Should I Move or Remodel?

sell versus remodel considerations

Should I Move or Remodel?

It seems that everyone, particularly home owners eventually face the question "should we remodel or move"? In this post we'll take a look at the relative advantages and disadvantages of moving versus remodeling. First, let's look at the advantages of each and then we'll explore the disadvantages.

Advantages of Moving

  • You don’t have to deal with contractors

At Precision Contracting we pride ourselves at being easy to work with. That is not always the case with all contractors. In many cases you may find contractors to be set in their ways with regard to how they execute your project. Even if you have a preferred general contractor that you've worked with in the past it can be complicated if you have to deal with multiple sub-contractors, depending upon the type of remodeling you plan to do.

  • You don’t have to live in a construction zone

Let's face it, construction can be messy and inconvenient. If you are considering remodeling your kitchen, the idea of cooking dinners in a microwave oven in the basement for an extended period of days may not be too appealing. Remodeling a bathroom can also be inconvenient if you and your family are used to getting ready for work or school with multiple available bathrooms.

  • You can physically move your location

If you have lived in the same place for a number of years it may be worth considering a change. This can mean looking for a considerably larger or smaller home based on your preferences, but it can also mean choosing a better neighborhood or a lot in the outside of your town or city if that’s what you want. You could even move to an area with better schools, which is something you don’t get when you remodel your existing home.

  • You can purchase a 100% turnkey home

A turn key home is essentially what it sounds like, a home where you can turn your key in the lock and move right in. Most often a turn key home just means that it has been fully and newly renovated. Turn key homes are renovated before they’re put up for sale, usually by companies that specialize in real estate restoration. Those firms can also help buyers manage the property. That way, new owners won’t have to spend too much time or effort finding repairmen or handling neighborly squabbles.

Advantages of Remodeling

  • You can plan a remodel to meet your exact specifications

Simply put, remodeling lets you choose exactly how everything is created and finished to suit your needs and tastes. 

  • If you love your neighborhood, you don’t have to move

I think Dorothy said it best in The Wizard of Oz:  "There's no place like home." If you can make make the updates you want and need in your existing home, why leave?

  • You may be able to use home equity to pay for the renovation

If you have a lot of home equity, a home equity loan would allow you to use your home as collateral and borrow against its value to pay for the remodel. Borrowing against home equity can be less costly and less of a hassle than taking out a new home mortgage as well.

  • You can avoid the costs of moving and selling your home

While remodeling isn’t cheap, you can avoid the realtor commissions, moving costs, and the money you’d likely spend getting your new home exactly how you want it.

Disadvantages of Moving

  • You may not get exactly what you want

When you move you are subject to the whims of the marketplace. That dream home that you want may not exist.  If it does exist, it may be far too expensive. Quite often people have to settle or compromise on the features in homes available to them in a given market. With remodeling you can specify precisely what you want and/or need in a price range that you can afford.

  • You may have to leave an area you love

Quite often one has to give something to get something. Depending upon your personal priorities, if there are are "must have" characteristics of your home that are not available in your area then you may be faced with having to leave a place you truly love.

  • Buying a home and moving can be time-consuming and stressful

Let's face it, if it were really easy to buy and sell a home people would be doing it more often.  The fact of the matter is that it often takes a lot of time to prepare your home for the market, to accept an offer, to qualify a buyer and to close on the deal. It often takes a lot more time than people estimate.  During the process, lots of things can go wrong from failed inspections to unexpected complications during the sale. All of these events can be time consuming and stressful.

  • Moving is expensive

People often underestimate the cost of moving. If a real estate agent is involved in the sale of your home there is often a 5 or 6 percent commission that must be paid. Then there is the cost for movers, attorneys and fees associated with the purchase and sale of property.

Disadvantages of Remodeling

  • You’ll probably face some surprise expenses

it’s extremely common to run into unexpected issues during a remodeling project. This is especially true if you are taking on a large-scale project that includes tearing down walls, moving plumbing, adding gas lines and so forth. The older the home, the better the potential to find unwanted surprises when the walls get opened up.

  • Remodeling can be a pain

If you're dealing with contractors other than Precision Contracting, a remodeling project can be complicated and painful. The home improvement process can be mentally tough, especially when you’re dealing with budgets, contracts, contractors, product selections and potential delays. 

  • You may not get your money back out of your remodel

While remodeling your home can be cost efficient, most remodeling projects cannot offer a 100% return on your money. While certain projects (kitchen remodels) tend to return more on the investment than others (bathroom remodels) individual tastes more often than not have a greater impact on recovering an investment at the time of the sale of your home.

So what should I do?

There really is no wrong answer. It is a matter of the individual circumstances associated with your decision. The important thing is to think about all of the relative advantages and disadvantages presented in this post and determine what best fits your situation. Moving is expensive but sometimes it is the only way to achieve the objectives you have for your home. Remodeling can be expensive too but it can offer you a lot more control over the costs and quality of the improvements you choose to make to your home.