Move or Remodel? - 4 questions to help you decide.

Real Estate

Have you been debating whether to move or remodel the home you're in now? When faced with this crossroads, there are four important things to consider:

1. Your home’s value compared to the rest of the neighborhood
2. How much you love your neighborhood
3. The size of your lot 
4. Costs associated with moving.

Just about everything else—remodeling costs, the hassle of living in a construction zone, or the ability to live happily without one more bathroom—is a personal preference. After all, your home isn’t just your largest investment; it’s also the place where your family lives.

1. Will remodeling make your home better than everyone else’s?
To make the right move-or-remodel decision, you have to know:

Your home’s value. Easy. Just ask a REALTOR® to estimate it and tell you how it compares with the value of the other homes in your immediate neighborhood. Ask what they think your house will be worth after the improvements, as well.
Your neighbors’ home value. Hit some open houses. Seeing the inside of area homes will inspire you; help you make good choices about finishes, room sizes, and how much to spend; and, admit it, entertain you.
Your remodeling costs. Once you’ve got your renovation vision, get a quote from a home improvement contractor & tally the costs of the items on your supplies shopping list. Then add the remodeling costs to the value of your home. If the number you get is more than 10% above the average value of homes in your neighborhood, you’re probably over-improving and may not be able to sell for what you put into the remodel.

Here’s why: No one wants to buy the most expensive home on the block (your home) if they can spend the same money to get a similar home on a block of higher-priced homes. Would you pay $200,000 to live on a block where all the other homes are valued at $100,000? We hope not.

Make home improvements that are typical for the neighborhood. Don’t put granite countertops in a trailer, and don’t put laminate countertops in a Trump Tower condo. Your tour of open houses gives you a chance to verify that your planned remodel isn’t an over- or under-improvement for the neighborhood.

2. Do you love where you live?
Want to keep your kids in the same school district, but can’t find or afford a bigger, better house? Love the neighbors? Have an easy commute to work? Stay put. If you’ve soured on the traffic, the neighborhood’s crime rate, or the nosy neighbors, move on.

3. Do you have room to expand?
If your remodeling plans include increasing the overall size of your home, the size of your lot may be the deciding factor in whether to move or remodel. If you live in a 1,500 sq. ft. ranch on a 3,000 sq. ft. lot, you might be able to add a second story to turn it into a 3,000 sq. ft. two-story, but you’re not likely to add 1,500 sq. ft. at ground level. And if you have a septic tank and well, the location of those will limit how and where you add onto your home (or cost you a bundle to move). Always look into covenants, building/city permits and if you need to dig for any reason- make sure you call 811 or 800.482.8998 to come mark underground utilities. 

4. Can you afford to move?
Consider these moving costs: sale costs for your existing home, shipping or moving your household goods, buying window treatments and possibly furniture for the new house, costs to fix up your existing home before sale, utility costs (if your next house is bigger), insurance costs, and property taxes. 

If you've worked through these questions and still remain undecided or unclear about the best decision for your individual situation - give us a call at 479.877.0423