Hmmmm… What to do? Remodel or Move???

hmmmOk, it’s the winter and you’re spending more time indoors. You may start to get that bug that niggles at you and asks “Should we remodel and stay here or should we move to a home that is more of what we want?”  Well, the answer will be different for each person who asks themselves this question, but there are a  few things you can also ask yourself to help you along the decision-making trail.

* Think about the details & variables: What’s the current condition of your property?  It’s important to get real about costs and time-frames. What might you end up with in terms of additional projects within projects as you move forward… i.e. would you need to do extensive re-wiring?  Is there knob & tube wiring in your older home now that would have to be addressed, or would the new electrical load require considerable upgrading? (Knob & tube should be addressed anyway, by the way, and can possibly adversely affect your insurance situation!) What are the additional costs you may not have thought of if you “add on” like foundational work/support requirements/plumbing/sewer lines etc?  Have you checked into local setback requirements? Do you live in a formal HOA neighborhood where the Association would want to dictate some of what they allow you to do? Etc

* Do you have a trusted contractor?  If not, you may want to consider doing some research beforehand to make sure that you connect with someone reputable & honest.  Yelp and Angie’s List can be helpful. Also, if you have a trusted Realtor, they can often give you some good leads on people you would likely be satisfied working with based on personal experience and feedback from clients. Dianne or I would be happy to help in that regard if you do NOT have a trusted Realtor to help you.

* What would your financing look like for the remodel or add-on?  Be realistic about your costs and stack that up against your financial picture if you chose to move to a newer home or rebuild.  The devil is in the details, as they say.  My first remodeling project “way back when” actually doubled  over expected cost.

* Have you talked to a mortgage broker about just what your payments would look like if you moved to a newer more suitable home?  (If you don’t have a trusted mortgage broker, give me a call… I can steer you to good people).  If you think you know what your payment would look like because you talked to someone last year or the year before, think again. A LOT has changed since then…regulation-wise, rate-wise, and timeline-wise in the mortgage industry. I always advise people to make decisions based on facts, and not on conjecture. A mortgage broker can take your current data, find out what your desired payment might be, and tell you how much house you can buy for your money. It truly is relatively painless : )  and THEN you are making decisions based on actual factual information.  Mortgage Brokers generally do not charge for doing this for you… it’s part of their job.

* Beware of ending up as the “Best House on the Block”. Why?  Well, consider that when it comes time to sell down the line, if you are the best house on the block, you will most likely not be able to receive the appraised value you would like to because your home is being “comped” with homes near you that are not nearly as nice.  Just sayin’.

* Lastly (we could talk about this for a long while, but I’ve gotta run! : )  check out this amazing site to find out what kind of return you might expect on various remodeling projects.  It’s called “Cost vs Value” and can really give you some great tips on whether it’s worth your while investing in certain kinds of remodeling. CLICK HERE


I hope this was helpful information. Remember that the answert to “what is right?” is different for each individual or family and varies baseed on each circumstance.

Best of luck to you!