To Move or Improve? That is the Question
Part 2 of 2
Rudy Niño (August 16)
There are many factors which come into play when deciding whether to move to a new home or to improve the home you are living in. These factors can usually fit into one of three categories: 1) location; 2) current home circumstances; and 3) finances. Below are a number of questions in each of these three categories to help select the option that would work for you.
One thing that remodeling can do nothing about is a home's location. However, one of the biggest reasons people decide to improve their current home is the comfort they feel in their community. They like their neighborhood and don't want to leave.
A family's ties to the community, as well as the proximity to local services and especially place of employment are also factors to be considered. Some questions concerning location you should ask yourself are:
- Do you like your neighborhood and neighbors?
- Do you have children enrolled in school?
- Does your family have a regular doctor and dentist?
- Is your workplace a reasonable commute?
- Is the value of other homes in your neighborhood rising?
- Current Home Circumstances
The condition of the current home is another serious consideration. Obviously, most people won't move solely because they don't like the way the kitchen is set up, but some homes are more adaptable to improvements and expansion than others.
In general, the biggest resale returns come from improvements which bring the house up to the value of other houses in the neighborhood and add living space. Kitchens and baths are the rooms where remodeling is most common. Some current home questions you could ask yourself are:
- Do local building codes allow you to build an addition either out or up?
- Is the kitchen or bath one of the first places you want to make changes?
- Is lack of space one of your chief complaints about your current home?
- Is your current home in the low to middle range of the other homes in your neighborhood?
- Have you already invested time or money tailoring other parts of your home to fit your tastes and needs?
Finances are perhaps the most influential part of the move vs. improve decision. Many people can't afford a brand new home, but, they may have the equity to make the necessary changes to transform their current home into their dream home, or at least a more comfortable and practical home.
One of the biggest attractions of remodeling is that the money that would have been spent on moving expenses, closing costs and agent's commission when buying a new home, won't go down the drain. It can be put into improvements instead of being spent on things that do nothing to improve the home's quality.
Also, people who are remodeling don't have to worry about selling their current home. In the different surveys which rank the stress-levels of various life experiences, moving always is ranked toward the top. Here are some financial questions you should ask yourself:
Like any major decision, the choice to move or improve involves many variables, and homeowners need to do their homework and weigh the options. Whatever your decision, it's important to use a remodeler that's right for you.
- Is your home undervalued when compared to the assessed value of the lot?
- Have other houses in your neighborhood stayed on the market for more than six months?
- Would you have to sell your current home before closing on another one?
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