can cause a remodeling budget to spiral out of control. Use a reputable contractor to keep the project on track.
- – Renovating does not guarantee a higher sale price in the future. Some projects have an 80–90% return on investment, while others barely break even.
- – If selling your current home would allow you to pay off your mortgage, make a down payment on a new home, and cover closing costs and moving expenses, purchasing a home might make better financial sense than renovating.
- – Would moving result in a better school district for your kids, a shorter commute, or more amenities? Make a list of needs and wants to help you decide on must-haves features and where you can be flexible. Moving is an opportunity to ensure your new home has everything you need, including the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms to a floor plan you love.
- – If you know you simply don’t have the time or patience for the remodeling process, moving avoids that stress altogether. If you want a fast and easy sale, you can sell to a company that buys houses for cash — although you’re likely to make more selling on the open market.
- – Closing costs, inspection fees, real estate agent commission, and pre-sale repairs can make moving an expensive option. Make sure relocating is a cost-effective choice before you start packing.
- – Moving is stressful. Finding the perfect home that checks all your boxes may require significant time and patience. Will you have buyer’s remorse if you don’t find the home of your dreams and settle for less?
- – Research the market where you’re looking to relocate and consider if this is the right time to move. A real estate professional can provide an honest assessment of market trends and whether conditions are favorable for home buyers. It might be better to put your plans on hold until they improve.