Deciding whether you should move or remodel is a big decision. The most important things you need to consider, before you make this decision, are the four things you can’t change:
*Your home’s value compared to the rest of the neighborhood
* How much you love your neighborhoodThe size of your lot
* The cost to move your stuff to a new house
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.
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 your Realtor® what your house will be worth after the improvements too.
*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 or, if you’re remodeling it yourself, 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 over-improving and probably won’t be able to sell for what you put into the remodel.
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).
4. Can you afford to move?
Consider these moving costs: closing costs for your existing home, shipping your household goods, buying window treatments and possibly furniture for the new house, costs to fix up your existing home before the sale, higher utility costs (if your next house is larger), insurance cost differences, and property taxes.
For help with making the final decision on whether to move or remodel, contact your local Realtor®.