Deciding Whether to Move or Renovate Your Current Home

So you’re at the point where your house needs major repairs or it is just too small and no longer meets your needs. Should you move, or should you renovate and expand? This is a tough decision for anyone. There are many factors to consider in order to make a good decision. First, you’ll have to figure out whether or not it makes sense financially. Other things to consider are construction costs, moving expense and neighborhood value. Finally, if you think you would prefer to stay where you are, do you want to live through the renovation?

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

When making the decision whether to move or renovate your current house, one of the first things to consider is the cost involved with moving. You’ll have closing costs, moving costs and possible renovations at the new house. These can really add up.

You will also have to put your house up for sale. Is this something you are ready for? You will have to endure open houses, nosy neighbors, packing, unpacking and more. If you hire a great Realtor, the stress levels associated with moving should be kept at a minimum. But never the less, you have to decide if this is for you.

Another huge consideration is how much you like the area in which you live. If you are very happy there and your kids have lots of friends right around the corner, it might be worth it to consider staying put and renovating or expanding your current house.

Understand Local Real Estate Market Conditions

In making this decision, it is very important to consider the local real estate market. If the market is soft, it may take several months to sell your house. Do you have the time? However, if you are moving to a larger house, chances are you will save more on your purchase than you will have to give up on your sale.

Another thing to consider when trying to decide whether to move or renovate your current house are the values of other homes in the immediate area. Make sure that you do not put more money in to your house than it will be worth when you are finished. Even if you are planning on staying there long term, it never makes sense to have your house be the only one in the neighborhood with six bedrooms, a spa, a guesthouse, etc. If other houses in the neighborhood are much more valuable than yours in now, then go for it! But otherwise, be careful and don’t over-renovate.


You will have to evaluate space in a few different ways. First of all, does the property on which your house sits give you enough room to expand? Also, it is laid out in such a way that your plans will work? In addition, you will have to consider how much you can expand. Will you wind up with a house that you can stay in for years to come and will be large enough for future family members?

Expand or Renovate?

You will have to take a serious look at what you really want to do. If the expense of a major expansion of your house is overwhelming, then consider renovation. Sometimes knocking down a wall or part of a wall can let in lots of sunlight, open up rooms and entirely change the feel of the space.

Remodeling a kitchen, for example, can make better use of the space and might allow you to double up on cabinets. This could really help your need for storage. In addition, you might consider adding closet space to your basement if it is nice and dry. You may find that an inexpensive fix such as this can eliminate the need to expand.

If you find that you truly need to make your house larger, make sure that you get recommendations and written estimates. Understand exactly what you are going to need to do. For example, you are going to want to know if it is difficult to get permits from your local town hall to complete or start the renovations. How long does this process take? Can your contractor help you get the permits? Will you need an architect, etc?

Enduring the Process

This is a huge factor in deciding whether you should move or renovate your current house. If you decide to renovate, make sure that you understand what the expected time frames will be. You may even want to expect that the process will take a little longer than the estimates you’ve been given. Many times construction goes on longer than originally expected.

Next, you’ll have to consider just what you are going to have to live through. Can you stay in the house, or will you have to find temporary housing? Will you be without a kitchen for a long period of time? How noisy will it be and for how long?

Taking the Plunge

If you take the time to consider all of these factors, you will be able to make a wise decision. Whether you decide to move, renovate or expand, be prepared for some stress and some unexpected expenses. But make sure that you don’t lose sit of the goal – a great new space for you and your family to enjoy for years to come!

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