Moving vs. remodeling

Category: Housing

Man Carrying Cardboard Box

Moving or remodeling: it can be a very difficult (and big) decision to make. All you know at this point is that you’re unhappy with your home and something has to be done. Maybe it was your first home purchase, and your budget was limited and it was a starter home, and now you need more space. Or maybe it’s an older home and you want something newer. Perhaps it has potential to become the home you want to be in, but then again, it could be easier and cheaper to simply sell and find a new home that meets your current needs. Everyone has their own reason for wanting a change, but now you are trying to decide whether to remodel your current home and stay put, or just sell your home and find something else. As you explore your options, consider the following:

Your neighborhood

You can do so many different things to your home, but one thing you can’t change is the area you live in. If you absolutely love your neighborhood, you might want to consider staying put. You might have a hard time finding another area that you love just as much. On the other hand, maybe you’re not so crazy about your neighborhood, your city, or even your state. Whether you wonder what life is like across town or across the country, buying a new home in an area you’re happier with might be the better decision.


Is the area you live in in high demand? If so, you might have no issues selling your home and moving elsewhere. But if the real estate market hasn’t been very good in your area, selling your home might not be so easy. If it will take a long time and/or you have to take a loss, you might want to stay put instead and invest in remodeling your home. In fact, remodeling your home will often increase its value, assuming you invest in the right projects. With the right types of renovations, not only should you expect to see a return on your investment, but you could potentially make a profit.

Your home’s potential

Just about every home has the potential to be something better and greater, but some more so than others. What are you looking for and what do you have to work with? You have to evaluate the realistic potential your home has and the type of home you want. If you’re perfectly happy with the size of your home, but it needs an updated bathroom and kitchen, that could be worth remodeling. On the other hand, if you have a two-bedroom home and would prefer to have extra rooms, you have to think about knocking down walls, building others, and basically restructuring the whole home. The bigger the project might be, the more you might want to just move. If a huge and challenging project sounds like something you want to tackle, that’s one thing—just be sure you know what lies ahead, and remember that some projects might just be impossible.

The cost

Cost can be a huge deciding factor when it comes to remodeling versus moving, or maybe even the main deciding factor. When you decide to remodel, you can be talking big bucks, especially if your home is going to go through a complete overhaul. Depending on how much work needs to be done, you may even need to stay elsewhere in the meantime. If that means a hotel, that’s another significant expense to budget for, especially if you will need to stay in a hotel room for a long time. Of course, purchasing a home is a huge deal, too. You might spend a lot more to buy the home of your dreams, rather than remodel the home you’re in, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Be sure to crunch the numbers and find out what the most cost-effective option would be, while also taking convenience and other factors into consideration.

The hassles of moving

Moving can be a huge inconvenience, especially if you’re moving far away. First, is the house hunting process, which can be exciting, but daunting at the same time. Then there’s the transition of selling your former home (or renting it out) and buying your new home. Finally, it’s time for the actual physical act of moving, which involves packing up everything you own and relocating. Depending on how big your home is and how many years you’ve lived there, this could be a huge job. There’s also the expense of moving to factor in—from packing, shipping, transportation, unpacking, and so on.

The hassles of remodeling

Remodeling doesn’t come without its own inconveniences. Deciding what you want to do, making a plan and putting it into place, making design choices, etc. can all seem like a lot of fun, and many renovators do enjoy the process. But it could end up costing a lot more money or taking a lot more time than you ever anticipated. On top of the cost, you have to realize that some or your entire home might be a total mess during the renovations, and could potentially be inaccessible while it’s complete. In fact, depending on what’s being remodeled and how long the project is expected to take, you may need to be able to stay in your home while it’s being renovated, as mentioned above. This isn’t only a huge interruption in your life, but if you need to stay in a hotel while renovations are being finished, it’s also a pretty significant expense to consider.

New constructions

If you’re still torn, an idea to consider is a new construction. This gives you the opportunity to move into a new home, while also being in control of your floor plan and design choices, much like a remodeling project. If your current home needs a major overhaul, but the land is valuable—as in, any future buyer would likely tear down the home and build a new one—you could always do that yourself if finances allow it. This can also be a good solution if you’re extremely unhappy with every aspect of your house, but love your neighborhood.



Tags: buying a home, moving, remodeling

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